Chart Love: Compare Twitter/Facebook/Buzz

Those crazy Lifehacker guys are so good at taking complex information and organizing it! Take, for example, which social network to spend your valuable time in – apparently, there’s a chart for that. In their post “Which Social Network Is Right For You?” (link here), Kevin Purdy breaks down some of the features of Twitter, Facebook and Buzz and compares them, complete with color coding.  “Comprehensive” would be an understatement. Here is the chart from his article (you may need to CTRL + to zoom a bit for the text, or hit link above to original post to get a full-res image). Bear in mind that “green” is good – feature available, “yellow” is feature may be available but difficult to implement and “red” is you can’t find it here:

In a nutshell, Facebook’s plus is that it is relatively easy to identify friends, while the drawback is the convoluted privacy and other settings and issues surrounding same. Twitter also is a favorite based on its simplicity and ease of use. Downside is reliance on confusing array of third party applications and the noisy firehose of a substantial follow list, unless list controls are employed. Lifehacker’s jury is still out on Buzz mostly because it is too new and is undergoing some sizeable changes as it progresses. But it is agreed that, despite its flaws with respect to integration and privacy, Buzz represents its own animal (albeit with a strong resemblance to Friendfeed) and deserves attention.

I pretty much agree with their analysis of the sites. Pay attention to the ability to send feeds elsewhere (RSS), remote posting and notice options if you don’t plan to regularly reside on the sites themselves.


The Scoop on Facebook Sharing

In the not-too-distant past, Facebook tweaked its interface to encourage the liking and sharing of content within and without its ecosystem. Ever wondered how much sharing traffic Facebook sees and sends? Check out these stats published by Facebook, reported at Inside Facebook (link here).  

In a word, content sharing is up. Way up. Hits and views for business pages are way up as well. There are lots of numbers listed in the post, but here are some key figures pertaining to sharing and pages:

Facebook reported 1 billion items shared a week in July, 2 billion shared a week in September, then a big jump to 3.5 billion in December, and another big jump to 5 billion a week as of earlier this month.

There are now more than 3 million active Pages on Facebook, nearly double the 1.6 million it reported in December. While it didn’t previously disclose the same Pages stats, Facebook began doing so that month; compared against the latest update, they show new pattersn. Pages that Facebook defines as local businesses went from 700,000 actives to 1.5 million. In other words, local businesses comprised half of the overall increase in active Pages over the last couple of months. Facebook separately says that the average user becomes a fan of 4 pages every month, double the December average.

It appears that Facebook is rapidly positioning itself as a news source / reader in and of itself, with heavy emphasis on activity around business pages. Is this a good thing for the site originally designed to connect college students for fun and laughs? Only time will tell.

The Entire U.S. Code. On Your Phone

Do you have some spare memory sitting around on your iPhone and you don’t know what to do with it? How about loading it up with the entire United States Code? The drawback is the space investment, but the very real benefit is access to the Code whether or not you have a live internet connection. Very handy in those rural District courts.

U.S. Code is the creation of Assistant Professor Shawn Bayern, currently teaching at Florida State University College of Law. Professor Bayern graduated from Yale University in 1999 and the University of California at Berkeley in 2006. Not suprisingly, before his legal career, he worked in computing research, served on groups responsible for developing programming languages, and wrote several books and articles about computer programming. Professor Bayern relates that he helped design JSP and some other Java-related languages, but then dropped that effort to go to law school.  He always knew he wanted to teach, but not in the computer science field.

Professor Bayern has married his interests in computers and law by creating an application of unique interest to lawyers and researchers. The app is free and, as Professor Bayern explains, designed to be useful.

Professor Bayern contacted me last week about his app and I have now had a chance to try it out. It took quite some time to download and searches are not lightning-fast, but are not intolerably slow either. The simple interface permits searching by keywords (with auto-complete) or citation. You also can browse by title, section and subsection. When you enter a particular section, you can navigate back and forth between sections via arrows, bookmark a favorite section and email it to someone or somewhere for printing. You can view either in portrait or landscape mode. Search terms are highlighted. Entries include the language of the section and codification and amendment information.

There is nothing more than what is absolutely needed to find a Code section. There is a caveat, however, to keep in mind when using the app (link here). U.S. Code  includes the latest “official” Code sections, but does not include the most recent updates via public laws. Those most recent updates can be found in the traditional, paid resources. U.S. Code might certainly is a handy “in-hand” resource, but it should not be considered the last and final word on the law, particularly if your research results will be showing up in court papers, pleadings or motions.

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Convergence of Intelligence, Intuition and Information (Gladwell Video)

For those of us who could not attend LegalTech New York earlier this month, but were very interested in the keynote presentation on Intelligence, Intuition and Information featuring Malcolm Gladwell from the New Yorker, you can rejoice. West has released the video at the link here. The panel also included Dr. Lisa Sanders, a columnist for the New York Times, author and clinical professor at Yale University and David Craig, Chief Strategy Officer for Thomson Reuters.

The topic centered on how professionals can make sense of the morass of information now available. Timely enough, indeed. And very well received, by all accounts.

It is an excellent discussion and well worth the watching time. Wish I could embed, but you can still get there with two clicks of the mouse.

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