Even though the government is shutdown, Voxgov is still “listening.”  Since 2014 Voxgov has been ingesting and analyzing every statement, report, newsletter and tweet from over 14,000 government websites and social media accounts. To date they have collected almost 50 million pages!

I asked Robert Dessau, voxgov Founder and CEO  if he  could provide some  insights into the statements of official Washington since the start of the shutdown. The word cloud images included in this post are previews of new visualization features which will be added to voxgov in the coming months. The word clouds are based on documents collected by voxgov between December 16, 2018 and January 16, 2019. The government shutdown started December 22nd.

Surprisingly members of  both houses are releasing almost the same number of official statements as they released during the same period a year ago (44,118 documents in the past thirty days versus 45,522 in the same 30 day period a year ago.)

There is a much larger impact  in the executive agencies which have released only 149,259 documents in the past 30 days compared with 397,238 documents in the same period a year ago. Voxgov normally ingests between 170,000 and 200,000 documents per week.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FACEBOOK AND TWITTER WORD CLOUD:

 
President Trump’s Twitter and Facebook
Social Media Word Cloud

President Trump’s social media word cloud above illustrates the new Voxgov visualization features which will color code different types of entities, people, organizations, geographies and keywords. Researchers can access the underlying documents for each circle.

DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICANS SOCIAL MEDIA AND OFFICIAL WORD CLOUDS

The words “border,” “wall,” and “shutdown” dominate social media and official statements of both parties, but official statements also include references to a wider variety of policy issues.

Republicans official statements address taxes, the opioid crisis, jobs, trade, human trafficking.

Democrats official statements address guns, taxes, farms, food and violence.

Both parties discuss criminal justice reform. Somewhat mysteriously both parties are also discussing a “free encyclopedia.” As a former reference librarian my lingering love for reference books will compel me to figure out why this is a hot topic during the shutdown.

Unfortunately, the language of “compromise” does not dominate the discussions of either party. Both parties refer to “bipartisan legislation.” Republicans have discussed “compromise” but that word does not appear at all in the Democratic word cloud.

The top democratic social media term is #trumpshutdown. Democrats make liberal us of hashtags. Other hashtags include: #endtheshutdown, #forthepeople,#116congress, #HR8. #HR1, #Firststepact.

The Republicans appear to take a more conservative approach to hashtags. No “hashtags” are dominant in their social media cloud. After scrutinizing the chart I discovered #buildthewall and #Bordersecurity.

THE REPUBLICAN WORD CLOUD FOR OFFICIAL STATEMENTS

Republican House and Senate Official Releases Word Cloud  – Voxgov

 

THE DEMOCRATIC WORD CLOUD FOR OFFICIAL STATEMENTS

 

Democratic House and Senate Official Releases Word Cloud – Voxgov

THE REPUBLICAN SOCIAL MEDIA WORD CLOUD

Republican Senate and House Social Media Word Cloud

THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIAL MEDIA WORD CLOUD

Democratic House and Senate Social Media Word Cloud

 

Voxgov  Developments

Dessau and his team have been working on several important developments which will drive deeper insights. The new word clouds will provide insights into the “intensity of language” as well as “emerging language” trends. The team has focused on “entity extraction” which has enabled users to filter content based on a variety of characteristics. A clustering feature will group words that commonly show up together. Colors will indicate the type of entity e,g, red for people, green for keywords, yellow for agencies.

 

Please mark your calendar for a Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals (PLLIP) Webinar from the Education and Professional Development Committee:

Feb 6, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST

Start It or Stop It? Jump Starting Initiatives and Innovation in 2019

Description:

Listen in on a lively conversation that will help you jump start your new year! Since 2013, Jean O’Grady has been conducting a Start Stop survey via her blog, Dewey B Strategic. As a prequel to the 2019 survey, Jean will be facilitating a panel discussion on the topic of new initiatives in the new year, including ways to remove obstacles and begin implementation. Gain wisdom from your colleagues as they disclose tactics for developing and executing new ideas, getting buy-in, etc., and be inspired as they share about some of the exciting new initiatives they’ve recently undertaken.

