In what may be the latest sign legal technology innovation is an oxymoron was the total lack of Internet discussion from or about ILTA’s annual conference which took place this last week in Orlando. ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) is a leading networking organization allowing for the exchange of resources to legal professionals.

Virtually all tech conferences these days have a steady stream of blog posts reporting live, or at least daily, from attendees. Laptops are open on desktops with near simultaneous reporting via WIFI hookup.

Posts can be picked up by subscribing to attendees’ blogs, keyword feeds from Technorati and feeds of tagged posts from Technorati. The ongoing discussion benefits both attendees and non-attendees alike during and after the conference. We get people’s perceptions on presentations, reports of networking and discussions taking place at the conference. This blog discussion continues for a good time after the conference is over and is archived at Google and Technorati.

When I heard from colleagues that ILTA was on I set up a keyword and tag feed for ILTA from Technorati. I did pick up a few posts over the week but it paled in comparison to other technology conferences.

Leading legal technology folks need to be using blogs and RSS feeds on a regular basis. One, because this medium of business communication (blogs and RSS) is quickly making web sites and email outmoded means of business communication. You need to be taking your firms to the future. Second, advancement of knowledge via offline networking crawls compared the speed at which ideas advance via blogs and RSS.

My post is not meant to be critical of ILTA or their conference. I have heard their organization is very worthwhile and that their conferences are excellent. But if members of ILTA are going to be innovative in their use of technology, they better get with it.

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  • Kevin,
    Interesting post – and I have to concur. As I was unable to attend the entire conference – I was at ILTA for only one day (and actually posted on it)and was hoping to find out more about what was hot (technology/firms/ideas) via the blogosphere. Did get some notes via – but like you – was hoping for more. Over time I do believe this will change – but putting on my marketing hat – I might suggest it beneficial for conference promoters to at least have a site and a “designated” poster to highlight what is “hot” and to provide (if they are available) links to other attendee posts on the event.

  • Kevin,
    What occurs to me is what the general public, non ILTA members, do not see and that is the constant dissemination of information via ILTA’s listserv’s and extranet where member firms can download conference materials (presentations).
    ILTA has been testing RSS and discussing where or how Blogs would fit into our communities of interest. As we are a purely peer driven organization, it is likely that moving to blogs will be at the request of the membership at a time when the membership believes it to be appropriate and useful.
    Thank you,
    Judi Flournoy
    ILTA, Inc.

  • You say “My post is not meant to be critical of ILTA or their conference,” and then one sentence later offer this ultimatum: “But if members of ILTA are going to be innovative in their use of technology, they better get with it.” I was at the conference, and found the lack of open laptops refreshing. People were actually paying attention to what the speakers were saying! Wow, what a novel idea. At least in between checks of their Blackberries and Treos, which were ubiquitous. And our days were full of programmed events from 8 a.m. until last call.
    The largest component of the attendees appeared to be IT folks. What would you expect them to blog about? ILTA doesn’t seem to be a showcase for new product introductions, like many other tradeshows. The techies spent a lot of face time with vendors, and in high level application sessions. There were also quite a few litigation support people. What should they be blogging about? Records managers? CIOs? Legal administrators? Librarians – more likely than most to blog.
    Judy is wise in noting that there is are many active communities of practice under the ILTA umbrella, with talkative listservs and scads of regional conclaves. I for one did not miss the blog channel at all.