Cool Conference Alert: LII’s Law Via The Internet 2012

Got tipped by one of my favorite sources for online legal information, the Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell Law School about what promises to be a very interesting conference scheduled for October 7-9. 2012 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It’s titled Law Via The Internet 2012 and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Free Access to Law Institute (can I get an Amen?). If you are unfamiliar with LII, it was the first legal website on the Internet, and it’s quite popular too – serving over 14 million unique visitors each year. It’s mission is to provide free and open access to the laws that govern us. Laudable goal.

To celebrate, the conference will be held here in the U.S. for the first time, with a star-studded line-up, including legal technology innovator Richard Susskind and social media visionary Clay Shirky. Headline speakers also include GovLoop.com founder Steve Ressler, legal information analyst David Curle, head of the United Nations project on Information Technology in Legislatures Gherardo Casini, GovTrack.us founder Joshua Tauberer, and Google Scholar founding engineer Anurag Acharya. More than 75 speakers from 25 countries are slated to speak, covering a broad range of topics within the realm of  legal information technology and the free-access-to-law movement. There will be social networking opportunities and galas – all in all a legal-geeky-good time.

If you are interested, and who wouldn’t be, you can register at this link here.

MeetingBurner Brings Fast Free Video Conferencing To The Table

Lifehacker tipped me off to this great service for web-based online meetings and webinars – MeetingBurner. This great tool offers a whole lot of functionality for free, and even more with some cash. Create an account in minutes, and host your first video conference a minute or two later. MeetingBurner does its thing without downloads – because it is web-based, set up is quite fast and costs are contained. So, what do you get for free? An online meeting for up to 15 people, email tech support, instant screen sharing, Mac & PC compatibility, audio conferencing via telephone, computer or Skype, support for mobile attendees, meeting scheduling functions, streaming host video, the ability to instantly change presenters, in-meeting chat, a customizable meeting registration page, and, automated email reminders. Geesh. What don’t you get? Well, if you pay a bit more for Pro at $39.95 a month, you can have up to 50 attendees, phone and email tech support, meeting recording and recorded meeting sharing. Premier at $99.95 a month gets you 1,000 or more atetndees, meeting analytics, SMS reminders, “AutoPilot” meetings (pre-recorded meetings that play as if live), and paywall PayPal integration. For all levels, the interface is beautiful and easy to understand. Mobile users can download the iPhone app to join meetings on the go. That should put a dent in some of the high priced video conferencing competitors.

And it’s available today! Go on, get to your meeting.

Hashtags: The Backbone Of The Modern Conference (For Better Or Worse)

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.
Image via Wikipedia

Have you wondered where all the action lurks at legal conferences (or any conferences) these days? Check out this thorough description of the “hashtag” experience at the recent American Association of Law Library conference, July 24 – 29, 2009. If you are unclear on the hashtag concept, it is another long-standing Twitter convention hearkening back to the days when search was nearly non-existent. Marking a universally-accepted term with a hashtag at the front permitted the tweets containing the mark to be collected. See this earlier Studio post for more detail.

Roger Skalbeck and Meg Kribble provide an extraordinarily detailed account of how Twitter and hashtags were used to broad effect at the recent conference in their LLRX article here. The authors created tweet clouds from the tags to visualize the importance (or recurrence) of various topics. They discussed the fall out of anonymous attendees posting to a special account created just for the conference. Hashtag humor and conversation hijacking and blatant business promotion arose in the tagged tweets and accounts.

I am not sure the authors of the article are aware of all of the lessons that the AALL hashtag experience may offer for future legal conferences, from both the organizers’ and the attendees’ points of view. Can too much communication be a positive or negative? Hit the jump and read the account to reach your own conclusions.

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