Dennis and Tom have zeroed in on their top pick for organizing their personal knowledge management project, the Second Brain. Having both come to the conclusion that Notion is the right tool for the job, Dennis and Tom dig into why they like it and how its capabilities effectively serve the needs of the project.
Next, is Dennis a hashtag genius or not? In their second segment, a skeptical Tom grills Dennis on his creative new approach to Twitter hashtags.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and Colonial Surety Company.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Second Brain – Organize, Part 2
B Segment: Dennis’s New Approach to Hashtags
- @denniskennedy on Twitter
Second Brain Project: Organization, Part 2
Intro: Web 2.0, innovation, trends, collaboration, software —
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 278 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report/ I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors.
First of all, we’d like to thank Colonial Surety Company Bonds and Insurance for bringing you this podcast. Whatever court bond you need, get a quote and purchase online at colonialsurety.com/podcast.
Dennis Kennedy: And we’d also like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted pre-screened process servers work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more.
Tom Mighell: And we want to mention that the second edition of our book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies’ is available on Amazon. Everyone agrees that collaboration is essential in today’s world but now more than ever, knowing the right tools is going to make all the difference.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we had our annual technology resolution episode. A lot of great ideas in there for you, if you haven’t listened to it already. In this episode, we return to our big personal knowledge management project we’re calling The Second Brain and the organization component of it. Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be returning to our series on building a second brain which has created a surprising amount of interest. We might have hit a nerve for many of you. In the second segment, we’ll talk about Dennis’ creative, I guess that’s a word for it, approach to hashtags 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, a return to our Second Brain Project, the topic of organization and something called Notion. Back a few episodes ago, episode 274, if you’re interested in in going back and listening to it, we tackled the first part of the organized component. So, we’ve talked about capturing and gathering and now we’re talking about how to organize the information and during that podcast, we mentioned something called Notion quite a few times. We’re going to return to that in this episode because it really makes a good close to the organization component. The reason for that is for somewhat different reasons, Dennis and I both came to the conclusion that Notion was the right tool to use for our respective second brains.
Dennis, before we go into those reasons, maybe we should do a quick recap of our Second Brain Project and how organization fits into it.
Dennis Kennedy: You gave some of that, Tom. But I think the idea here is really this sort of personal universal knowledge management tool or actually I would say it’s a system more than a tool because it’s going to be a combination of tools and so, what we said is we have stuff that’s scattered everywhere it seems these days, so it could be local, it could be in different file storage, cloud services, it could be in Twitter, in all sorts of other collaboration tools, social media, all these things and so it’s like how do we take the things that we’re doing so if we’re researching something, we’re able to pull that stuff together and kind of collect it as we find interesting things as that that changes over time and then put it into a system where we can actually access that, organize it, pull stuff out as we need to, to make it actionable and then potentially to share it with others if we’re working on other projects.
So, that’s the Notion of the second the second brain, so not that we’re just going to say like, “Hey, we’re just going to throw stuff on files and search for it,” but can we do something that is going to bring all the inputs together into one place and then organize it in a way that is usable and that’s where — we want that sort of one central place, you could call it a dashboard, but you could say, “Here’s the one place I go that’s going to give me access to what’s in my second brain.”
How’s that, Tom?
Tom Mighell: I think it’s pretty good. I mean, I would talk about it in contrast to some of the tools that we’ve thought about in the past as second brains and maybe things that we’ve used in the past, things like Evernote or OneNote. I think that you may have been looking at one of those tools initially as a second brain. I’d been using Evernote for years as I would call it a second brain but really, it was just a place to archive websites or notes that I would take on things and compared to a tool like Notion, which is what we’ve decided on, it’s just not quite as smart.
It doesn’t have the capabilities to do all of those things that you just described. I mean, it can store things, you can search things, you can tag them, so get back to them. But it doesn’t really have the same type of power I think and as we’ll go into here with a little bit more detail, as a tool like Notion does, which really, I think has great capabilities for being and qualifying as a second brain. So, I guess we’ve got in the outline that I’m introducing Notion as just as good a time as any to kind of talk about and do a general introduction and have you follow up with that with me?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think it’d be good if you kind of describe to people and we’ve talked about this before but some people will be new to this podcast, but maybe describe what they would expect to see when they went to Notion and kind of what it does.
Tom Mighell: So, it’s hard. It’s times like this that I wish that we had a video show rather than just a podcast because I thought very hard about how to adequately describe Notion and I don’t know that there’s a great way to do that. So, I’m kind of looking at their website when I talk about it and we’ll have a link to that in the show notes. It’s notion.so if you’re interested in looking at it.
But the way they describe themselves is write, plan, and get organized in one place. That feels fairly simplistic but part of what they have is I think we’re really designed for individual use and personal use although they’ve expanded to the enterprise where teams can work on this. Also, I personally think that this is a great tool for individual knowledge management and/or other things. But here are some of the things that it does.
So, you can take notes. It’s a note-taking tool. You can set up pages and you can take notes in those pages and organize them into notebooks. As we’ll talk about later, I have a whole section of my Notion workspace that is just notebooks on different types of topics. You can get organized. You can create a home base for recipes or for case law or for technology that you want to try out or anything like that and you can set up a database. So, that’s one of the nice things about Notion is is that it’s not just a note-taking feature, you can actually set up databases within that, within the tool that you can search, that you can put into other pages that connect up with each other. It’s something that allows the information to not just live in one place but it can connect to the other things in your second brain that you needed to connect to.
You can track your tasks. You can do project planning. I see lots of people who set up their to-do lists, who set up their project plans within Notion and they are able to track those tasks and projects and their goals very easily. People use it for writing, so if you’re using it to type, you can also use it to write and some people have done it that way.
As a productivity tool, I see a lot of people seeing that that Notion is something that kind of is and one of the people that we may wind up talking about a lot on this show calls Notion “your life operating system” where it can actually help you organize your life. It allows you to do websites. You can build a website from Notion if you want to and there actually are websites out there that you may not know were built using the Notion software.
So, it is I think very flexible software that allows you to keep information in a number of different ways. That’s I think a very inelegant way of putting it, Dennis. Do you want to clean it up a little bit and maybe describe it a way that people might understand better than what I’m talking about?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so I like the fact that there’s a great graphical interface that’s really, I hate to use the word intuitive, but it’s modern and it has a lot of functionality of a wiki but a lot more and it also has a lot of template development. I was using this in connection with another project that I was doing before. You and I started thinking about it for a second brain and so, this would be the thing I’m doing with the exponential.legal and so, we put together all these different areas in there where we have, there could be business things, so like the mission statement, other things we’re working on, we have all the brand materials collected at another place, it’s really great on meeting notes and tagging those things and assigning tasks to people, good on tracking and follow-up, storing and archiving things, keeping PowerPoints, other things.
You can actually do some simple writing in there. I still tend to default to Word myself and then to copy it up there but you can do a number of things but it’s kind of great to just go back and like all the notes for our weekly phone calls are in one place, so we can just kind of track through them and say like, “Oh, what did we say about that before or we can keep multiple drafts or versions of things and have everybody work on them.”
I really saw the use for it there and then I started to adapt it for a couple of things that I’m doing on my own and then as we started to think through the second brain, I said, “There’s a lot of functionality in here that I like and it’s easy to use and I could see it becoming adaptable to the second brain.”
Why I started to lean towards Notion was that experience I had in the past. So, I think Tom, you’re sort of second brain is what brought you to Notion, I believe you didn’t have like that past background.
Tom Mighell: Well, it’s not just second brain, but it’s the fact that I tried lots of tools and when I see things and I had heard about Notion — I mean Notion is not brand new. It’s been around for a number of years. What’s interesting to me is that the legal community to my knowledge isn’t really using it that much and I’m not sure as we talk about this more that Notion is something that I just automatically recommend for law firms to use. I really think that this is better for smaller teams and/or individuals to use. That’s going to be my personal preference. We may differ on that but I came to this because I’d heard about it for a while. I’d never really paid attention to it and then just as our second brain project was starting to kick off, I thought, “Is this an option?”
And I started experimenting with it and the more I tried it, the more I liked it, the more I realized that it really was a good viable option. For me, it was really between Roam Research which we’ve talked about also on the podcast and Notion and ultimately Notion won out because it just is more flexible and frankly for me, it’s easier to use than Roam Research.
Roam Research to me is fairly powerful but it requires a whole lot of, not necessarily intuitive knowledge about how to organize things, and Notion is very powerful. It can be complex. You can create complex things in here but it makes it relatively easy to do it, which was a big selling point for me.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So, I sort of had two other things I considered. One, which I almost defaulted to was OneNote. I’ve been using OneNote for a zillion years and I thought it could work but I’ve been thinking that for a zillion years and I’ve never made it work, so part of my thought was like, well, it hasn’t worked for me so far for whatever reason and I know other people have done amazing things with OneNote, that maybe it’s time to look at something new and my experience with Notion was good.
The other thing I looked at was kind of the competitor to Roam Research in a way, something called Obsidian, which also can do some pretty cool things but it’s kind of like more of an — it feels like you really have to get your hands dirty. You have to learn markup language and other things which are not that big of a deal but you’re not producing as quickly and as easily as you do in Notion. And we’ll talk about Notion has these things called blocks which just think in terms of widgets like you’re in the SharePoint world or web parts, I guess it was called the SharePoint world where you can just sort of pop this functionality right into what you’re doing and that was another big selling point of Notion.
So, that led me there. Then I guess, Tom, I just talked a little bit about I did my end of the year personal quarterly off-site, a little plug for the online course I did on that but I spent some time really thinking through the second brain in terms of what at a very basic level. So, I sketched out what I wanted to have coming into it in terms of inputs, what I wanted to see in there and potentially what I wanted to have coming out of there.
I also tried to say, “Here’s what I want to do first, second, third, and here’s some goals for that.” And that was just really useful for me to kind of set some priorities to break it into smaller chunks and to say here are the things that would be successful to me if I did those things.
Then I went into Notion and looked at some of the templates and other blocks as they call them in there and I found a lot that fit what I wanted. So, from Kanban boards to calendars to those sorts of things, I was able to do that and I now have a good sense of how those flows will work for me.
Tom Mighell: Well, let’s talk just a little bit, you mentioned the term blocks. Let’s do a little bit of description on what blocks are. So, blocks are really one of the main functions of Notion and what a block allows you to do is whenever you’re in a page somewhere, you can add content to it, it’s separated out by blocks and each block can have a bunch of different things.
Some of the basic blocks are just text, you can add text, you can add a to-do list, you can have certain headings, bulleted lists, numbered lists, all sorts of very simple formatting, quotes, dividers, you can link to page, you can call out, those are a lot of things that are around taking notes or writing that would be useful. But you can also put a database. Let’s say that you create a database in one part of Notion, you can actually reference that database in another page. So, you can have access to it and link to it if you need to get to certain information. We’ll talk in a minute about how I do that.
You can have, like Dennis mentioned, Kanban boards to do either tasks or other types of things, you can create galleries. I’ll mention how I do that for the books that I read. You can do calendars and timelines. You can add media a bunch of different ways, images, you can add web bookmarks. It could be your bookmark manager or you can put bookmarks in. You can embed videos from YouTube or other websites, audio you can embed, and then I think that one of the things we might want to talk about now, Dennis, is kind of one of the selling points I think for Notion is unlike a lot of these other tools and frankly, it’s been a long time coming that Notion hasn’t had this is they now have more API development and they finally opened up an API so that other tools could talk to them, which I think is one of the number one selling points of any tool that we have is because in my opinion, none of these tools have one hundred percent of everything that you need for whatever it is that you have.
So, being able to plug in other things to fill gaps or to enhance the functionality that you already have to me is a big bonus and here, you can add in Miro boards. You can add in a whimsical board. You can put a recording from Loom. You can put a Google Map. You can embed Tweets or PDFs, all sorts of things that you can embed and I would expect that this is just scratching the surface of what it’s going to be able to do.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah and so, that API Notion was key to me and so as I think inputs, you’re right I don’t necessarily want to go to Notion every time I’m doing something but if I’m using as you are, Tom, and I will too read-wise to take notes when I’m reading books on Kindle then I want that to automatically go into a place in Notion and it’s possible to do that. I would like to as I thought like, “Well, where do I do things?” Well I have bookmark things. I have videos. There might be stuff from YouTube, Twitter likes really important way for me to keep track of things and so, part of what I want with the second brain is how do I pull that stuff in there, meeting notes important to me and then to be able to get my hands on everything from headshots to bios to what I would call either personal brand materials or other brand materials, templates, those sorts of things and have them there and the ability to use the blocks to embed those things so they’re right there is super useful.
So, I just see a ton of potential there and then using the blocks to say, “Oh now, I can take some of the stuff and they can become calendar items so I can see this stuff. It can be to-do’s, they can be Kanban boards, I can track things, I can do a little light customer relationship management, I can copy something out of an email and throw it in there. It’s just very versatile. So, versatility to throw things in there and also the possibility to use APIs and other methods to have things automatically go in there is really attractive to me.
Tom Mighell: Let me go into a little bit more detail about how I’m using Notion for my second brain and right now, I have what I would consider to be a very simple setup. I literally have one database and then one other workspace and then I roll that into a dashboard for everything and so, what I’ve done is I’ve created something that I’m calling the “media vault,” that’s my one database and we’ve talked about on other podcasts before, Dennis and I both are using the Readwise app to synchronize between different places.
And so, the media vault contains all the books that I have read or I’m going to read, magazine articles or Internet articles that I’ve read and highlighted, podcasts that I’ve listened to and videos that I’ve watched and recommend. And for the most part, most of those are getting automatically loaded into this vault by Readwise. So, whenever I read an article out there and I highlight it, those highlights are automatically coming into this database and I’m getting that information. So, it’s happening automatically, the database is being updated for me constantly. Now, when I read a new book, I’ll go ahead and add that book in there but this is where everything that I’m reading gets put and all the notes, any notes that I take and anything that I’ve got, all of that is located in this media vault.
The second major area is just, I’m for right now just calling it “notebooks,” and so, it is for all the stuff that I’m not getting from a published source that I can synchronize with Readwise. So, any notes that I might want to take on my own, any websites that I might just want to save, anything that’s kind of ad hoc material that I want to keep. I’m keeping notebooks on different subjects and then I tie all of that together. I’m tagging everything in my media vault. I’m tagging everything in my notebook so that I’m creating something called a “knowledge hub” and the knowledge hub basically just links to everything in the media vault and the notebook.
So, right now, I’ve got areas in my knowledge hub for Artificial Intelligence because we talked about that on a podcast, podcast research, I’ve got a second brain part of my knowledge hub and then I’ve got one on software that I want to test and what I use the knowledge hub for is that it’s a roll up of all the books I’ve read, all the magazine articles I’ve read, I can find everything on Artificial Intelligence right here in one place. Any notebook stuff that I’ve created, any notes or websites that I saved, it all gets rolled up into the knowledge hub from these different places.
And so, that’s how I plan to access my second brain in the future is to use that knowledge hub to go and say, “All right, I need to and I’m going to be doing a lot of my research for our upcoming collaboration book. I’m going to put that into my database and I’m going to roll it all up to the knowledge hub so when I’m ready to write, I can come there and all of my notes are there. They’re ready to go and I just have to start reviewing them to get started.”
So, that’s to me a very simple way of how one might use Notion for second brain. Right now, it’s working very well for me but I would admit that I’m very in early days. There’s probably a lot more to do with it, but I’m looking forward to learning more about how to expand it and make it more powerful.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I was going to say, Tom, that you remind me there’s a couple things, so it was in my personal quarterly offside when I looked at things. I said I was thinking in terms of functionality as you were talking there a little bit. So, I had this notion because when you mentioned vault, I had a different sense of vault. So, I always run these things where you need certain information, could be a tax return, it could be my estate planning documents, those things I’ve already created this thing that I call archive, so like stuff that’s of that type that you sometimes get asked a question about or you like to put your hands on really quickly.
And then I have another place I want to create, it’s called “at your fingertips.” It’s again a sort of notion of there’s things I would like to have that are handy that I just don’t want to put on a Post-It note on the wall or something. Now, I have this Post-It note that I’m looking at that has the Zoom meeting number for our podcast calls, but I would like to just kind of centralize that in one place. So, that’s a big thing and then we didn’t talk so much about tags but I think that tags are going to be super important part of this so that’s another functionality I like because I’m going to try to really discipline myself about doing some tagging, so I can start to say, “Oh, these things relate to each other,” and I can pull that stuff together because I can see the ways that the blocks in Notion can really help me make use of tags.
So I like the gaps — we were going to talk a little bit about the gaps, Tom, I just have a couple ones but actually one of them is sort of solved by what I saw in the new blocks that I just noticed tonight was that since mind mapping is so essential to what I do, there’s not a mind mapping tool as yet in Notion or really any drawing tools of that type. So, that’s something that I need to think about and there are going to be some automations that either may not exist or I may have to figure out to get certain information into Notion that makes sense. But it’s going to give me an opportunity to really edit and every time I talk to Tom, I like his idea of that vault or hub notion on research I think is something I may adopt as well.
Tom Mighell: I don’t think that I want to use Notion for document storage. I mean, I might store a PDF as a reference for something knowledge-based but I think that I’ve usually kept separate like the way that you describe things like estate planning and tax returns and things like that. I have and I don’t see Notion as being the endpoint for that. Now, if Notion came up with an API for my OneDrive, then maybe we’re talking and maybe I could link to it and that would be a nice way to link to that information there, keep it where I usually keep it but have a reference to it in Notion. That would be nifty. I’d like that a lot.
As far as gaps, I don’t really see a lot of gaps from my purposes right now. The one gap that I have and I keep making a call out here is I really would love that we’ve talked about the app Airr. A-I-R-R-R, I think. I can’t remember how it’s spelled, but it’s where you can take snippets of podcasts and embed them into your Notion database. It’s a great app. Right now, it’s iOS only. I really would like the Android app so I could take advantage of that. That’s not really a Notion gap. That’s an Airr gap, so to speak.
But let’s maybe wrap this up and say how do we view this for lawyers in general? I mean, my opinion as I stated before is I’m not quite sure this is the a tool that a law firm is going to use. Even though they have enterprise tools, I don’t know that this is the right tool for lawyers and law firms to use because I think there might be better tools that can do things like this that are geared toward law firms. I really feel like Notion’s real strength is in personal knowledge management or personal productivity or organization and it works best with individuals. Dennis, you’ve been working with other people on this so you may have a different opinion about it. I’m just not sure that this is like an enterprise-wide tool for law firms, at least not where it is right now.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think it really shines as a personal tool and that’s our bias, so of course, we’re going to see the benefits there. But that’s where I’d first look at. If I were a lawyer, I would say, “This is going to be for me, I’m going to do it. It’s going to be something that I don’t worry about integrating into what’s there in the law firm. This is going to be the stuff that really helps me the most in my productivity and the information that I need and kind of solves some problems with the existing tools.”
I would definitely, I just can’t even imagine like trying to fight with management and IT to get this approved within a law firm. I do see it as and what I did if — what we’ve done. If you’re starting something new, whether it’s a side business or a volunteer group or something else that you’re doing, I can almost see it for like your high school reunion or something like that, those are the things where I think it makes sense and those are great little projects because then you can start to see the potential and then you might do that and look into the future.
I mean frankly, here in January 2021, we have no idea what’s going to happen this year, so nobody knows where they’re going to have the same job by the end of the year or whatever. Having these tools that allow you to access the information you have as you’re going forward in different ways to me is just a good thing. It’s just part of the preparedness that we should all have.
Tom Mighell: And look forward to our upcoming second brain episode. We’ll talk a little bit more about our Notion experience and what we are finding out as we make more inroads towards establishing a second brain. All right, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Dennis Kennedy: And now, let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell. I recently told Dennis and I think I’ve maybe done it on more than one occasion that I think Dennis is — and Dennis, you wrote this script, so I have trouble reading what you wrote in the script — but Dennis is the expert on innovative new hashtags. I think the way I would put it —
Dennis Kennedy: You said that as exactly what you said.
Tom Mighell: Well, maybe that was my polite way of putting it. We thought that it might be fun to revisit the topic of hashtags and how they’re being used or maybe how Dennis is using them anyway and I wanted to ask Dennis a little bit about his new approaches. Before I ask any questions, which my main question is going to be what are you thinking, I want to start out by describing what led me to ask him about this is that Dennis has begun to — we’ve talked about hashtags many times on the podcast and we talked about the purpose for them and without going back and listening to what I said, if I have to revisit my past self, I would say that hashtags serve one or two or three purposes.
For me, one purpose is findability. So, in case you want this Tweet to be found on Twitter or Instagram or wherever you happen to be using a hashtag, the hashtag helps you get found on a particular type of topic. So, that’s one way that a hashtag can be useful. The other use that I see for hashtags is essentially using it as humor and saying hashtag and then spelling something out that’s long that would never be findable that no one would ever look for and that’s where my question is coming because Dennis, there’s a lot of hashtags you use that literally no one else is using and if I’m looking right now at a few of your recent hashtags, I will come up with #needmanymanyexperiments. I see #courtinnovation. I see #legalcloudupdate. I see #loveexperiments and literally no one uses any of these. You like hashtag amplifying a lot.
And so, clearly, findability is not the reason why you’re doing this, so I’ll just pose my question to you, what is the reason for this what I would consider to be a different way of looking at hashtags?
Dennis Kennedy: Oh contraire, Tom, findability is part of that in a funny sort of way. There are two other uses of hashtags that I think have been important over time. One is event related. You could have official hashtag for a conference or there could be something like —
Tom Mighell: But it relates to findability, but go ahead.
Dennis Kennedy: Right and so the first time that you really saw hashtags come into play I think a lot on Twitter was Hurricane Ike and so, then the hashtag of Ike and then of hurricane. You also see a hashtag in earthquake fairly prominent over time. And so, it allows you to do a search on that in Twitter and find everything that’s on that. So, you’re doing the screening, so it is a findability thing. Yeah, I guess, Tom, it is always findability.
The other thing that you would find typically is that you might want to look for something on Twitter where people are posting about the Detroit Tigers baseball team. And if you just do a search on tigers, you could pull up like all sorts of different sports teams, the animal, like all kinds of different things. So, the hashtag, because people self-organize around it, helps you find things that actually relate to what it is that you want to do. So that was the traditional use of it.
Then what I found was that people were very creatively using the hashtag to make jokey comments, ironic comments or comments on what they were actually talking about. And it was kind of the people were really good at was kind of a little bit of an art form and so, I admired that and so I experimented with that a bit.
But really, what changed my approach to hashtags was that Twitter recently did this thing where they’re trying to force you to actually read what you did before you Retweet and so, they want you to, what I’d say is quote/Retweet, which means that you Retweet the Tweet that you would normally just do a Retweet of, that’s hard to say, but they want you to make a comment on it to encourage you to actually read that.
I became really interested in whether Twitter would treat what you did differently if you made that comment or if you just did what I call like a naked Retweet where you didn’t say anything. And so, what I found is that you might say things like “must read,” “hat tip,” “great comment,” something like that. Well, all those things, if you just write those things, they’re kind of hashtag-y anyway. So, what I decided was I could do this thing that would kind of help me find things if I put this stuff into my second brain through the tagging but then also hit the highlight of what I was Retweeting.
And so, the one that you said #needmanymanyexperiments, that’s sort of the main point of the Tweet that I was Retweeting. So that’s one thing I did. The amplifying thing, I purposely do that as a way to say, “Hey, here’s something that I think should be seen by the people who follow me because it’s interesting in some way and deserves like a bigger audience.” And a number of people use the amplifying thing and I like that. it doesn’t necessarily mean that, “Oh, I totally agree with it,” or anything like that. I just think it needs to be seen by more people and I usually do that in connection with different voices, diversity, other things that I think need a bigger audience.
So, it’s kind of a long answer, Tom, but that probably doesn’t surprise you. #longanswer.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me and I’m not sure I have any more questions either. I think that what’s interesting is that Twitter’s new sort of attempt to make sure that you read the stuff before you Retweet it doesn’t really apply within third party apps the same way. I’m using Tweetbot on my iPad and I never get asked to “did you read it” or anything like that. I don’t get any of the messages, so I can Retweet something automatically but I get it. I get why you would want to do that, why you would want to have something in there and I think that it’s really just a difference of approach.
When I Retweet something that I think is important that people need to see, instead of a hashtag, I usually put a sentence or two of something that my thinking that goes into what people are saying. It’s really just an approach. It’s a way that people look at it. Some of these hashtags are kind of crazy, Dennis, but hey, it’s —
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, it is an evolving tool, right? Twitter is evolving and so, it is an experiment to say I’m curious if Twitter is using algorithms in different ways. Does the fact that by doing this quote/Retweet with a hashtag, does that kind of get it served out to more people in a better way for people who are doing reverse chronological, then does that kind of give me kind of more, not necessarily views, but it’s possible it gets me out in front of more people that way than not. So, I don’t know how their algorithm is working, so it’s kind of an experiment as well.
But I think hashtags just went and kind of this great kind of ground up open source self-organizing thing and it’s just like another kind of interesting place to experiment and sometimes, the hashtags will catch on in surprising ways like bar apocalypse.
Tom Mighell: Well, part of my objection to hashtags has been that I’ve seen Tweets that have totally abused hashtags where instead of actually putting text into a Tweet, every word or other word is a hashtag where really, it’s unreadable because there are so many hashtags in there, so I’m kind of gone the opposite direction. I’m not a big fan of hashtags lately and so I don’t use it but I am generally interested to determine the outcome of your experiment and maybe we can revisit it in an upcoming episode.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay. Now, it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: My tip is actually a website and I’m going to guess it’s called DALL-E. A while back, we talked about the OpenAI project which was looking at GPT-3 in a way of doing some amazing things around Artificial Intelligence and what they’ve done with OpenAI, what OpenAI now has done is that they’ve trained a network called DALL-E and I guess part of it is DALL-E like the artist but DALL-E also like WALL-E, the robot, to create images from text captions.
So, if you type a description, it automatically creates an image based on the description that you give it and so, you can actually go to the website, we’ll put it in the show notes, you go to the website and you can look at for example it says, “I want to see an illustration of –,” and then you pull down and you can say, “I want a baby chipmunk or a baby fox or a bunny or an eggplant or Pikachu,” and you can select any of those things and it looks like there’s about 15 or 20 different things here. “I want an illustration of a baby panda in a leather jacket igniting a firework,” and you get dozens of images showing that and just say, “You know what? I don’t want him igniting a firework, I want it playing a guitar.” And it immediately changes to a baby panda in a leather jacket playing a guitar.
And it’s really amazing how they’re able to create these things because the bears all look different, the guitars look different, the jackets look different, it’s very interesting to see how the Artificial Intelligence is doing this and also, some of the limitations because it can’t do everything that we expect it to do and so, they kind of point out where it doesn’t work exactly as expected. So, a very interesting new use of AI. It’s called DALL-E.
Dennis Kennedy: That’s cool. I’m thinking about typing in billable hour and seeing what image it comes up with. Mine is a Twitter feed from Simon Kuestenmacher and it’s @simongerman600, all one handle, and what he does is maps, maps, and more maps. And so, all the time, he’s coming up with the coolest maps and posting them on Twitter and you will learn a lot from those maps, you see how people views maps in different ways over the years to show information. I learned about all the different ways you can look at the earth. One of my favorite things that he does are these great maps that show not the standard map of the world that we’re used to, I guess in the US, but maps that sort of use another part of the world as the starting point. So, you get like a completely different view. So, like what if the north pole is at the bottom of the map, that kind of thing. But just tons of great information, super fun. He has a big following and every day, you get some really interesting little map to stretch your mind and your imagination. You can’t beat that these days.
Tom Mighell: And 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 on the Legal Talk Network’s page for the show. 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 along with transcripts.
If you’d like to get in touch with us, remember you can reach out to us on LinkedIn or leave us a voicemail. We’d love to have your questions for our B Segment. That number is 720-441-6820. So until the next podcast, I’m 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. If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcast and we’ll 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.
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