It's been true since the early days of the web; developments driven by the demands of online shopping can be applied in other areas, even knowledge management. For example, the functionality of the “results basket” mentioned in the Freshfield's article mentioned below was likely borrowed directly from the “shopping basket” common to any online shopping site. Many of Amazon's features are another case in point. Am I the only one that wants lawyers to be able to write reviews and/or add ratings books in our library's online catalog?
In his recent article in Law Technology News. (Lessons Learned from Retail, December 2005), Ozz Benamram (Morrison & Foerster) describes what they observed about the use of KM at MOFO, and how they're trying to meet the need of the attorneys by, among other things, considering how the retail sites make it easy for their customers to find the stuff they want to buy.
He also discusses the need for information in context, and in response to that need will be presenting information from a variety of the firm's servers by matter to provide the needed context. He's also looking at software that can “auto-profile” documents, extracting information such as party names and jurisdiction, then using that meta data to provide a “faceted” search which can allow attorneys to more easily narrow their search results to a manageable number of documents.
Morrison & Foerster selected Recommind's Mindserver Legal Matters & Expertise product as their KM search engine, and are still evaluating products for document profiling. [LawLibTech]