On February 17, 2011 I launched Dewey B Strategic with a post entitled “Vendor Sourcing: Thinking the unthinkable as a strategic alternative to outsourcing.” It is hard for me to believe that 5 years have passed. I may not have had any readers that day, except for the generosity of Greg Lambert of Three Geeks and a Law Blog who was kind enough to write a post. Dewey B Strategic Blog Comes Out Swinging…
Why another blog? Well the truth is that most of the bloggers in the legal information and legal technology space were men. Ironic since the majority of law librarians and legal information professionals are women. I wanted at least one female voice to join the chorus of opinion and professional jousting. Plus I was known to have some opinions after 30 years working law firms and observing the legal information industry. Still… producing a blog requires a thick skin, persistence and for me swapping sleep time for writing time.
Knowledge As Strategy My particular interest was highlighting the important role that information professionals play in helping law firms manage information risks and developing effective knowledge strategies. The turmoil in the legal market underscored the importance of helping legal information professionals focus on identifying and aligning with the core priorities of the organizations they served.
The Legal Information Market I had watched the digital information industry evolve since its earliest days. I used Lexis when it contained only 2 libraries – Ohio and Federal. I used Westlaw when it included headnotes but no opinions…. I accessed Dialog, New York Times, Infobank, Orbit, VuText, Legi-slate and Dow Jones Online using 300 baud dial-up modems. There were also the parade of products on cd-rom, ebooks, websites….
We are moving from the revolution sparked by the availability of machine readable content to an age of analytics and augmented intelligence. I feel like a kid in a candy store watching a new wave of products that offer context, visualization and interactive dashboards serving up custom answers on the fly, and talking machines that can answer questions… the stuff of science fiction when I began my career.
Many Thanks To Go Around Although I had a vision for how I wanted the blog to look I had no technical expertise and a turned to younger, geekier colleagues for advice and design expertise. So thanks go to Sean Rebstock, Stacy Pangilinan, Julie Pabarja who all helped build Dewey pages and establish the social media feeds. Ron Friedmann of Strategic Legal Technology, tutored me on blog etiquette. Poor Jason Wilson tried to make me a master of the Tweet – but alas….
Special Thanks to my harshest critics -To Jeff Brandt of Pinhawk Legal Technology News and colleague Deb Sours who have been my most persistent critics and “sharp eyed” proofreaders – my eternal thanks. They have both saved me from more than a few colossal whoppers.
Outlasting Dewey & LeBoeuf – within the first few hours of my launch, I received a concerned call from a colleague at Dewey & Leboeuf who feared that my blog would be mistaken as a Dewey & LeBoeuf publication. I was urged to change the name of my blog. After consulting an attorney – I added the sidebar which explained that my Dewey was Melville. Who knew that “Dewey the blog” would outlive” Dewey the law firm!”
Blawg 100 Dewey B Strategic has been listed in the ABA Magazine Blawg 100 in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Many thanks to those readers who nominated Dewey and special thanks to Molly McDonald and the ABA Magazine staff who read gazillions of blog posts every year in the Blawg nomination process.
Legal publishers big and small. Thank you for continuing to innovate and evolve and giving me a steady stream of products to assess. Profound thanks to Westlaw and Lexis for having simplified your pricing systems in the past five years. While I can’t take credit for the change, my post “The Myth and the Madness of Cost Effective Legal Research Training” advocated simplified pricing methods but also stoked a great debate. Thanks for BloombergBNA for shaking up the legal information market. Thanks to Wolters Kluwer for letting the “cat out of the bag” with the release of Cheetah.
The Entrepreneurs: Fastcase, Ravel, Intelligize, Knowledge Mosaic, Kira, Lex Machina,
Law360 , Modio Legal, PacerPro to name a few. Exciting to trace the history of ideas evolving into products which are changing the practice of law. To the entrepreneurs who I haven’t spoken to yet- you are on my list…I’ll get to you…
It has been an honor and a privilege to know that people continue to open and forward and tweet the early morning email from Dewey B Strategic. Now let’s see if I can find inspiration for 5 more years of blog posts!