More on Cobalt (& Lexis' Mystery Project)

Logo of Westlaw.
Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times ran an article (link here) discussing “sweeping” changes to the Big Two, Westlaw and Lexis, in the pipeline. Project Cobalt, (previously discussed here), is slated for February 1. Lexis’ drop date has not yet been disclosed.

The Times article is an interesting read on the history of these giants and their motivations for change. You see, people are sick of paying huge amounts for a mediocre, 1980’s interface and functionality. Go figure.

West reps told the Times that it took 5 years to build the new service. Oh no. Does that mean the service is already 5 years out of date?  The article discusses relevancy by algorithm (second-guessing what the lawyer might actually be looking for) and a Google-like search interface. No mention of retaining Boolean search, though. Not 2010 enough, I suppose.

My jury remains out. It will reconvene on February 1.

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More e-Stats for Number Junkies

Internet Cafe - Image by Lee Jordan

Are you interested in how the internet is being used and by whom? Do you love numbers? Pingdom, a company that performs website monitoring, compiled a heavy-duty blog post containing tons of relevant (and somewhat west of relevant) numbers on internet usage during the year 2009. Now, I cannot really testify regarding the support for the numbers, because Pingdom does not list its sources. But, assuming a kernel of truth, these are still pretty impressive and there are some fascinating factoids, to be sure. Did you know that 90 trillion email were sent. I guess email isn’t dead, or at least no one has told it yet. There were 234 million web sites and 187 million domain names across the top-level domains. That is a lot of surfing. There were 173 billion internet users and they are NOT concentrated in North America (Asia wins).

Check out these social media numbers (taken from the post):

  • 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
  • 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
  • 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
  • 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
  • 4.25 million – People following @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher, Twitter’s most followed user).
  • 350 million – People on Facebook.
  • 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
  • 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.

Guess blogs aren’t dead yet either.

Check out the entire list of stats at Pingdom’s blog (link here). Thanks, Resource Shelf, for the tip.

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Advocate Speaks: Advanced Social Media for Lawyers / Boston Bar Association

Next week, on February 2, 2010, I will be speaking on the topic Beyond LinkedIn / Advanced Social Media for Lawyers at the Boston Bar Association Computer Law Group’s Brown Bag Lunch meeting. Doug Cornelius (Compliance Building) and I will be tag-teaming the topic. We will be breaking down barriers to engagement and discussing tips for making on-line engagement as smooth and simple as possible.

Looking forward to it!