Nine applications of Web 2.0 for law departments

For a charming and effective summary of Web 2.0 for law departments, read what Paul Lippe, the heart-and-soul of Legal OnRamp, flourishes in a recent column.

Lippe includes six Web 2.0 capabilities in his description. He covers wikis, “an online editing and collaboration system organized around a document” and blogs, which requires no definition if you are reading this one (See my post of Sept. 1, 2008: wikis with 8 references; and Dec. 31, 2007: Wikipedia and law department management.)

Lippe mentions forums as “a mechanism for an online conversation. Unlike a blog, a forum is multiauthor; unlike a wiki, the conversation is an end in itself, as opposed to yielding an integrated document.” A profile is “a Web page where an individual can convey information about themselves …, define their relationships with others (a ‘connection’ or ‘friend’), or aggregate incoming information.”

Twitter is a way to share quick thoughts with others who “follow” you. “Twitter combines elements of texting, the extended absence greeting of an e-mail or voicemail system, the ‘status’ in a social network profile, and a very lightweight blog.” I have been a-Twitter for a month.

“A social network is a community of profiles and other Web 2.0 tools. RSS [Really Safe Syndication] is a mechanism for pushing some of this information to people who want to receive it, so that instead of affirmatively pushing a button to send an e-mail, certainly classes of information are automatically set to subscribers.”

I would add three more to Paul’s compilation of Web 2.0 capabilities: listservs as a way to distribute information online; intranets shared by more than one (aka extranets); and tagging (See my post of June 30, 2006: tagging; Feb. 24, 2008: information architecture and tags; June 4, 2008: TagIt from IBM; and Dec. 14, 2008: XML tags *4.).

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