Host:

  • Jean O’Grady, Sr. Director of Research and Knowledge Services, DLA Piper

Panelists:

  • Colleen Cable, Director of Information Services, Orrick
  • Martin Korn, Director of Research & Knowledge Services, Sheppard Mullin
  • Stacy Pangilinan, Sr. Manager Knowledge  Solutions, DLA Piper
  • Emily Rushing, Competitive Intelligence Manager, Haynes & Boone

Registrater here

Contact:
Lindsey Carpino email:  lcarpino@sidley.com and Denise Pagh email:  dpagh@orrick.com
Education and Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Don’t forget to take the “Hits and Misses”  Product and Vendor Survey here.

Learn more about the survey here.  

 

 

 

Today I am launching a new Hits and Misses” survey which will replace the annual “Start Stop” Survey.  The new survey is more structured and should only take 5 to 7 minutes to complete. Please take a few minutes to share your insights on the state of legal publishing industry practices, products and technology. You can access the survey HERE.

This is an anonymous survey,  however respondents who wish to be entered in a drawing to win an Amazon Echo have the option of including their name an contact information.

The survey will be open through January 31st.

What Did You Think About Legal Publishing and Tech Trends in 2018?

2018 was a tumultuous year for legal publishing and technology. Consider just a few of the key events. The American Association of Law Libraries hired an attorney to represent the Association in response to  member complaints about LexisNexis “tying” of products. Thomson Reuters finally launched an analytics product as part of its new Westlaw Edge platform. But TR ended the year with an unprecedented wave of layoffs that some customers are viewing as a virtual “brain drain.” Bloomberg BNA announced both layoffs and a major content reorganization. The move appears to be gutting the deep expertise of the BNA editorial team while eliminating iconic newsletters such as The Daily Report for Executives and morphing other newsletters into “news feeds.” This package of changes was wrapped in a nearly incompressible pricing plan.  2018 was the year when Wolters Kluwer finally put the Intelliconnect platform out of its misery by mandating that all customers move to the Cheetah platform. New tech analytics company Fiscal Note swallowed up traditional government news and database publisher CQ (Congressional Quarterly). Fastcase embraced  both new tech and old tech  with  the purchase of Docket Alarm analytics product and the launch of a print publishing arm Full Court Press.

I will elaborate of these trends as well as the Hits and MIsses survey results in a follow up  post in early February.

The “projects and processes”  piece of the Start Stop survey will be launched separately following a webinar I am hosting in conjunction with the Private Law Librarians and Information Professions (Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries). The PLLIP program will be announced later this week.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey. (Go ahead– just do it now — you can spare 5 minutes to help your colleagues gain insights into the legal publishing marketplace.)

Normally the top blog posts are  heavily weighted with posts which introduced readers to new products.  While readers remained interested in innovative products, this year  readers were also intensely interested in w legal publishing and technology company layoffs, expansions, pricing policies and content strategies. What do these changes say about the state of the legal information market ? Will these trends continue into 2019 ?  I for one think that the coming year will bring  some major shifts in the market – but that is for a 2019 blog post.  Here are the top 2018 posts:

  1. Widespread Layoffs at Thomson Reuters Legal – Office Closings to Follow
  2. The Law Librarians Revolt: AALL Accuses LexisNexis of Engaging in Unfair Business Practices – Possible Antitrust Violations
  3. Thomson Reuters to Layoff 3,200 Staff Through 2020, Close Offices and Eliminate Products – Which Legal Products Might Die?
  4. Judicata Just Ranked 20 Top California Law Firms By Grading Their Briefs. What Grade Did Your Firm Get?
  5. Bloomberg BNA Editor in Chief Outlines Reorganization and Layoffs– Shifts in Content Strategy
  6. CARA AI: Did Casetext Just “Drop Kick” Keywords Out of the Legal Research Process?
  7. Start Stop Survey Results AALL’s : “The Know it All” Is Voted Best New Product and Bloomberg Law’s “Docket Key” Best New Feature
  8. Products “At Risk” Due to Thompson Reuters Layoffs – Readers Respond
  9. ALM Releases 2018 Survey on Library and Knowledge Profssionals: Intelligence, Analytics and AI Dominate
  10. Fastcase Fastracks Launch of State Docket Analytics & New Features Following Docket Alarm Acqusition
  11. Your Workflow Product Costs Half a Million Dollars — Now How Do I Measure My ROI? Where is the Quickview and PowerInvoice for Practical Law and Lexis Practice Advisor?
  12. Thomson Reuters Launches Watson AI Feature in New Data Privacy Platform
  13. Surprise -Your Expert Witness Has a Rapsheet – New Survey Examines the Sorry State of Expert Research Workflow in Law Firms
  14. Bloomberg Law: New Leadership. New Products: SEC Administrative Analytics and Practical Guidance  and “Hot Topic” News
  15. AI in Legal Research – Does Casetext’s Document As Query Search Improve Efficiency and Results?
  16. Move over ALM and Law360 – LexBlog is Launching a Legal News Network
  17. Changing the Subject from Layoffis – Thomson Reuters Celebrates 1,500 Westlaw Edge Subscribers – Still Faces Market Resistance and The Challenge of ROI.
  18. Lexis Re-imagines the Shepard’s Citator with Ravel Analytics: Adds 500,000 New Cases, 6 Million Images
  19. Lexis and NLRG Respond to Casetext AI Study- Casetext Defends Study -Have we Reached the Trough of AI Disillusionment?
  20. ALM Releases Report on Artificial Intelligence in Law Firms: Where is Your Firm on the AI Adoption Spectrum

Last week Lex Machina hosted a panel discussion on the value of analytics in the practice of law. The panel was moderated by Josh Becker, Chairman, Lex Machina and Jackie Bell, Sr. Reporter, Law360. The Panel included 4 of the 5  The 2018 Data Driven Lawyer award  recipients: Eric Falkenberry, Partner, DLA Piper, Kate Gaudry, Senior Associate, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Evan Moses, Shareholder/Co-Chair, National Class Action Practice, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, .Kyle Poe, Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.Scott Forman, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC did not participate in the panel.

You can access the full recording here

Overcoming Resistance. Readers who have met resistance from lawyers when they tried to introduce analytics products in their firms will find some insights to justify exploration of analytics products in their firms. Of course every new technology introduces new risks as well as rewards. Back in the 1980’s some lawyers refused to try the early Continue Reading Driving Analytics Into Practice: Advice from the Data Driven Lawyers

Thanks to  the two professionals   who provided comments  for today’s post .

West KM and Drafting Assistant “I can attest that few have WestKM anymore and most have cancelled the product. Practical Law has taken the place of WestKM for many firms. with a vast collection of model documents and precedents. However, with the continued high pricing of PL, there has been an incremental wave of buyers canceling the product for the less favorable Practice Advisor. Several clients have also cancelled Drafting Assistant and are re- Continue Reading Readers Highlight More Thomson Reuters Products “At Risk” Following Layoffs

In a recent post Thomson Reuters to Layoff 3,200 Staff Through 2020, Close Offices and Eliminate Products – Which Legal Products Might Die? I asked readers to provide their insights into the impact of Thomson Reuters layoffs on products and support.

Readers have highlighted several products which they think are in jeopardy due to the recent layoffs at Thomson Reuters. Those products are eBillingHub, Monitor Suite, Continue Reading Products “At Risk” Due to Thompson Reuters Layoffs – Readers Respond

The American Association of Law Libraries has extended the deadline for members to complete the State of the Profession Survey until December 14,  2018.

AALL Members were emailed the survey on November 8th.

“The ultimate objective of the survey is to deliver a report to identify, clarify, and support the value of your individual and collective roles. The survey aims to understand the impact of significant challenges we have faced while shining a bright light on our unflagging commitment to delivering outstanding services to our communities and advancing the legal information profession as a whole.” Learn more about the survey here.

Separate surveys have been created for academic, government, and private/corporate law libraries. AALL has contracted with Association Research, Inc., (ARI) for this project. Be assured that information you provide to ARI will be kept confidential.

Who Should Answer the Survey?

The survey is intended for all AALL members with expertise in law libraries and equivalent organizations–including those who are unemployed and underemployed. The association also seeks to reach others with experience in these settings who are not AALL members. (All individuals in each library should complete their own survey. Director’s and CKO’s have received a longer survey which deals with organizational information such as budgets and staffing.

