After five years of doing my Sites for Sore Eyes column in GPSOLO Magazine, it is time to move on.
But I wanted to go out with a bit of style, so the final column, Websites for Bidding Farewell, covers lots of fun and interesting sites from websites that will do your breaking up for you, to websites that will help you with digital estate planning issues, to websites that let you really have the last word and websites that will make sure your website or blog doesn't die with you.
The Sites for Sore Eyes column first appeared in the May 2007 issue of the GPSolo Technology eReport and went on to GPSolo Magazine from there. Courtney Kennaday, director of the South Carolina Bar’s Practice Management Assistance Program (PMAP) was a co-columnist for quite some time. Thanks to the leadership and staff of the GPSolo Division for allowing me the opportunity. But it is time to say farewell to this project.
Podcasts are a great way to learn while you are doing something else, like commuting or just relaxing. The complete archives of the Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology podcast are now available online at the American Bar Association Law Practice Management Section website. We just posted the 57th Edition where Sharon Nelson and I talk to Dan Pinnington, Vice President of Claims Prevention and Stakeholder Relations for the Lawyers Professional Indemnity Company in Ontario, about how lawyers can avoid bad check frauds. Dan has allowed us to post lots of examples of fraudulent documents on the page for that podcast.
But Sharon and I have had a lot of fun podcasts over the years, (for us at least) like our recent one on the future of law practice. Check out the Digital Edge podcast archive page. You may find some useful information you missed when they were first posted. Sharon and I invite you to join us.
My Sites for Sore Eyes column in the just-released GPSOLO eReport is Beyond the Basics of Google. Long time readers of my blog may have seen a lot of this information before. But if you have some colleagues who would benefit from this information, be sure and send them the link. I am always surprised by the number of people who have never heard of Google Advanced Search or think it is some advanced function that they are not qualified to operate.
Here's an additional related site that wasn't in the article. If you have grown tired of people asking you questions that they could answer themselves if they would just use Google, check out the site Let Me Google That for You. (http://lmgtfy.com) The site's motto is "For all those people that find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves." Go do a quick search there and click Preview to see the short animation you can send someone the next time they ask. It will bring a smile to your face. (But do not try this with your supervisor!)
My recent Lawyers USA column covered Ten essential classes of websites for lawyers. You may know many of these, but feel free to forward the link to a lawyer you know who is not as current on Internet tools. I'll let you in on a little behind the scene information. The concept was to cover ten websites, combining some useful old standbys with newer tools. But as I tried to narrow it down to ten, it became obvious that there were several contenders in some areas. I hope you enjoy this piece and learn of some new online tools.
Earlier this year Google removed the "advanced search" link from its home page. The answer to the question "why did Google hide Google Advanced Search?" remains a bit of a mystery. Google home page simplicity taken one infuriating step too far remains my best answer. Where you can find Advanced Search is pretty easy. But understanding why this little change is significant is very important to lawyers and others who want to be Internet users who are, well ..... ADVANCED!
First of all, even though the link is gone, you can still access this service by clicking on the gear in the upper right hand corner of Google next to "Sign in." Advanced search is on the drop down menu. So really the only change is two clicks instead of one. And, if you do a Google search and the results you see displayed are not to your liking, you can still click on advanced search and have your initial search terms automatically pulled in. If you use advanced search frequently, you can even bookmark this page: http://www.google.com/advanced_search instead of www.google.com, if you do wish. (This link is not new. I referred to it in a blog post in December, 2008.) I assume most readers knew this.
But if this is all news to you, then I might respectfully suggest you are not finding the information you are looking for as fast or accurately as you might be. In a discussion about this topic in the Google Web search forum, one poster said, "[l]imiting [searches] by file type, domain name, etc is absolutely essential for students to know." Lawyers, too! As I noted in that 2008 blog post, using the "site:" search filter is great to search a single domain.
The advanced search feature I use most often is the date filter. If I am searching for information about a product, I generally start by limiting the search to pages posted or updated within the last year.
If you are searching on a fairly obscure topic and find one good resource, then using the advanced search to find other pages that are similar to that page or link to that page can lead to other great resources.
In years past, a lawyer might respond to me initiating this type of discussion by saying, "I'm not really an advanced Internet researcher, more of a basic one." My response now would be the same as it was then: Look at your billing rate, you are an advanced Internet researcher!
Oklahoma lawyer Jeffery Taylor has another identity. He's also The Droid Lawyer™ and publishes a really nice blog under that title with lots of good information about Droid phones, among other things. He's got a lot of great content, so feel free to share the link with your friends. You can also follow him on Twiter at http://twitter.com/jeffrey_taylor.
ABA TECHSHOW 2011 closed with a large crowd in attendance for 60 Sites in 60 Minutes. Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson joined colleagues ABA TECHSHOW 2010 chair Paul Unger and TECHSHOW planning board member Erik Mazzone for this lively presentation. Jim and Sharon just couldn’t get enough of talking about interesting and fun websites for lawyers so we decided to discuss some of the websites here, beginning with a “missing site” that was mysteriously omitted from the original 60 Sites presentation.
Listen to the 24 Favorite Sites Digital Edge podcast here with links to sites. We started with the missing site, which someone who provides too much tech support for their family and friends will really enjoy!
And by the way, Mark Unger over at the State Bar of Texas Computer and Technology Section blog, gave 60 sites in 60 Minutes a truly great review here. So thanks, Mark.
I had slowly phased out the Websites of the Week, but have decided to revive it until at least the end of the year because I was inspired by WooWooMac.com. The site's motto is to "learn something new, useful and fun about your Mac, iPhone and iPad." It has many great tips, like Top Ten Useful iPad Tips.
Got a lot of apps on your iPad? Here's how to quickly Launch iPad Apps Using Spotlight.
We all like free, so how about 50 Free iPhone and iPad Apps for College Students? There are many more, but I think you get the idea. Cool site. Woo woo!
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