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Return of The Ad Blockers
On the Internet, content may be king, but monetization through advertising runs a close second. But today’s ads seem more aggressive, intrusive, and annoying than ever. We’ve recently seen a return to a category of tools long known as ad blockers. What are the implications of ad blockers to lawyers and will they change the consumer’s Internet experience?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the return of ad-blocking technology, whether advertisements are still important in the online marketplace, and what this might mean for lawyers. They discuss the different types of ads from full page overlays, hard to find automatic sounds, Twitter or Facebook promotions, and the many pop-ups that are easy to accidently click on and hard to close. In the past, Dennis says, pop-ups became excessive and many people were using ad-blocking technology, but as browsers adapted, the need for ad blockers was reduced. Dennis also talks about the effect on bloggers, malware and security, and the alternatives he would like to see in the increasingly personalized Internet of 2015. Tom explains how YouTube, Google, and Apple are effectuating change and how he would like the option to pay for no advertisements, like in free versus paid apps. Finally, they discuss significance for lawyers with regard to ethical rules and technology competence and potential evidence for court.
In the second half of this podcast, Tom gives an early report on his new Windows Surface Book. Dennis chimes in to mention the similarities and differences of his Macbook. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots: that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.View transcript
Advertiser: Got the world turning as fast as it can? Hear how technology can help – legally speaking. With two of the top legal technology experts, authors, and lawyers: Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell report, here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to episode 161 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we compared the virtues of the new Apple iPads and the Windows Surface Pros. In this episode, we go back to the future and look at the return of something from long ago: ad blockers. Who wouldn’t want to block ads, you might be wondering. Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we’ll be talking about ad blockers, our current ad experiences, and what we think about the whole niche in general. In our second segment, we’ll talk about my first reactions to the Windows Surface Book. And as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation that you could start to use the second that this podcast is over. But first, let’s talk about the potential resurgence of ad blockers. Ad blockers aren’t new, they’ve been around for a while. Extensions for my Chrome browser have been around for a while that can block just about any ad that appears on a web page, and I should say any ad that appears in Java and blocks certain kinds of ads. Lately, though, I think there’s been a little bit of a resurgence at least in the idea of ad blockers because Apple, and the latest version of iOS and iOS 9, have enabled the ability to block ads in a Safari browser, which is not necessarily a first for mobile platforms, but for the iOS system, it really is a first. I think that’s brought the topic of ad blockers back into the forefront and I think we’re starting at least on the tech front to see people start to talk about that again. I’ll reiterate your question, Dennis, and say why in the world would anyone object to ads? The whole internet monetizes because of ads. If we didn’t have ads, we might not have the internet. Fair?
Dennis Kennedy: I think that’s a fair comment on the current state of affairs, but I don’t know whether the whole notion that the whole internet should monetize off ads. I think it’s time to question that. It’s sort of the whole ad train gone off the tracks. Everybody everywhere’s decided that the business plan and monetization is ads. And so the experience of everything seems to have changed, Twitter now has all these promoted tweets. Everywhere you look there’s an ad, whether it’s traditional web experience, whether it’s a mobile. Looking at TV, it’s shocking to me that there are like four minute commercial slots in most TV shows. I don’t even know how I could watch TV anymore without a DVR. I guess, Tom, I spend so much of my internet experiences through Feedly and RSS feeds that I don’t see the amount of ads that are on any given page. And when I actually go to a site, I’m sometimes shocked how many ads are on a given page and there are certain sites that I don’t even like to go to anymore and I’m not particularly singling one out, but it’s just a good example for me that I thought of which is Law.com. It seems like I have to run through an ad thicket of pop up ads and other ads just to try and read a normal story.
Tom Mighell: I guess I should start out by saying to be fair, like you, you don’t see a lot of ads because of your RSS feeds. I’m the same way. I’m going to be interested where we go on this topic in the next couple of minutes because my ad experience is not tremendously horrible because I use feeds, and with feeds there’s no ads. If I want to go and read that story online and go into a browser, that’s when I get to the ads. But also to be fair, I think that – and there have been some studies that show where eyes track on a webpage – I think my eyes, like many people, have become conditioned to understanding self consciously where ads are on a page. They’re usually on the left, they’re usually on the right, here’s the text and my eyes go straight to that. I don’t ever recall seeing ads on pages, I just don’t look at them, my eyes don’t go to them, which I think is why the ads that I hate the most are built to combat people like me who just are naturally not looking at the ads. And the one that I hate the most is the ad that overlays the entire page just a few seconds after the page loads. You can tell it’s coming. The page will load and all of a sudden it will go a little bit dark which makes me wonder. And all of a sudden, there’s a big banner that appears over everything, you can’t see anything around it. It’s a banner that either has a little tiny X in the corner, and you have to look to find the X because the X isn’t always very easy to find, or there’s a link somewhere on the page that says, “No, I’m not interested in this great offer that you have. I’m a bad person and I’m not interested in your offer.” That to me is the most annoying. I guess I would say like you seeing Twitter featured ads and things like that, I’m not a fan of sponsored results at the top of Google or other sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, and I guess I’m not a fan because they’ve gotten to a point where they blend too well. It’s hard to tell sometimes that they’re ads, the little ad button on them is faint, it’s not easy to see. I think it’s always part of the tricks advertisers are using to get people to look at things because people are getting more sophisticated about avoiding ads, about not looking at ads, about finding ways around them. And so I think that these are all representative of the advertising industry’s attempts to make us pay attention.
Dennis Kennedy: You raised a number of great points that I know that we’re going to dive into. The thing you were talking about, especially the video ads that pop over a page, I call it the Forbes.com effect, because that’s where I always see what’s the most noticable to me. I’ll see a link to an article on Forbes.com and you go there and my recollection is you see the headline, you see the article, but before you can start anything this ad pops up and it could run 15 seconds sometimes. That’s the other thing, the video ads. Things that play sounds or run movies before you realize what’s going on, especially if you’re in the work setting or you’re even at home and you’re looking at something on a tablet and all of a sudden something starts playing and my wife goes, “What in the world are you doing?” I think there’s that aspect of them and I think it’s this battle for attention that’s going on and then all of these different techniques that people are trying to get us to somehow click on the ads. I was doing some experimenting last night and I installed a new ad blocker called Refine and I’ll talk about that. But as I paid attention to what I was doing on the web, I actually ended up clicking on maybe two or three ads, probably three ads. And in each case it was totally by accident. They placed them at a place I was likely to rest my finger on my tablet or that I was doing something else and then I accidentally clicked on them. I don’t even know what those ads are for, but it’s not a great experience but the advertising model has become so essential to what we do. Maybe, Tom, we should go back in history, because we’ve seen this sort of frustration with ads before and the use of ad blockers which seem like a long time ago it got to be a big problem. Many people like me attribute part of the rise of Google’s search engine over Alta Vista dealt with the whole notion of ads and clutter and how Google was a very simple thing. And then I think the thing that got to be really annoying were the popup ads. But most of the browsers now make it really easy to block those popups. So there’s a whole new generation of ads that each raise their own difficulties. But in the past, we definitely had ad blockers before and it seems like they sort of slipped off the radar. I don’t know if it’s because the browsers did so much or that these types of ads have really come back in the mobile world.
Tom Mighell: If I’m thinking back to the good old days of ads, the first thing I think about is the popup ad which was to me the earlier version of the really annoying ad. But that was really pretty quickly dealt with, I think. The browsers were very quick to develop the popup blockers, which I think had the potential to solve that problem entirely, which led to a problem because not all pop ups are harmful. They’re not all advertising, a lot of sites were creating popups. Now whether this was good web design is up for debate and we could talk about that later, but a lot of websites would build popup windows into just their functionality where something would pop up to give you information and you’d have to go in and whitelist that website to make sure the popup blocker didn’t block the popups for that website. So I think as we get to start to talk about these new ad blockers on iOS, I think they have the same all or nothing approach to looking at ads, which I think can really be limiting and I think that it kind of shows what we’ve seen that’s happened with iOS. Do you want to talk briefly about your experience? I loaded an ad blocker to be real honest. I tested it, I didn’t notice an effect, so I basically stopped using it, but I think your results were a little bit different. Do you want to talk about your experience with the ad blocker?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I did a little research and there are a number of ad blockers out there that are highly rated and I found an article that went through the top rated ones. And as I typically do, I went for the top rated free one according to the recommendations I saw. It’s something called Refine, and I tried it and I went to a page that I always associate with having a lot of ads and my experience felt very different. It seemed like the page was much better organized, it didn’t feel as intrusive, it seemed like I could actually get to the substance better. I didn’t really do an A B comparison in the way a well prepared podcast host would have done, but just going on my sense, my memory of what my usual experience is versus what I saw. I just found it to be a big improvement. I did notice that when I installed Refine, it had default settings and it talked about tens of thousands of rules that it had set by default to take care of ads and it allows you to customize and create your own rules. Which is, in essence, a good way of describing what ad blockers do. There are settings in there that are almost like an if then. If you find this or if it’s from this site or if it contains these things, don’t show it sort of notion. So my experience with it was actually pretty good. I’m happy that it’s installed and I don’t have the sense that I’m missing something significant. And as I said, last night before I installed Refine, I accidentally tapped on a couple of ads that I had no intention of tapping on. So I was also glad that things were blocked in that way. I know that there’s been some discussion and I guess maybe some controversy even about ad blockers in iOS and the impact it has on – especially smaller podcasts like ours, Tom, in a way, and bloggers who make money off of the banner ads that they do. So I know there was at least one ad blocker that came out that was pulled off the market as I recall. So there is some controversy about these. Not in terms of the impact it has on us as individual users, but the impact that ad blockers have on the whole ecosystem.
Tom Mighell: I want to take a step back and talk about why this is a big deal but also some ironic facts that I found out about this. Part of what makes this a big deal is that traditionally, Apple is very proprietary with its operating system, that they don’t let developers in to monkey around with the apps or some of the basic layers that typically belong to Apple. The same way you might see with Google and Android. Android lets the developers get access to everything, which lets you do a whole lot more things. Apple’s starting to relax those as you saw with the extensions and widgets that came up. So to a certain extent, that’s changing, and that’s how they’re changing it here is that they finally have allowed these developers to create these ad blockers for Safari. Right now it only works for Safari. It doesn’t work for any of the other browsers if you use Chrome on your iPad or anything like that. Dennis, you’ve got Refine. There’s others like Crystal or Purify or One Blocker; there’s a ton of them. What’s interesting about this is that I was kind of reading up on the history of ad blockers on mobile devices and I read one article that mentioned that most users spend five to seven more times within apps on their phones or their tablets than they spend in a web browser on a mobile device. But when you look at total use of browsers all over the place, both on desktops, on laptops, on mobile devices, no matter where they are, 20% of all web browsing happens on mobile Safari. So just think about that. The 20% of all quote “advertising,” could be on mobile Safari as well. I think that the potential of the advertising industry for this is huge. I don’t think that’s going to be the case and we’ll talk about that maybe a little bit more later. But what’s really interesting to me – and this is sort of the cynic in me – I think Apple may have had some ulterior motives in this while the ads are getting blocked in Safari, they’re not getting blocked elsewhere. So, for example, as part of iOS 9 they rolled out their own news app, which frankly I’m not a big fan of. I’ve heard other people be critical about how some people really like it. What’s interesting about this news app is that I’ve heard reports of people trying to look at articles in the Safari browser and there would be a popup that blocked it and said, “Sorry, this article won’t be ready until tomorrow. However, if you want to read it today, go to Apple News and you can read it today.” And then the interesting thing is that Apple News had advertising. So they’re not blocking ads within their own app, they’re blocking it within the browser. So I think that’s really an interesting – and I hope that I’m reading more into it than I really should – but I think that’s interesting. One last thing and I’ll stop talking for a second is Dennis you mentioned one app that got pulled. I think the app you’re talking about was an app by Marco Arment who has done the fantastic Instapaper. I know he’s done an app that you’re going to talk about as our parting shot. It instantly went to number one in the app store, but then he took it down after a couple of days. And I think his position was that the ad blocking was all or nothing, which doesn’t really match my understanding of how the ad blockers work and what you just described. He said it’d either block all ads or none at all and he thought that was too blunt. And I’m not sure that I totally understand that, but that was at least the reasoning that he gave on his blog. I think he took the position that some people genuinely deserved to benefit from ads who are getting hurt. So if people who are just out there trying to make a little money for apps that they develop, they sell ads on their page. They’re not like the big multinational corporations that put ads on websites. He wanted to be able to differentiate and that his ad blocker was able to do that.
Dennis Kennedy: So there are a number of really important ideas out there. One of the concerns about ads is that the ads could be a big source of malware. Ads to me are really sort of interesting in their intrusiveness and what we don’t know about them, typically in terms of how they track us, what might be contained in them, what happens, where we go when we actually click on an ad can be a little scary. So there’s that out there, that’s one thing. And then I also think we go back to the notion of in advertising, what are we really giving people permission for and what are we okay with? Let’s go back to the famous Cluetrain Manifesto, about the web being a conversation that there should be a conversation with customers and there should be respect and trust in all of those things. But I think that the ads have just become really difficult to know what to deal with. I think when you give the example of if I’m inside an app and their ads, I think that’s what i gave permission for. It’s okay that you’re doing that explicitly where an app or a device like there are Kindles where you pay one price with no ads or a lower price with little ads, you’re making a choice about it so you have control. For me, what’s the problem is everybody looks at everyway that I want to use the internet to use my devices as yet another way to just slam unwanted ads at me. And that’s what I don’t like. I’m willing to make a trade off and make an informed decision about when I want to be advertised to. And then also, this goes back to one of my usual themes, Tom, which I know you’re probably tired of hearing about. But we live in this world of personalization, and I sort of feel like I am in exchange for allowing somebody to have certain information about me. I want to have more tailored, more customized information sent to me. And so if by giving permission and information to somebody, I do get that perfectly customized ad for something that I would really want. I’m going to be okay with that. But if all I’m giving is somebody another way to track me and just slam unwanted ads on me, I don’t think that’s a very good bargain for me.
Tom Mighell: I don’t think that’s a good bargain either. What I’m finding and what I think you’re getting to and alluding to is that dealing with ads takes place in two different ways. The first is what we’ve been talking about, the ad blocking, which is basically throwing up a brick wall to the advertisers and a little bit, to a certain extent, defeats the purpose, doesn’t give them the eyeballs that they need to be profitable to do their work. And frankly, from our standpoint, that may not make a difference or be a big deal. You mentioned when you get an app, if it has advertising in it, if it’s a free app that’s the price you pay for getting the free app. You can always upgrade to the ad free, but they established that that price is what the advertisers get for you not having to look at their ad. Similarly, I think this past week, Google announced that YouTube was going to have this new version called YouTube Red. To me, it’s a little more expensive for what I use YouTube for, but for $9.99 a month, you can now get YouTube with no advertising. And I will tell you that in the world of annoying ads, having a video ad pop up before a video on YouTube is one of the most annoying things for me, even though there is often a skip in five seconds. I still have to watch the five seconds of the ad to do that. But that’s $9.99 a month, which is a little more than I’m willing to pay for how much I use YouTube. There’s another program called Google Contributor. It’s a program run by Google that allows users of the network to actually pay specific content providers a very small amount. You’re not paying a lot of money, but in exchange, you don’t have to see any of the Google ads on any of those pages. So Google will take all of that away from you and you’re making a micro payment. The payment goes directly to the advertisers. So like Marco Arment was talking about, if you have somebody that you do support, somebody that you do think is a worthy group to get some money but yet you don’t want to see their ads, I think the Contributor program is an interesting concept that helps out both sides. No ads, but in exchange for a little bit of money.
Dennis Kennedy: That sort of goes to the question to me is can more polite ads or more polite ways to raise money for the people that you want to read or you want to have access to content, can that work better than where we are at in the current ad model. Are we really risking going back to the most intrusive, the most annoying, the most tricky approaches to ads that have come from the past just because people have to get our attention. So, Tom, there’s a podcast that both of us really like and we listen to it for a long time. But I’ve got to tell you, when we run out ads it seems like it’s double the volume of the show and it’s ridiculous. That’s one of the reasons I stopped listening to radio was these totally intrusive ads. Where if they gave me a choice or I had felt that they considered that, I’m not really sure why they think that the listeners would enjoy at all the fact that there’s an ad blaring in their ears, especially when you’re using headphones. It’s just the silliest thing. They have a platform, they have trust, they have confidence. It’s the sort of thing where if they just did an ad or said they had a sponsor of the show, it would probably be incredibly effective. But I tune out at those ads completely and I’ve thought about not listening to the podcast anymore because that’s so annoying. So I think there’s some potential ads and I think the economic models may evolve over time because some of these approaches are just really annoying. Tom, I thought maybe – it’s not in our script – but we haven’t talked about how this impacts on lawyers. Maybe we can wrap up on some thoughts of how you and I think that lawyers might need to know something about ad blockers other than just trying to protect themselves.
Tom Mighell: I’m going to let you take the lead on that because speaking generally from my legal perspective as a lawyer, I tend to view ad blockers more from the consumer perspective and I think we’ve basically covered that as how it affects me, how it affects my experience of the online world, and I think we’ve covered that well. In terms of how lawyers might look at it, I’m going to let you take the lead on this one.
Dennis Kennedy: I just did a presentation on ethical rules and technology competence and what lawyers need to know and I was trying to figure out places where lawyers need to know something, so maybe I’m in that mode. But when I was thinking about ad blockers, there’s two things that really came to mind when I thought about this that lawyers might like to know to protect themselves and their clients, and the first is how does tracking and what information is conveyed through the use of ads on a page. And I think that could be really useful for lawyers to know something about. And then the other thing is that as we go to this more personalized web experience, I don’t know that a lawyer can say, “Let me just capture a page,” and then I can say this is the page that the other party in this case saw and this is what they reacted to because it could be that the ad blocker has completely changed that experience. So the notion I would say what is the evidence of what was on a page and what somebody saw is universal I think is going away and ad blockers are one more piece of that. Is that too farfetched of an idea, Tom, or am I on to something there?
Tom Mighell: I’ll say that the first part, that first thing about the tracking – I don’t know that it’s farfetched. I think that ads can certainly contain malware, they can certainly be dangerous. I’m skeptical or maybe I’m a little questioning about the amount of information they can gather that would be harmful to an attorney or a client, I wonder about that. I think that you’re really onto something if a web page’s experience is evidentiary, if it’s relevant in litigation somehow, the fact that an ad blocker can alter that experience could be important, and I think it could alter it in either way towards that. I think there would have to be a fairly specific fact pattern for that to happen, but I think that’s an interesting take on all of that. And I guess we’ll just have to see what the future of ad blockers have to do on this potentially evidentiary issue or other ways that lawyers might approach advertising on the internet. Before we move onto our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy. On our last podcast, Tom vowed to buy a new Windows Surface Book as early as he could possibly do it. He’s done that and I want to get an early report on Tom’s early impressions. Tom, are you already a fan?
Tom Mighell: Let’s be accurate. On the last podcast, we didn’t know about the Surface Book, it hadn’t been announced. It was the one more thing that Windows Microsoft had to offer when they announced the Surface Pro. So we really only talked about the Surface Pro, and at the time, that was my next purchase. Having look at what the Surface Book has to offer, it became my next purchase instead of the Surface Pro, and I will say that despite not having a ton of time to work on it, I am almost a complete 100% fan of the Surface Book. Let’s do a quick introduction for people who may not be familiar. Surface Book is what Microsoft really should have done instead of the Surface Pro in my opinion. It’s a laptop and in that it has a fully functioning keyboard and it has a monitor in it that works as a keyboard. You can fold it over. It looks a little bit like a book because it’s got a little bit of a gap there that some people complain about, things like food and dirt can get in, it doesn’t bother me. What’s nice though is that there is a button that when you press it, you can remove the monitor and it becomes a tablet. It’s very thin, like an iPad, it doesn’t really have any other buttons on it. They call it your digital clipboard, which sort of makes me cringe, but it is a very versatile device. You can turn that tablet around, slide it back in and turn it into a little convertible and you can write on it. The pen basically comes almost attached to it, the magnet is so strong. But it comes with a pen that goes a little bit beyond what Apple did with their iPad Pro Pencil that they debuted. It actually has an eraser on this pen. You can turn it over and erase with the top of the pen. I can say that I really like it so far. It’s very powerful, it’s very fast, it’s a little bit top heavy. The tablet part of it makes it a little top heavy, and so when I am sitting here, I’ve grown used to my Surface Pro. I’ve grown used to using both the keyboard, the trackpad, and the screen if I want to scroll on things. I’ve done less scrolling with the trackpad or with my arrow keys than I do using a tablet. And I notice here with it being a little top heavy that when I do touch it, it kind of bounces a little bit. Some people are annoyed by that. That doesn’t bother me so much, I guess I don’t touch it quite hard enough. One of the nice features that this now has on it is something called Windows Hello, which is facial recognition. So you can train it to recognize your face, and instead of a password or a pin, it will open up with your face and it really works very well. I have to say that it has a premium feel. It’s designed to compete with MacBook. I think some people would say it’s not quite as premium as MacBook. I would say it’s very close. It’s the nicest Windows computer I have ever seen and I take that shot at the people like Lenovo and Dell and those. I think Microsoft really knocked it out of the park here with their first attempt. It’s probably something that should have come out a long time ago. How it competes with the MacBook, I’m not quite sure yet, but I think that as a Windows tool, it’s very capable and I’m enjoying the heck out of it so far.
Dennis Kennedy: Tom, it’s interesting that you talk about how it competes with the new MacBook because I have the new MacBook, which I also have highly favorable comments on. So my reaction was that the Windows Surface and probably the Surface Book, although in both cases, the Surface Book and the MacBook, the prices as you want to appropriately configure them can be pretty high.
Tom Mighell: Yes.
Dennis Kennedy: But I thought that if you have to live in the Windows world, this really makes sense at this point. Tom, you and I were both at the ABA meeting in South Carolina last week and friends of the podcast, Adriana Linares and Allison Shields were working on laptops that had touchscreens and I have generally not been fond of that idea sort of ergonomically, it didn’t think it made sense to me. But I saw they both do things using the touchscreen. It sort of changed my mind a little bit, then also I had my wife look at something on my new MacBook and she wanted to touch the screen to make something bigger by expanding her fingers and was surprised that she couldn’t do that. So I think that touch is becoming sort of more ubiquitous and something that we rely on. So that potential of it is also interesting and then the other day I wanted to sign something and I think the stylus, when you’re just doing a signature of something electronically that you need to PDF and send to somebody, I think that stylus piece is actually kind of significant compared to what you can do with just a finger. So I think that in terms of concerns these days about how tablets are doing in the market or how notebooks are doing in the market, but I think that the bigger iPad, the MacBook, the Surface Pros, I think they’re on to something and it sort of reflects the way people want to use things these days.
Tom Mighell: Two quick responses: you’re right that one thing I mentioned is that this is not a cheap device. It’s one thing that Lenovos and Dells have the advantage on is cost. This is comparable, although it’s actually probably the versions with the bigger harddrives and the more capabilities are more expensive than Macs but they are comparable to the MacBooks. I used to say and others used to say that the best Windows laptop is a MacBook running parallels or running Windows on it. I don’t know if I can say that anymore. I think that this is the best Windows laptop now if you’ve got to live in the Windows world, I’ll completely agree with it. The other thing you mentioned is when you talked about using the touchscreen, I was listening to MacBreak Weekly on the TWiT network this week and one of the people that were there basically said that using a touchscreen on a laptop is just not normal, which I thought was a really kind of harsh statement to say, and I posted to Twitter immediately that the Surface Pro has changed the way that I interact with a touchscreen and a laptop, and I guess that makes me not normal. I think we’re starting to see a change with how people interact with laptops, some of them for the good, some of them for the strange and unusual to what people might think. But I definitely think that it represents a switch, and I for one am supportive of it because it makes sense in the way that I use my devices.
Dennis Kennedy: Tom, I just made a note that we should do a podcast where we talk about the whole notion of touch versus non touch and keyboard and what’s normal and what’s not normal. So maybe we’ll do that in the future. But now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation that you can use the second that this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: I think both Dennis and my parting shots are of similar vain. I’m going to recommend another podcast. It is a podcast from WNYC in New York, it’s called Note To Self. The tagline is, “Finding balance in the digital age,” and they take a look at current technology topics and how to be human around technology. So the most recent version was how to deal with your photo clutter, how to deal with all the digital photos that you have and how to organize them, how to get them under control. They had an episode recently on having relationships through text messages. What’s it like when somebody puts a cell phone on a table during a meal, does that interrupt or affect the conversation. So there’s lots of discussions on how technology affects us and it’s more of a social aspect to technology and the sociological things that go on when we interact with technology and it interacts with us. It’s really fascinating, really interesting, short too, a small podcast, so very digestible. It’s called Note To Self. Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, Tom, you kind of previewed my parting shot based on what I actually wrote in the script I sent to you, but I changed my mind so I’m going to do two.
Tom Mighell: Oops.
Dennis Kennedy: The reason I changed my mind was partly because I might have mentioned this before but there’s been a significant development. I’ve switched over to the Overcast app for podcasts, which I really like, and it went from $4.99 for the app to free exactly two days after I paid my four dollars and ninety nine cents. But I can live with it because I like the app so much. So if you’re disappointed with the Podcast app in iTunes or you just want to experience listening to more great podcasts, I think a podcast app on an iPhone is really good. There’s a lot of features I really like on it. But the one I was going to switch to, Tom, comes from I was at a conference where our friend Ben Shore was talking about Microsoft OneNote. I sort of knew this existed and I’ve been using OneNote for many years and I wanted to start using it more, especially at work. He pointed at something called the docked view in OneNote, so you’re able to just park on one side of your screen and it will stay there all day long on time. OneNote instants, that you just call daily notes or whatever you want to call it, works really well if you have multiple monitors or you have a really big monitor. And during the day, you can just put things in there that could come up. It could be notes from calls, phone numbers, or somebody you want to call, web clippings, anything else like that, and you just have this place for all of those notes that you might have used post-it notes or a little tablet on your desk before and it takes all the advantage of OneNote, makes it searchable. You can do all sorts of other things and it’s just open there on the desk. It’s a really interesting, simple idea that I’m looking forward to using on a regular basis.
Tom Mighell: I will say that using OneNote on a Surface is awesome, those tools are really made to go together very well. So that wraps it up for this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast; information on how to get in touch with us, as well as links to all the topics we discussed today, is available on our show notes blog at TKMReport.com. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives to all of our previous podcasts. If you’d like to get in touch with us, please email us at TKMReport@gmail.com or send us a tweet. I’m @TomMighell and Dennis is @DennisKennedy. So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an internet focus. Help us out by telling a couple of your friends and colleagues about this podcast.
Advertiser: Thanks for listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together. From ABA Books or Amazon. And join us every other week for another edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.
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