Knowledge Management Tools for Law Firms

[German title: Wissensmanagementwerkzeuge für Anwaltskanzleien (Translate text to: Deutsch)]

Creating Intranet Applications for Knowledge Sharing Within Law Firms
by Jason Eiseman
Law Library Resource Xchange, February 12, 2007

Abstract: By now most people are tiring of the 2.0 meme. First there was Web 2.0, then Library 2.0, now there’s Intranet 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. People are so tired of hearing these buzzwords that their very utterance is enough to make some cringe. But if you look past the semantics what you will find are technologies that hold great promise for the future of the Web. If you open your mind a little more, you’ll find that these technologies hold great promise for the future of organizations as well. You can call it whatever you want, but what’s really important is that the latest and greatest Web applications have the ability to spawn knowledge sharing applications inside the enterprise.
A knowledge-sharing, collaborative application can be as simple as a system for routing reference questions to appropriate librarians, or an expertise locator. The key to making these applications valuable is by leveraging that user-generated content so the entire organization can learn from it. Instead of simply routing reference questions, why not store them in a searchable application, place them on a blog, a wiki, or otherwise make them available so other employees can learn from the answers. This may not always be possible for a variety of logistical reasons, but it is surely an ideal we can strive for.
These types of solutions are becoming easier to custom build or implement. Today, intranet applications can be custom built with simple programming languages and databases. Often open-source applications like blogs and wikis, costing very little (if anything), and are easy to customize [Editor’s note: the cost of these applications is in the value-added expertise of personnel who design and implement these applications], are being deployed inside organizations as well. The success of these applications have been the ease with which they can be created or deployed, the ease of use of the applications, and the knowledge-sharing benefit to organizations.

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