Do you have a tech-savvy friend who always seems to know things days before everyone else? The newest decisions are in their hands faster, or a mention of the firm’s name in the local paper is noted within hours of being released?
The assumption is “these people must spend their whole day surfing!” While that’s true for some, there’s another group out there power surfing the web, quickly and efficiently taking in mass amounts of news and headlines. RSS readers, whether web-based like Google Reader or application-based like FeedDemon, allow us to consume the exact information we want, faster. What can you monitor? You can add any of the following to your personal collection:
- Filtered news and event, by source, author or keyword
- Key industry publications and blogs
- Association news
- Legislative changes
- Newly released court decisions
- Media pieces that mention your name, your firm name, or the competition.
So much of what we monitor online can be funneled into this single access point. Rather than running from site to site, we scan the headlines all at once. And rather than reading everything from our chosen sources, we filter information to include only the pieces that we must know about. Not every professional invests in their current awareness, but for those who want a competitive advantage without a huge time investment, a personal RSS reader is a “must have” tool.
Additional RSS Resources
- RSS Resources You Can Use: Automated Web Surfing for Lawyers by Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy, Law Practice Today (ABA Law Practice Management Section).
- RSS in Plain English. An introduction to RSS as a way to save time reading web sites. (Common Craft Video).
Steve Matthews is Founder and Principal at Stem Legal Web Enterprises, Inc. Before Stem, he managed web strategy and information services for two Canadian law firms. Steve is a thought leader and a trend watcher within the legal profession and he blogs enthusiastically at both Law Firm Web Strategy and slaw.