Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Social networking for legal academics

Jim Chen's Cardinal Circle profile
Jim Chen's social networks
Jim Chen's LinkedIn profile
Jim Chen's Plaxo Pulse profile
Legal academics are among the slowest to adopt new forms of information technology. Then there are those among us who have not only dipped into Law 2.0, but affirmatively dived into blogging and social networking. These days, decent website templates and CSS stylesheets should enable most law schools to integrate at least one blog feed into each individual faculty member's home page. So it is, I am proud to say, at our Law School. Yes, extensible markup language is our friend, because it enables us to blend feeds from our faculty blog, our SSRN research paper series, and our BEPress Selected Works showcase into individual faculty pages and throughout the Law School's website as a whole.

Social networking badges, on the other hand, have struck me as extremely scarce throughout legal academia. There is no good technological reason for this. Facebook provides all sorts of ready-made Javascript that allows anyone who can edit HTML to embed her or his own badge. Other social networking applications haven't quite caught up, but it's a straightforward coding exercise to craft a badge with the appropriate URLs and a few HTML tags. I've pasted an entire table of social networking badges from my personal home page. If I do say so myself, these badges have been very effective and popular, especially with recent graduates and current students.

I'd be happy to share my coding tricks. Indeed, I already have. All you need is a little skill with the right-click function on your mouse. If you insist, I'll send you the code . . . as long as you write me through one of the social networks I've linked through my badges.

Editor's note: Cross-posted at Law School Innovation and The Cardinal Lawyer.


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