Articles filed under Wikis

Addleshaw Goddard started using social software over three years ago by using WordPress to run two blogs for a couple of our business services teams. Wikis followed. Beyond the obviously different experience for our lawyers of knowledge sharing using blogs and wikis, these developments have taken our IT people into new areas.

At PLC we like to be at the cutting edge of technology in the law, sometimes a difficult place to be. However, social software (blogs, wikis and the like) seemed one of our easier challenges.

Earlier this summer a group of enthusiasts met in Room 6 of Olswang’s London office to discuss the potential uses of wikis within the field of intellectual property (IP). Some were committed to the wiki concept, others sceptical, the rest open-minded. The outcome was the Room 6 Initiative ”” a proposal to seek funding to kick-start an all-embracing wiki that would unite as many IP legal information resources as possible within a format that was current, accessible, user-friendly and free to use.

In the last issue of this newsletter, Steve Butler explained his disillusionment with Wikis. I agree that a website that can be edited by members of the public may not be the best way of compiling “… a multi media encyclopaedia of English law”. However, a Wiki remains an excellent tool for collating and presenting a law firm’s collective wisdom.

In the last issue of the Newsletter, solicitor Steve Butler, who produces the UKLawyers weekly legal newswire, changed his former opinion that a grand centralised law wiki could be an enormously valuable resource. Having previously been impressed by Richard Susskind’s comments along these lines Steve now believes that unpaid volunteers cannot be expected to compete with the commercial publishing efforts. But should we write off the law wiki dream? I think not.

The original Wikipedia is an amazing project where any of us can edit any entry to add our knowledge to the pool of information on the web. Can law wikis be as good?