LinkedIn Tweaks Search, Speeds Job Hunting

TechCrunch reports that LinkedIn is launching a beefed up search functionality to streamline the process. The new features are not so in-your-face, but yield a better search experience. Features include auto-completed search terms, improved advance search menus and auto-detection of content related to your search term. Another new feature offers automation through “persistent search”, which allows you to set up alerts for changes to employee rosters or employment status. Any help for job seekers in this economic climate is a boon, so thanks, LinkedIn for doing your part!

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Targeted News, Now Even Faster

If you are like me and have adopted RSS as your primary news source, you might like the following application, called notify.me. Orli Yakuel at Go2Web2.0 blog gives the lowdown. You can use notify.me as a filter to stream the news you are most interested in and exclude the news you are not interested in from your subscription sources. The service will email, SMS or IM you with any posts that discuss your filter term, such as “twitter” per Yakuel’s example. You can also search Facebook and Twitter using the service, to track changes to your profile or instances of your name. You also can secure updates to your favorite web pages. Great way to ensure that you see exactly what you want to see from your feeds and stay on top of it all!

What A Surprise: Wikipedia Held "Inherently Unreliable"

Legal Writing Prof Blog, via Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, reports on an unpublished October 23, 2008 decision by the Texas Court of Appeals for the 14th District wherein the court rejected a party’s attempt to rely on Wikipedia. The synopsis from the Legal Writing Prof Blog is as follows:

In State v. Flores, an unpublished decision by the Texas Court of Appeals for the 14th District dated October 23, 2008, the court refused the appellant’s request to take judicial notice of a Wikipedia entry describing the “John Reid interrogation technique.”  The court reasoned in footnote 3 that Wikipedia entries are inherently unreliable because they can be written and edited anonymously by anyone.  The court relied on a recent article from the Wall Street Journal entitled Wikipedians Leave Cyberspace, Meet in Egypt, noting that the egalitarian nature of Wikipedia is both “its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.”

You can get the case at 2008 WL 4683960 (Tex. App.-Hous. (14th Dist.)) and 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 8010. Credit to BNA Internet Law news for the original story.

International Government RSS Feeds

Thanks again, Law Librarian Blog, for tipping me off to another cool on-line resource. Information Overlord is compiling a list of RSS feeds from various foreign governments. The list currently includes various European nations. Why is this cool? Well, information on foreign laws and governmental matters is not always so easy to find when you need it, but RSS can put that information in your feeder even BEFORE you need it. Nothing like getting the answer to your question before the question is even asked!

Axiom Is Practicing Law In The Modern Age

Interesting article over at CNN / Fortune about Axiom, a corporation that “practices law” via lawyers connected only by the internet. The New York-based company has a main office in San Francisco, but it is sparse and attorney-free. The company does have more than 200 attorney-employees, located throughout the United States and in London that labor in their own homes or at their clients’ sites. Their website serves to introduce clients to their services, as well as connect their attorneys in a social networking kind of way – affording them the opportunity to interact on-line rather than at the water cooler. What is the hook? Well, try legal fees at 50% of the cost of more traditional firms that expensively house their attorneys in firm offices. Axiom’s mode of doing business resonates with today’s high tech corporation that have adopted similar working arrangements, with employees spread far and wide connected only by laptop and smartphone. How is it working? Check this quote from the article:

Both attorneys and clients seem to be happy with the way it’s working out so far. The proof is that even in this dismal economy, Axiom, which claims to be profitable, continues to grow revenue at about 40% to 50% annually – 2008 revenue is about $60 million.

Call it a win-win situation for the firm paring costs, the client receiving top notch service at half the price and the attorneys controlling their work environment and quality of life.