James Mullan has worked in the legal sector since 2001. He is an advocate of social media tools and has been talking about how these tools can be used by information professionals and organisations since 2005. James is a Past President of BIALL and in 2009 won the Wildy-BIALL Law Librarian of the year award for his use of social media tools. Outside of work James is a keen runner and maintains his own blog called "The Running Librarian". You can follow James on Twitter @jamesmullan6 or friend him on Facebook.
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Articles by James Mullan:
Surfacing Information via Activity StreamsThursday, 19th February 2015
Have you ever thought how wonderful it would be to have no emails in your inbox? The legendary "Inbox Zero" status is often discussed but very rarely reached. Whilst this might be a pipedream for many people, one of the ways in which we can reduce the information we receive in our email inboxes is to think about different ways of subscribing to and receiving information. An option for some individuals is to choose to receive information via an activity stream. James Mullan considers the role activity streams have to play and how they can be used effectively in an intranet.
Creating a Knowledge Management Tool for TomorrowTuesday, 10th February 2015
On the face of it, capturing, managing and disseminating information as part of a knowledge management strategy sounds like an easy win.In reality the process of capturing information, especially personal experiences and tacit knowledge, can be an extremely difficult undertaking. So what can information professionals do to build on and improve an existing knowledge management solution - and what does the future hold for knowledge management solutions?
Preventing Knowledge Loss When Employees LeaveTuesday, 3rd February 2015
How often has someone left the organisation you work for and the next day you have a question that they would have been able to answer? Once a week, once a month, less often? It's likely that you have had to manage this situation and sometimes that has meant contacting the person who has just left to ask them a question. James Mullan says this seems like an avoidable situation given the tools that we now have to hand plus many ways in which individuals can share knowledge - so why does it still happen?
Shadow IT - a Significant Threat for Organisations?Friday, 30th January 2015
In 2013 James Mullan wrote about "shadow IT" and the potential threat it poses. Now at the start of a new year shadow IT is back on the agenda. There are a number of reasons for this and in this article James looks at two recent reports which highlight some of the concerns organisations have with shadow IT where staff use software and other tools for work reasons which have not been approved by their employers.
What to Avoid When Implementing Social ToolsThursday, 29th January 2015
There are many published blogs and articles which discuss some of the successful approaches organisations have taken to deploying social tools. Unfortunately many organisations have failed in their deployment of social tools. There are many reasons for this and James Mullan looks at some of them.
A Deep Dive into Information DiscoveryTuesday, 27th January 2015
Series co-producer James Mullan reflects on the content published to date in the FreePint Topic Series "Making Information Visible" and highlights upcoming articles around information discovery as well as Webinars and Community of Practice events on the horizon.
Motivating Staff - Do Incentives Really Work? Tuesday, 20th January 2015
Are you looking to motivate and encourage individuals within your organisation to share more knowledge? If you are then you might be thinking about using an incentive to encourage staff in this goal. However, James Mullan warns that this might not be an effective way to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Taking Up the Slack... Improving Team CommunicationFriday, 16th January 2015
Do you work in a team that is looking to improve the way it communicates? James Mullan writes about a new tool called "Slack" which hopes to make users "be less busy". He explores what it offers compared to other products such as SharePoint, Lync, Skype and Yammer.
What's the Point of Wearable Technologies?Friday, 9th January 2015
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about wearable technologies? Some sort of smartwatch, a fitness monitoring band or something else? James Mullan explains how there are many different ways in which wearable technologies are being used by millions of different people, but part of him thinks, "Seriously what is the point of wearable technologies? Could they be used beyond the consumer market, by fee-earners in legal firms, perhaps?"
Developing the Right Approach for Social CollaborationWednesday, 31st December 2014
The collaborative benefits of social platforms seem to be becoming more and more obvious. However, whilst many businesses have recognised that they should be using collaboration tools as part of their strategy to improve communication, there are still reports of limited uptake and usage. One of the biggest mistakes can be not providing training to your users, because organisations assume that the tools are similar to consumer tools and therefore familiar to users. This approach relies on "viral growth" when in fact there are much better ways to successfully deploy social tools.