If you Didn’t Receive a Survey

To request an invitation to participate, please contact ARI at ari@associationresearch.com
with the following subject line: AALL State of the Profession Survey Request.

Questions?

For questions about the survey’s mechanics, please email ari@associationresearch.com. For other questions, contact Director of Content Strategy Megan Mall.

A Tip for Directors Working on the Survey

The survey is rather long. Directors are encouraged to print out the entire survey in PDF so that they can distribute sections of the survey to staff with expertise to respond to the various issues raised in the survey. See illustration below:

 

Please take the time to help this important AALL initiative by taking the time to complete the survey on behalf of yourself.

The  Dewey B Strategic  Blog-o-zine is an easy access, guide to the evolving legal research marketplace. Get practical guidance on assessing products and vendors. The book is a handy tool to help focus your time and your budgets on the best products for your firm’s practice needs. Enhance your understanding of  technology trends,  product releases, emerging information companies and  product enhancements..

Holiday Sale Prices and Options:

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How to Purchase: Use  Amazon and Paypal buttons to the right of this post to place your order.

The Dewey B Strategic Blog-o-zone offers:

  • 34 Product reviews
  • Insights on evaluating AI and analytics products
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  • Recent product releases and enhancements from all the major vendors. Bloomberg Law, Fastcase, LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, Wolters Kluwer)
  • Meet the startpups and their products (Casetext, Judicata, Gaveytics, Voxgov)
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What the legal information industry thought leaders are saying about Dewey B Strategic. Dewey B Strategic has been recognized as an important source of legal publishing and technology insights by industry executives, knowledge management and library thought leaders. Read their testimonials here.

Less than three weeks ago Thomson Reuters announced layoffs that impacted many Thomson Reuters executives and staff who I have known for years. I had at least two conversations with high level executives at Thomson Reuters since that time who assured me that the layoffs were done. I suppose this means there was an unspoken footnote in their declarations – as in… “there would be no more layoffs in 2018?” The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted an article stating that there would be no more  layoffs at the Egan, Mn. Headquarters of the legal business. According to  multiple news source including CNN,  “the news and information company is drastically shrinking its staff, cutting 3,200 jobs and closing 55 offices by 2020. Reuters says it will employ roughly 23,800 people — down from its current workforce of 27,000.” This announcement was made yesterday during an Thomson Reuters  annual investor day in Toronto.

Thomson Reuters offered CNN the same statement they gave me three weeks ago regarding the earlier  layoffs. “Thomson Reuters is routinely looking at ways to run our global business operations more efficiently and effectively. This disciplined approach sometimes includes the need to make personnel, or other, changes which allow us to balance our internal resources with the needs of our customers in a highly competitive environment.”

Thomson Reuters Needs To Manage this Message

It is not immediately clear what this means for the legal market. But two possible implications are:

  • Client support could  decline. Continuous churn in sales and support staff impacts the expertise of the client support teams.
  • Products could shrink but costs will not.  This could take the form of both stealth and overt product changes. It is not just that products could be eliminated but the scope of editorial materials or other content could be reduced  although labeled as the same product. It sometimes takes the keen eye of a regular user to detect content changes.

I urge TR executives to get out in front of these news reports and advise their customers what this means for their suite of legal products and product support. Under the new capital restraints where will they focus their  product development dollars?

What are the vulnerable TR Products? West KM Comes to Mind
Off the top of my head the most vulnerable TR Legal product that comes to mind is WestKM. I am sad to say this. That was a product “ahead of its time”  — it should have owned the KM market.  It was developed before the recession of 2008 but neglected for so long — at one point it was transferred over to the Elite accounting division of TR for reasons that defy comprehension – probably to help some executives personal compensation package. Investment and  technical support from the company  languished so long that WestKM couldn’t compete effectively when law firms began tripping over themselves to find products to help them drive efficiency. Here’s another clue – at least two of the executives associated with the West KM product were “let go” in the prior round of layoffs.
What products do you think are at risk? Email me at jogdc1@gmail.com or post a comment below.