January 5, 2009

This issue is dominated by expert predictions on IT law, IT applications for lawyers and all manner of related issues. I am refraining from including my predictions (which can be read online) simply because we have an abundance of riches here. I am absolutely delighted with the level and the quality of the response to my request for predictions, and there are some real insights to be found here. My sincere thanks go out to all the contributors.

New SCL Web Site

I am also refraining from publishing predictions here because I want to enthuse briefly about the new SCL Web site. Quite when it will see the light of day remains unclear as I write this, but sometime in January you will see a new site. You will see little different in terms of design (although we think there is a cleaner look) and the essential SCL content (articles, CPD, events and news) and the url also remain unchanged.

Two things stand out for me as Editor and have, I believe, the potential to massively improve the experience of SCL members using the site. First it is genuinely interactive. SCL members can comment on news and articles and engage in consultations online. Secondly we have the capacity to determine the context for news and articles – related and recommended material for each news item or article will appear in the side panel, whether generated automatically or by way of an Editor’s recommended item. (I am sure that SCL HQ would emphasise the increased control that members will have over the site profile.)

There are also going to be blogs. Group blogs, an Editor’s blog and an Events blog for sure and ad hoc blogs to cover developments. But the blogs are not going to be sprung upon you fully developed – like the rest of the new features, they will take time to mature and to become really useful to members. I hope you will give us that time and return to the site and fully investigate its increasing potential from time to time.

Above all, I hope that you will make good use of the opportunity to interact through the site. Few SCL members will need reminding of the power of user generated content. If we can ally that power with the knowledge base that the SCL membership represents, we may end up with a site that tells you everything you ever wanted to know.

Knowledge Avalanche

News that the highly respected copyright expert William Patry has agreed to give the SCL Lecture 2009 on 24 March came too late to be properly covered in these pages (see the back cover). As the Senior Copyright Counsel with Google, he will inevitably have some very interesting things to say about copyright in a new age. (I will be very tempted to film his entire presentation and post it on YouTube.)

But if William Patry does not bring enough enlightenment, I also hear that the incredibly successful Information Governance Conference is to be repeated on that same date: 24 March. The idea is that those based outside London can sharpen their data protection and information governance skills through the day and then be tempted away from the doors of Stringfellows* by the SCL Lecture and reception. But of course both events can be attended individually (and both can be attended by those who are London-based!). Last year’s Conference on Information Governance was described in one piece of feedback as ‘the best Conference I have ever attended’ and other feedback was quite outstandingly positive (you can still hear the podcast on the SCL site now). So a repeat performance was almost inevitable. Look for details on the SCL site.

I wish a Happy New Year to all our readers.

Laurence Eastham

*Other fleshpots are available