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September 12, 2008

The Unlinked Blog

Reading Jim's post below, I wondered (for a short moment) why my personal blog isn't linked to my faculty page.  Then I remembered-- it isn't linked because my personal blog is often, well, silly.  Though it at times it can be serious, especially as related to experiences involving students, it more often is about goofy things at the school, bad poetry contests, intra-faculty trash-talking, and the occasional rant.

The purpose of that blog, of course, is not a simple presentation or discussion of legal issues.  The purpose is to engage with the students at multiple levels, as a complete person.  I started it at a time when there was some measure of discord between our students and faculty, as a way of bridging that gap.  In that sense, it has been successful, and most of my hits and comments are from my students and former students.

But still, it's probably best not to link it to the faculty page-- people might get the wrong idea, and think I am something other than serious academic.

-- Mark Osler


September 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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 the University of Louisville School of Law. 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.

— Jim Chen

Editor's note: Cross-posted at MoneyLaw and The Cardinal Lawyer.

September 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack