The amount of information humans go through every day is fairly overwhelming. From social media posts and online articles, to podcasts and emails, how can you store and organize all of this information so that it’s actually usable? Enter personal knowledge management. In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their own personal knowledge management systems, analyzing what works and what doesn’t. They also explain the three basic characteristics of a successful knowledge management system. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
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The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Using Personal Knowledge Management in Your Practice
Intro Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, here 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 207 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started we like to thank our sponsors.
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Well, in our last episode we talked about collaboration tools and technologies and we actually broke the news that the second edition of our book on that subject is scheduled to be available in March.
In this episode we decided to try to answer question I recently asked Tom. Is there actually a personal knowledge management approach or tool that will actually work? We will be interested in your thoughts on this topic as well and invite your comments after you listen to the episode.
Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be revisiting the topic of personal knowledge management to both what we’re using and some of our recommendations for everybody.
In our second segment we’re going to take a look at what got our attention from the recent Consumer Electronics Show that took place in Las Vegas, and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, personal knowledge management in 2018, can we make it finally work? It seems like we talked about this topic, I think every couple of years, right, Dennis? We were never completely satisfied with the tools that we use to keep track of our personal knowledge or maybe as we’ve been discussing before we started recording, maybe it’s not the tools, maybe it’s the process that we’re doing and it seems like the tools are always evolving to some extent and so kind of here we are again. We find ourselves back in the position of asking what are we doing, what’s working, what’s not working, maybe Dennis it might make sense to start off by — start at the beginning and let’s tell people what we mean by personal knowledge management and what problem we think it’s going to solve?
Dennis Kennedy: It is kind of funny, Tom, that it seems like to me thinking about personal knowledge management over the years is just a natural concept to me, but it is true that when I mentioned the term to people, they do wanted to get a sense of what actually I might mean by that. And so as in all things I’d like to start at by going to the Wikipedia of course; and so, in Wikipedia there is a definition of personal knowledge management as a collection of processes, and that’s an important term, that a person uses to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share knowledge in their daily activities, and in the way in which these processes support work activities.
And it’s that second piece where I have been running into problems lately and what prompted my question to you, Tom, which is, how do I take what I’ve gathered, stored, and hopefully retrieved, to actually support what I’m doing in a useful way rather than feeling I’ve done a great job of collecting things, maybe a decent job of tagging or filing them, but then not sure exactly how I grab them in useful ways to support, say when I’m writing, when I’m doing a presentation or just when I want to pull together a bunch of information in useful way for something that I’m researching in moving forward.
So I think that, Tom, I guess the highlights I have there is that in that definition it doesn’t talk about specific tools, it talks about a collection of processes and then I take this notion of moving from storage to actual use. Is that a good way to talk about personal knowledge management?
Tom Mighell: I think it is, I think that at least from my perspective you may admit this as well, but I’m going to admit it right upfront is that that second part, the way that these processes support work activities is not something that I have a good handle on, and it’s not something that I even really think about that often. Here is my startling confession, maybe not so startling, which is that I think I do a pretty good job of personal knowledge management in terms of that front end of gathering, of classifying, of storing the ability to search and retrieve that information, the ability to share with other people. I think I do a pretty good job.
Do I ever go back to it? Do I ever actually use it? Do I ever remember that it’s there to go back to? That’s where really my big block is, is that I forget to go back to it, I forget that it’s there, I don’t make use of it, and I don’t think that that’s an issue that’s solved by technology. I hope that’s not a function of getting older on my part, but I view that the second piece — I think we may actually spend more time today talking about the first piece, how you actually put together a knowledge management system, a personal knowledge management system, but I really think that acting upon it is going to be the great challenge that we, and probably I would argue most lawyers are going to have.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, and I think it’s interesting because in the personal world you tend to — I agree with you, Tom. I think when you say, how do I turn this into action? And, when you’re looking at sort of classic knowledge management, you say, oh, there are certain things that you do, say like expert locators, ways to find things that I’ve already done before, things that are reusable.
Tom Mighell: Brief banks, those type of things.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, brief banks, and then also this notion of there is research that’s already been done, maybe we can find some ways to say, hey, if these things are related or I want to pull together everything on a certain concept across a bunch of different containers, those things make sense, and that’s when I say turn into action for personal, a lot of those ideas come through, because you’d say, well, I do this sort of expert location for, for example, like who is an expert on these topics. Usually I’m kind of relying on my memory or asking somebody, but if you gather enough information you’ll be able to — there are ways to find that out. That’s sort of like one of the attractive things to me about machine learning and in a way, Tom, when you think about it, so I always feel like those — those great eDiscovery tools if you’d use them on your own personal stuff, it could be great to recognize patterns, to visually show things, stuff like that.
So that is the piece of personal knowledge management I sometimes find missing, and then also the way to take that what you — that you do find and then to turn it into actually to sort of pull it out, can I pull it out into something that I can work on.
So, that action piece is really kind of interesting, but, I don’t know Tom, why don’t we talk about the KM and the Personal KM process. I feel like I’ve been talking about this for a long time. I know that I wrote an article on Do-It-Yourself Knowledge Management in 2003 and have spoken about personal knowledge management, DIY knowledge management for a while.
But I think it really does come down to kind of sketching out what the processes really are, and I think it’s — it really just starts with finding things, the gathering piece.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think obviously that gathering piece and I really call it capture, but capture, gather; however, I think is the first part, but for me there’s three main requirements for any knowledge management system — any personal knowledge management system anyway, the first is that you can capture, that you can gather it, that you can easily collect that information and put it into a repository. I guess it preferably a central repository because multiple repositories make it difficult to know where they are, difficult to retrieve and search, it needs to ultimately make its way into one place. I think we’ll talk about why I say “ultimately” in a minute, because my system doesn’t automatically get everything into one place immediately; but, it has to be fast, it has to be functional, it has to be fun, because if it’s not any of those things you’re not going to do it. It’s not going to happen.
The next requirement is to curate, just because you collect it doesn’t mean that you really want to keep it or it doesn’t mean that you want to keep it forever, you’ve got to have some process of going back through it initially and culling out what you don’t need or don’t want, and then periodically overtime to make sure that it’s still going to be relevant, that it’s still timely, that it’s applicable to what you need, that it hasn’t gone out of date, that sort of thing.
Finally, it’s got to be searchable. You have to either be able to retrieve or find it easily, or you’re not going to take the time to do it. That’s where it comes back to fast, functional, and fun. That’s why you can’t just store everything on a computer — excuse me, a folder on your computer. I think it’s a little bit better that you can store it like on Dropbox or on Box, but frankly, only marginally because successfully searching for it means that you have to be able to classify. You’ve got to be able to tag and organize that information, and so that’s part of what makes it searchable.
So for me those are the three major requirements of a successful personal knowledge management system. Anything else that needs — that I forgot about the needs to be added to that?
Dennis Kennedy: No, I think it’s all elaboration on that and I’d look back, so when I started my Ligo career it was fairly common for lawyers that I worked with to do, and sometimes just these amazing collections of just these file folders stuffed with copies of articles, and I never knew that they actually went back and looked at those things, but they were —
Tom Mighell: They never did. Never went.
Dennis Kennedy: They were amazing collections. So, there is a gathering piece but then there is a curation notion too where you say, alright, if I’m talking about technology this is I always thought about. It was great. It wasn’t about — writing about technology that basically stuff that was more than six months old was not typically all that useful to you. So you sort of by its nature of the pace of change then you didn’t have to keep stuff going back so far, but you need to kind of take a look at that, and then I think you say, fun, I think that’s a piece of it, but I think there’s this sort of universality of it.
So what I’d like to do is say, I don’t know exactly what should go in there or how much I want to work I want to do on the putting stuff in, but I want to know that I can throw everything into one place. So, if I see something that says, oh, here’s or hearing a podcast or read somewhere like, oh, this ETF might be a good investment. I’d want to throw that in someplace that says here’s possible investments, or financial or something like that, or I can say when I’m thinking about that I have all that stuff collected at one place and I can go back to that, and that’s sort of what I’ve done. And so, I think — I don’t know whether that’s the right word, Tom, but sort of that universality so that in my personal KM system I want everything to go in there.
Tom Mighell: Well, and I agree, I agree with that, but I think I may handle it slightly different based on what I’m hearing you say or maybe it’s not so much different. I tend when I’m either looking for things, when I’m either gathering my information, and gathering can be an active activity or it can be passive gathering, it can be just something that I find, that I want to make sure that I save. Everything goes into basically an Inbox of my repository and we’ll talk about specific tools in a minute.
But I don’t really even take time to think about what I want to do with it at that point in time. It goes into the Inbox because it’s important enough to me there that I want to come back to it later. I don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to have to review it, I don’t want to have to do anything with it, so it goes back to the Inbox where then I can go back at a later time and then that’s where to me curation is kind of a two-step process. That’s the first part, is that I go through that Inbox, I decide — I kind of take a David Allen Getting Things Done approach to it, which is, is there anything in there that is actionable that I can do something about right then in there? Is there something that I just want to keep for reference? Is there something that I want to do something more about, but it’s going to take me a while to do it? That will help me both tag and categorize and folder, whatever you want to call it, it helps me classify what happens to that information later.
So I don’t go through my Inbox all at once, I take a couple of chunks at a time, but that’s generally how I do it. There’s no thought at all that goes into actually gathering the information and the thought really comes around with the curation.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and so I think that I actually use a different term for it or a different approach to an Inbox but I’m doing exactly the same thing. So, it’s sort of like whether it’s in an RSS feed, whether it’s something on Twitter, whether it’s an article I see or something. I’m pointing things to one place in Evernote where I’m dumping it, and sort of my thought process is interesting enough that I should keep at some level.
There may be some other things where I say this is sort of I know where this is going to fit, so like I said, you see something where somebody says, oh this is a good time to invest in Japanese mutual funds and you go, oh, I just throw it, so let me throw that into the investment section of Evernote, which is what I’m using these days. But, I think there is the part that says, okay, first it’s like a triage where I’m going like, oh, this stands out enough to me is something I want to go back to or it might be useful to me. So, just get it dumped into the system and so there it is. Like you said, whether it’s gather or what — I forget the term that you used which is also a good one, but that initial —
Tom Mighell: Capture?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, capture, harvest, something like that when you are saying, I’m just grabbing the stuff that’s going to be useful to me and then getting it into an area where I can start to do the second thing which is more in the nature of to me tagging or folders but the curation notion. Is that sort of the right way to describe it Tom?
Tom Mighell: I think so, although I will say I kind of have — my process is a little bit more tortured than that because what I will generally do is that when I go through that Inbox, if it’s something that I actually want to do something on, and this is probably where my system falls apart and where I actually can’t do as much action on as I want to is, if there’s an action to be taken, I will put it in a separate — and now I’ve tagged it with a to-do tag and I don’t want to tell you right now the size of my to-do folder or the size of my to-do tag because it just sits there and I haven’t gotten back to it and that’s — it tends to be where it goes, but that to me is the most logical way because for example in the Japanese mutual funds if I put that into an investing or Japanese Mutual Fund folder it will sit there and I’ll never go back to it. I need it to be in a place where I can assign an action to it or I need to add to my task manager as part of that or else it’s never going to happen after that.
Dennis Kennedy: That’s exactly what I do is that I say, okay, so then I grabbed that stuff from time-to-time out of — so let’s use the investment folder concept, and I say, oh, in my OmniFocus I have something that I scheduled to come up like once a month or once a quarter, probably once a quarter that says, think about investments or something to that effect, and then I pull stuff out of the Evernote suggestions into OmniFocus and I guess I could also link which I think about it would be simpler. And then it becomes a to-do item, that’s just like a review these and think if you want to do something and then it gets into the to-do system. So, you get the three steps and you’re – and they are sort of manual, and I guess that’s what I’m looking for us, some way to automate that in a meaningful way, that’s why, I mean, I was saying we discussed in a little bit more detail earlier before the show that there’s — I just have this notion this is a place where like Machine Learning and very simple AI would be really helpful to me to kind of figure out what’s in there and to help me move it, that’s sort of like my Personal KM fantasy at the moment.
Tom Mighell: Well, so I think that this is probably the first part during this section of the podcast where we might say, if anybody out there is aware of a tool that can do something like that, then we want to hear from you, and we’ve got a hotline number for you to call or an email address or a LinkedIn address just to send us something to.
But, I actually was thinking about it as you are describing it, and in a minute we’re going to probably talk a little bit more about Evernote. But, I use Evernote also and Evernote does have a learning function to it. There was a time, I don’t do it as much as I used to, there was a time that because I was traveling so often I wanted to know kind of what the new and interesting restaurants were in the area, so whenever I found an article in a magazine or if I found something online about a hot new restaurant to try in a basic city, I would go in and I created an entire folder for restaurants, but then I would tag it by the city. So, if I was going to a particular city I just hit that tag and I’d be able to see all the restaurants that I had tagged. I can now if I capture a web page for a restaurant, Evernote knows to put it in the folder called Restaurants. It doesn’t know what tag it needs to be, but it automatically suggests for me to put in that tag. So there is some I think learning going on there. It’s probably not as advanced or as automatic as you want it to be, but it’s at least a start.
Dennis Kennedy: As I think about that and I think about what I am looking for in a tool, personal KM tool, I am thinking, geez, I need to go back to our friend Heidi Alexander’s Evernote book and really start to do some learning in there, because there could be some of the dysfunctionality in ways to port things out, because for me, I think the main thing for me is going to be to get things into one part of the KM system and then be able to easily pull them out into the task manager part of this system.
And you are right, it could be that, and I think part of the thing is that with personal KM there’s like a number of tools that can do what you want depending on the amount of information you have, the volume, how you use that. I mean Evernote to me is really interesting because it certainly satisfies the notion of ubiquity and being able to access it from anywhere, through apps.
Tom, you and I were talking about OneNote as being another way to do that that I can see work really well for certain projects, maybe something like a Scrivener or some of these other in the Mac world, certainly for projects, writing projects and the like might be a good place for at least a portion of what you do.
So I think that’s always been the trick. You can kind of roll your own or you can have — I know people who would do just like Word documents or spreadsheets or that sort of thing. So there’s a bunch of different ways to do it.
So I think from our conversation earlier Tom, I sort of feel like getting the process right is going to make getting the tool right.
Tom Mighell: I think that’s true, but maybe to make sure that we don’t make this segment go on forever, maybe it makes sense to maybe talk about some of the tools or maybe now what we are using to do that.
So I think we have established that getting that process right is going to be important, maybe let’s talk a little bit about the tools or what we do to accomplish it. We have kind of been dancing around the edges of that, but Dennis, do you want to go ahead and say kind of what you do right now?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So sort of two main places I am pulling things in, and email might be another. So one is through Feedly. Through the blogs and other things I subscribe to. So I save things that are interesting to me, just as a save feature in Feedly, and if it’s super interesting that I think I might want to use later, then in Feedly I can just send it to Evernote and it goes into one folder called Feedly, not surprisingly. And then it’s all in Evernote.
The stuff I pick up off of Twitter and social media, again, typically I am going to use — I have been looking at an app and that’s easy to send that to Evernote, to this — to the same place, and so that allows me to collect that stuff.
The biggest gap I have right now is that I have no way that’s effective for me and if somebody has an answer to this, I would really love to know this. I pick up so much from podcasts, but there’s just no way for me to keep track of those, that really works, that’s easy. And so I do that and then there are certain parts that I will do in Evernote, where I might break things out into different folders, and then in certain cases I am pulling it into OmniFocus as a to-do item or something that I call incubate in OmniFocus. So it’s just a set of tasks that I know I am going to look through what’s in there from time to time.
Tom Mighell: So my system actually is — on the front end is almost identical to yours, I use Feedly also. Feedly is still my favorite — I guess my favorite alternative to Google, to Google Reader, RSS Reader. I know there’s a couple out there for iOS that are pretty good, but Feedly still has most of the features that I want.
I still think RSS is one of the best media for communicating information and I recommend that if you are trying to research or keep up with stuff, setting up some feeds that you regularly get is important.
I too send stuff to Evernote for that. I also do that with social media, Twitter primarily, and send stuff directly.
Where things change a little bit is I sort of break curating down into two places, two phases. The first part is there will be some articles that I find that I want to read; I want to read for knowledge or I want to read to see whether I want to keep it, and so those articles go to two different places. This is kind of where I diversify.
I use Pocket quite a bit to save articles. Pocket is a great read it later tool. I like it better than Evernote to read articles in. I can then share that out to social media or just send it to my Evernote if I decide that it’s important to keep.
Sometimes I will decide, you know what, this is a good article to read. I can delete it. I don’t need to keep it. Sometimes the articles that I get are in PDF format, they are not webpages, they are actual documents to read, and I want to save those for long-term sometimes and I actually load those on my iPad into PDF Expert and I will read those and I can annotate them, I can highlight them, I can mark them up, I can make notes and things. Then after I am done there, then I can actually send that to Evernote as well. Everything else goes into my Evernote Inbox for review.
The second part of curation is going through that Inbox, deciding did I — do I still really want to pay attention to this, do I still really want to keep it, do I need to have an action item on it? What I find though and where I am really struggling in my system is, is that I am really torn between both Evernote and OneNote as my end tool, because I think that Evernote really, really excels in the capture piece of webpages primarily. It captures lots of things well, but I think it really excels in capturing web pages, where OneNote struggles in that area.
Another area where I think Evernote excels is in the tagging features. I really like the ability to search and to do things by tag. Though OneNote tags are okay, but they are not what I would prefer.
On the other hand, OneNote is great for almost everything else. I use OneNote for work. I love taking notes in it. I love handwriting notes in it. There are to me a lot of shortcomings for Evernote in these areas. And so I use them both and I — this is where my process breaks down a little bit because I struggled in the best way to manage it.
We took a two week vacation to China and Japan last year; I used Evernote as the travel notebook, it worked flawlessly, it was perfect. I was able to save stuff there. I was able to create notes about where we were going. It was really a great system to do that with.
And I think frankly OneNote’s searchability is even better than Evernote’s. Evernote has got good searchability; OneNote in my opinion is better. So I mean, that’s kind of where I fall down. I think that no matter what tools you use, you need to make sure that, one, it’s ubiquitous, it’s on all platforms; two, you have the ability to move your information from app to app if you are going to use more than one tool.
And I really think that web clipping ability is super important, because one of the things I really like about Evernote is I use my Gmail account, Evernote allows me to clip that Gmail into Evernote in a way that it looks great, whereas if I try to do it with OneNote, it just looks sloppy and messy and that’s one thing that I really wish that OneNote could do better.
I have been talking a long time Dennis, anything to add to that or any tips; do we want to have some tips to wrap this section up?
Dennis Kennedy: I think it’s more questions really than tips, because I think we have reached a point where there may be — I mean the process — getting a good handle on a process and actually talking about this has really helped clarify some things for me and how I do things, just in the course of this conversation.
Tom Mighell: Well, you are better off than me.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, because I see how that piece from Evernote to OmniFocus is where I should put my attention. And then I am also intrigued because I think this is an area — because you are always looking to say, oh, I would like to figure out a way to use some new technology, like what can I possibly use AI for, what can I use machine learning for, that sort of thing, or some visuals, data visualization tool or analytics tool, and I go like, I have a lot of data here and some of the things I am looking for would actually — like the visual tools are things that just let me know, like hey, do you know that certain authors have written so many articles about this, that would help you identify experts or that sort of thing or see trends, that sort of thing.
So I can see some ways that small tools might improve some of that, but I think it’s getting the process down is a big thing. And then as you said, we are interested in hearing from people who think they have figured out a way to do this, and the tools they use, or the KM companies who think they have a tool that could be used on the personal side, we would love to hear about that and to get our listeners’ opinions, because I think this is a universal problem for people. And although there might be different nuances, and I don’t think there’s a magic bullet definitely, it would be good to share information or as they say to share the knowledge and see how we can all come up with better ways to do this.
Tom Mighell: Totally agree. I think that we would benefit from your tips, your suggestions, your best practices, your strategies. We are both available on Twitter and LinkedIn. We do have the voicemail line at 720-441-6820, so if you want to leave us a voicemail, we might play it on a future podcast, if we like it. So please reach out to us, we would love to hear your thoughts on personal knowledge management and what you are doing to tackle that.
Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. In this segment Tom is all revved up after following the news stories out of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. It’s easy to get caught up in a hype of one of the biggest technology events of the year. But sometimes there’s a lot of hype. I mean, how is that 3D TV working out for you these days?
Tom, what might be different this year and what caught your attention?
Tom Mighell: So for the record, I do not own a 3D TV, just to clear that and get that out of the way.
Dennis Kennedy: I don’t think anybody does at this point.
Tom Mighell: I am not sure. So what was interesting to me was sort of the disasters that befell the Consumer Electronics Show this year. They had some gully washers of rain that basically stopped all the outdoor activities and then there was one hall that completely lost power for a number of hours during the day.
But what I found that was interesting about Consumer Electronics Show is if you look at the people who make a living talking about consumer electronics and that they go to the show year in and year out, the most common theme that I got was that everybody came away with different trends. Almost all of them had a different take away. Some thought that virtual reality was hanging in there and wasn’t dead yet. And others thought that health wearables were the next big thing. And some say that 5G technology is now the hot technology, that 4G is dead and 5G technology is happening.
What I found that was interesting is that less and less is happening at the Consumer Electronics Show every year. The crowds are getting smaller; everybody mentioned that crowds are a little bit smaller and that’s because the major manufacturers are either making the big announcements either at different conferences, not this one, or they are doing their own event.
Google has its own event. Apple has its own event. Windows has their own event. So that’s what I am noticing that it’s getting a little bit small, but here are the sorts of things that I really came away with that are interesting to me.
I think number one on the list was last year was the year of Amazon and the Echo, this year was the Google Assistant. Google Assistant is everywhere. And actually the one tool that came out of that that is interesting to me; I have had an Echo Show for a while now. I really like the touch screen and the visual screen of being able to talk to it and get information. The Lenovo Smart Display is going to be very similar to that, but it’s going to use the Google Assistant.
I think Google Assistant has probably got the most interesting plays now for being everywhere that you want to be and I am looking forward to what’s coming out of there.
I think that this set the stage for wireless charging being everywhere. A lot of play about autonomous cars; I mean cars that had no steering wheels and no anything, which is a little bit scary. Probably one of the most interesting devices that I saw was the phone, where the fingerprint sensor was sort of built in under the screen so there’s nothing there, it’s just automatically built in, kind of an unusual thing, but still very interesting to me.
I think that the Internet of Things is continuing its inevitable march towards taking over everything, that there’s going to be sensors and data all over the place and they are going to be measuring you and getting information on you, wherever they happen to be.
And then probably the coolest tool that I saw the whole time was called the Samsung Wall. It was a 146 inch television that they called a Modular TV. It can function kind of as a multipurpose display. You could have part of it showing one thing, part of it showing another, but it’s all one big screen and it just looks like an amazing thing. I would never get it or use it, but it still looks pretty cool.
All right, that’s enough of my sort of CES fanboy. Anything that struck you from what you have been able to see about it, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I read this interesting article that was commenting on how much of the stuff at CES didn’t actually seem to work. It seemed to be like really beta stuff and there were things that didn’t work. The article was sort of funny too, because when you think about how something might need to work in that type of setting, it’s like pretty amazing that stuff works anyway, with all the people, all the noise, everything that’s going on there. So that was kind of interesting.
I agree with you on the Google Assistant, Alexa thing, which I would call more so the voice assistant as a platform, and so you have those voice assistant, virtual assistant now being able to be put into any number of devices. I think that’s really interesting.
I know there was a huge amount of interest in this, to me, quite expensive robot dog that —
Tom Mighell: Aibo.
Dennis Kennedy: There you go. And then Tom, it seems at some point we would have to turn this into like an audiophile show, because there were some really cool headphones and the sort of digital converters that would allow you to sort of measure what’s right for the sound for your ear and then to do this almost like a sound theater approach with headphones and talk about actually coming up with ways to do surround sound with headphones, that really worked well.
So I don’t know Tom, I feel like both you and I are into this headphone thing, but it seems like there’s even more headphones to get our attention.
Tom Mighell: We need a side podcast on headphones and speakers. I see that in our future.
Dennis Kennedy: So now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends.
Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So if you were listening to our podcast, our resolution podcast, one of my resolutions was to get more into learning about and testing out smart home products. And so I have made small steps toward that. I have a couple of smart plugs that I really like, but I bought something, and I may be speaking to the choir here; you may already be doing this, but for me it’s new, for some of you hopefully it’s new, I went and I bought just a couple of pair — a couple of smart light bulbs.
I bought a Philips Hue Starter packet, which comes with a hub that connects to four light bulbs. I plug those light bulbs into a couple of lamps that I have and it’s really cool playing with them. I can set just about any color in the color spectrum; blue, green, yellow, red. I can set it as a tropical sunset or an Arctic blue or a night light. I can just make the light do whatever I want to.
But it’s really setting the timers on it, being able to turn the lights on and off from remote locations that’s really been very interesting to me. And it’s nothing magical. It’s nothing that’s I think revolutionary, but it certainly is an interesting way to deal with a smart home and to sort of take control of all of that. And best of all, that’s just a $50 starter package with the hub and the four lights.
So Philips Hue, I have been enjoying it so far.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am going to recommend, I don’t know how useful this is, but it’s really fun and this is sort of like one of these hot things as we record this over the last couple of days, people are all sort of talking about this. But Google has an app called the Arts & Culture App, and it’s designed to help you see things in museums and it has a bunch of different uses.
But the one that people are interested in is you can take a selfie and it will compare you to paintings in the database and it will suggest the paintings that are best matches for you in terms of the people or the person in the painting actually looks the most like you, which is kind of interesting. So you take the selfie and then it suggests about five of them that have a decent match with you.
So I did this and it’s interesting because if you do it multiple times, each time you do it, it seems like it suggests different things, but you see some consistency.
So I had two reactions. So the first one was that there is one portrait with a profile that was always in the top five for me, and so my reaction was like, oh my God, I didn’t realize my nose was that big. So you can find out things like that, which of course reveals your own insecurities.
And then the other thing was like, wow, I look like a bunch of 17th Century subjects of British painters, which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise. But it’s kind of fun, and people have been having fun with it and disguising themselves, painting their faces to see what happens. And of course people Photoshop to put things out there.
But it’s kind of a fun thing and if you find a good match, you could buy a copy of — print of that painting, frame it, put it in your office and then notice if people who come to see you go like, oh my God, is that a picture of you or an ancestor of yours?
Tom Mighell: I have got to say, none of the matches for me look remotely like me. I am very disappointed by how this is working out, but I am going to keep trying. But frankly, when you are done with the fun part of this Arts & Culture App, seriously, go and look at the material. You will rarely find an app that has as much content in it. If you like art or are interested in it, it has got so much stuff in it, it’s a great app, and it’s absolutely free from Google.
So that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com”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 of all of our previous podcasts.
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So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy And I am Dennis Kennedy. And you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus.
If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcast and we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: 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.