Why Note-Taking is an Undervalued SkillTuesday, 30th December 2014
One of the very first things I learnt as information professional is the value that making notes during a meeting or conversation can have. As technology has developed, more individuals are using different tools to create notes, however the value of these aide memoires has become even more significant. In this article I'll look at some of the reasons why it's important to make notes and the value they can bring, not just to you, but to the wider organisation.
Adding Fun and Games into SharePoint!Tuesday, 30th December 2014
Whilst SharePoint is a very powerful platform and is continuing to develop its social offering, "out of the box" it's not very pretty. Many organisations have spent significant amounts of time developing and customising SharePoint to make it more appealing to users, but it can be a long and expensive journey. Ultimately having an unattractive and unintuitive product can mean that adoption is slow, as users don't feel connected to, or simply don't like the look of it. So what can organisations do if they don't have the budget to spend on development? Step up to the podium gamification.
Making SharePoint Easier to UseMonday, 29th December 2014
One of the most significant issues with SharePoint is that in order to make it work effectively, organisations have to spend significant amounts of time customising the user experience. This customisation might take the form of improving the navigation, adding custom social elements or redesigning the look and feel. Any customisation can potentially take a significant amount of time and money and even delay any launch date. However, there are a number of tools and applications that can make SharePoint easier to use.
How to Add Value Within Your Enterprise Social NetworkWednesday, 24th December 2014
One of the barriers to individuals adding more content to enterprise social networks is that there can be confusion around what type of content and updates they should be posting. Whilst it's great that staff are engaged with an enterprise social network such as SharePoint, there are some behaviours and activities which need to be managed.
Introducing the FreePint Topic Series "Making Information Visible"Monday, 22nd December 2014
With the new FreePint Topic Series: Making Information Visible launching in January, Series co-producer James Mullan provides a preview of the key concepts and technologies which will be covered, from integrating internal and external sources of information to improving internal search options.
News in the Legal LandscapeThursday, 4th December 2014
James Mullan considers how legal firms can best monitor, manage and disseminate relevant news from multiple sources.
Is SharePoint Still Relevant in Today's Organisations?Tuesday, 2nd December 2014
James Mullan turns his focus to SharePoint vs other enterprise content management tools and discusses whether SharePoint will retain its popularity within organisations. He also scrutinises what makes collaboration successful within SharePoint.
Specialist News Offerings - Legal SectorMonday, 1st December 2014
News monitoring and dissemination is a large, growing and extremely important element of the services provides by information teams within law firms. It offers organisations, content and analytical tools to aggregate, monitor and analyse large volumes of news, and legal and social media sources to help them understand and identify key market trends before their competitors. James Mullan highlights key source aggregators and management tools and considers the future of news dissemination in the legal sector.
Building a Better (Digital) WorkplaceFriday, 28th November 2014
If there's something that I'm sure we can all agree on, it's that the world of work is changing very quickly and that as information professionals we need to be aware of these developments. Before we can take advantage of these developments and the opportunities the digital workplace presents, we need to look at overcoming some of the problems that we face in our existing workplaces.
Frightening Times for Law Firm Knowledge Managers...?Wednesday, 26th November 2014
Many people often suffer from nightmares and are kept awake at night thinking about things they need to do at work or at home. These nightmares can often be terrifying for the individual involved and can have long-lasting effects. In a slightly late celebration of Halloween I look at some of the nightmares and frightening scenarios that knowledge managers in law firms often face, from technology developments to security concerns.
Is Facebook Moving Inside the Enterprise?Thursday, 20th November 2014
For a long time there has been discussion around when and how Facebook will build a version of the social networking site that could be used within organisations. The benefits of this are clear, not just for Facebook, but also for organisations, many of whom are already taking advantage of enterprise social networks to enable content creation and collaboration. However, there are a number of issues that Facebook and organisations need to think about before they deploy Facebook At Work.
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