We have met the new media, and it is us

March 22, 2007 at 1:39 pm 5 comments

I just got back from the our most recent TALL luncheon. Rob Hyndman, tech lawyer and blogger extraordinaire, was the speaker. His topic was the new media, and what we can expect in the next 15 minutes (which was about as far as he was willing to forecast, because things are changing so rapidly).

He’s promised to put a version of his presentation up on his site, so I won’t reveal everything. Some of the key things I took away from the discussion, however:

  • the new media is democratizing and atomizing the world of information
  • geography is dead
  • the future of the book is uncertain

While I’m not sure I agree with everything Rob said (until the ergonomics of e-books is vastly improved, I think that print text will continue), he is an engaging and challenging speaker.

His key point – that “old media” – traditional TV, movies, and publishing are in trouble. He backed it up with some pretty compelling examples, which are not that difficult to extend to legal publishing.

Want to explore this idea further?  Join the conversation at NE2007, at the session entitled “The Future of Law Publishing”.  Will blogging supplant law review (as was posited today)?  What’s going to happen to our monographs collections? Are we ready for this?

 Wendy Reynolds


Entry filed under: program.

Hotel prices note Eating, Drinking, Dreaming “Libraries Without Borders”


  • 1. Connie Crosby  |  March 22, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Nice summary, Wendy! And some good questions tieing it all back to what we do. I was curious to what the members who work for legal publishers were thinking during Rob’s talk, whether they were making that connection back to what they do.


  • 2. wenlib  |  March 22, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I kept wondering how the CRTC was going to react!

    I think that the attitude of “if you can’t regulate it, kill it” is going to have a tough time with this – was are the implications for governments?

    Many, many interesting conversations can come out of today’s luncheon.

  • 3. Erica Anderson  |  March 22, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    You guys are fast with the comments! I am really curious what publishers are thinking too. I am wondering how people and publishers can keep up with the immediacy that user content creation demands. To produce a well thought out law review type article that relies on legal research, which takes time, finding and citing case law, legislation etc. in a blog format would be tricky. Maybe people are developing narrower expertise enabling them to quickly synthesize developments. I must read the “wisdom of crowds” …

  • 4. connie  |  March 23, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    On the one hand it puts more control into the content creator’s side, but on the other hand we lose the review and editing process. Finding and then assessing what is good content is going to become increasingly difficult.

  • 5. wenlib  |  March 24, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Your last point is the one that really concerns me, Connie. Information literacy has been hard enough when “traditional” journals competed against the informality of the web, but what happens when the authoritative sources look exactly like random personal opinions? Is this a good thing, or a bad one? Gotta say, I’m not sure.

    I can hardly wait for the first lawyer to take a blog post to court as an authority, and have it accepted unquestioned by a judge!


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