I hear them…these voices all around me…whispering: they will never do legal research on a smartphone, the screen is too small! How can lawyers or any knowledge professional do research on a mobile device? These voices weren’t whispers 2 years ago, they were loud and clear and drove me to write about it. Mobile consumes and desktop creates, no if and’s or but’s. Now several events hopefully will exorcise these faint yet persistent notions and help us embrace our enlightened reality. Read further >
Last week the esteemed Washington Post was sold for a fraction of what Facebook paid for Instagram, and also a fraction of what Yahoo paid for Tumblr. A reminder that the value of this prestigious 135 year old institution of journalistic expertise is in stark contrast to current internet-first content aggregators. That content served up by an extensive community is worth more than when it is provided by a set of hand-picked experts. Read further >
Information services providers such as Wolters Kluwer have been creating mobile apps for tax, legal and regulatory professionals for several years. Some apps migrate traditional print products to apps, such as the WK eReader, whereas others, such as IntelliConnect Mobile and CCH Mobile, are “mobile first.” Another type of app is emerging. Wolters Kluwer’s customers – tax, legal & regulatory professional services firms – increasingly are creating apps for their clients. How might Wolters Kluwer’s content be integrated into those apps? Read further >
I’ve always admired how private publishers made it possible for professionals to access tax, legal and regulatory content. Their role was primarily aggregation and distribution through print. But they also curated. Looseleaf publishing, which required editorial expertise, made it possible to reconcile topically published content with chronologically published updates, all under a single topical classification scheme relevant to a specific area of law. Publishers made a choice as to how to organize content in looseleafs as well what to include and exclude, based on a deep understanding of professional customers’ needs. Technology later made it possible to digitize hardbound & looseleaf print volumes, thus making it accessible through full-text & fielded-metadata search. Read further >
Recently Apple has been awarded a patent for the virtual book page turn. Now imagine such an event in the age of the printing press. How would we navigate books or other printed materials? The tools and the methods we used in the physical world are slowly coming to live in the digital world. Skeuomorph design has blazed the path to copy from the physical to the virtual world. Yet, without a better understanding of the real world, will it help or hurt? Read further >
Suppose you are a tax, legal, regulatory or healthcare professional representing a client in the United States. You want to help your client understand the full extent of fedeal regulatory activity. Inevitably, your research will involve the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) and the Federal Register (“FR”). I already have posted about the added value of Federal Register 2.0 in this context. But now I want to add some thoughts about the e-CFR. Read further >
Last week, more than 300 experts and executives from German publishing houses met in Berlin near the famous Brandenburg Gate in order to talk about the current situation and the challenges within the publishing industry in Germany.
The conference widened the scope this year and invited quite a number of speakers from the US, Canada and the UK, which was very fruitful for the discussions going on.
I think that three different areas were in the center of the presentations and workshops:
- The general transformation process of publishing houses with regard to the rapidly changing user behavior and the user expectations (“Digital natives”)
- The transformation process from a (print) product centric view to a content centric view and the accompanying challenges around metadata and content enrichment, context and discoverability of content
- The rapid growth of mobile applications, mainly in the area of tablet PCs, but also around smartphones
The idea of utilizing big data has been getting a lot of attention lately. It promises companies the ability to respond to changes in the marketplace by collecting, storing, and analyzing the ever-increasing amount of data about the behavior of its customers to make quicker and more well-informed decisions. It was not that long ago that a publisher would be forced to speculate about which parts of a print product influenced a customer’s decision to purchase it or which parts they found most useful. The move from print to electronic, and then to mobile, has brought with it vast amounts of data about its customers from an increasing number of sources, including online usage, sensors, and other smart devices. The challenge for companies facing this data-driven future is in finding a way to make use of this flood of data, rather than being overloaded by it. Read further >
Compare the official electronic version of the Federal Register with an unofficial version called Federal Register 2.0. Which do you prefer? I prefer Federal Register 2.0 which is based in XML and a manifestation of the US government’s Open Government Initiative. This initiative aims to make government more transparent and collaborative as well as to enable citizens to more easily participate in government. One of the ways that the US government is fulfilling that goal is making Federal agencies’ work product more accessible through the use of XML. You can learn more about Federal Register 2.0 by watching one YouTube video from the US Government Printing Office and a second from the US National Archives. The video from the National Archives describes how the technique of open innovation was used to create Federal Register 2.0. Read further >
A quiet sunday morning, I’m channel surfing on my big screen when I come across an enticing teaser on the Wolters Kluwer Channel. I carrousel through the Health and Tax panels and select Legal. I start reading the news articles and a particular phrase intrigues me. I spread my arms to zoom in and make a left to right swiping gesture in the air to select it… Read further >