The real world has been a bit too much for Dennis and Tom lately, so tag along as they take a little trip to the metaverse! They discuss what exactly this expansive virtual environment is, possible personal and professional uses, and what the future may hold for this growing technology. And, for all you lawyers out there, they consider how this tech could be applied to the profession.
This time on the “Hot or Not?” segment, the guys air their opinions on the return to in-person conferences.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Posh Virtual Receptionists, Clio, and Colonial Surety Company.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Metavisiting the Metaverse
B Segment: Hot or Not: In-Person Conferences
Shields Up – www.cisa.gov/shields-up
Tom Mighell: Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors. Clio, Colonial Surety Company and Posh Virtual Receptionists.
Intro: Web 2.0. Innovation, trends, collaboration. Software, metadata. 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 308 of the The Kennedy-Mighell Report.
I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tim Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we asked in something that was more timely than we even expected. Are we living in a time of cyberwar? And if so, what do we need to be doing about that? I highly recommend that episode and the practical steps we discussed there to you. In this episode, we decided the real world feels like a bit too much for us and it would be a good time to look at the current state of the Metaverse. 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 talking about the meta space that’s now known as the Metaverse. In our second segment, we’ll take a look at whether in-person conferences are hot again and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots, that Onetip website or observation. You can start to use the second that this podcast is over. But first up, the rise of the Metaverse. Back in August, we did a ‘Hot or Not’ on this. We talked about whether the Metaverse was hot or not and I would argue that since that time, Metaverse is in the news every single week and every — it really seems like over the past few months, every major tech company has made something called the Metaverse. It’s major for the foreseeable future.
Facebook even changed its name to Metta. We’ll talk about that. It’s parents’ company’s name to show how seriously it is taking this thing called the Metaverse. So, we thought we devote an episode to discussing the concept of the Metaverse. What it is, why everybody’s going crazy with it, whether it makes sense for lawyers to either know about it or even start using it. Dennis why the Metaverse? And why do you say it has resurfaced?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I sort of think that – and I’m being partly serious here that the real world is just kind of too hard to deal with and that it’s nice to see if there could be like, some alternative universes did might be a little easier for us to live in. And that sort of goes back to the to the original – or I guess the origin of the Metaverse with Neal Stephenson, and his book, Snow Crash, which was the idea that the, the world turned into this really dystopian place and the people went into this online world, where they kind of lived most of their life and escaped from the real world.
And Tom, I realized that book, which I read was – is about 30 years old now and I was looking at the plot summary on Wikipedia and to think I remembered from what was like this total focus on delivering pizzas on time, in addition to like these online worlds and stuff like that. But it is a concept that goes back a long way and I don’t know, there’s probably better ways to define it than that, but it does go back to that original work by Neal Stephenson.
Tom Mighell: Well, and we’ll talk about because I, although I love Neil Stephenson. I never read that book, but my first introduction, well, not first, but one of my main joys of the Metaverse is another book, that’s more recent than that. We’ll talk about that in just a little bit as when we talk about our individual experiences with the Metaverse. So, but let’s take a step back and let’s define it. There’s two definitions that I want to use. One is the simple definition. So, as I discussed and as we’ll talk about later Facebook had decided to essentially rebrand itself, whether it’s having its own public relations issues or not. And as the reason, whatever they chose, they decided to make their parent company named ‘Meta’. And they’ve decided to give a definition to the Metaverse.
And their definition is, “The Metaverse, is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.”. That seems very simplistic to me. And it seems also designed to promote what they are probably going to be debuting what they’re using and it does fit. We’ll talk a little bit about our own experience in a Facebook or Meta-related Metaverse in just a minute.
I actually like the definition for Matthew Ball and I think I mentioned it during our Hot or Not segment back in August of 2021, but I’ll bring it up again because I think that it’s more complete, “The Metaverse is an expansive network of persistent real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that.” –and here’s the important part, “support continuity of identity, objects, history, payments, and entitlements, and can be experienced synchronously by an effectively unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence.”.
So, I think that this definition takes into account everything that Meta said, it’s a series of virtual spaces that you can create and explore with other people, but it’s designed to be continuity of a number of different things that exist in the real world. It is designed to extend your identity from The real world into this virtual world. Objects that you have theoretically can be, used, traded sold, whatever; the same way in the virtual world that you may do that in the real world. Maybe just a different way.
Payments. We are going to talk about cryptocurrency and things like that. It’s payments that were designed for virtual worlds. That’s kind of how I view the Metaverse, is that it is not just a place to escape, but it is a place to extend yourself and to be able to have a full rounded experience, not just a place where we can go to play games or talk to each other or have some fun social –attend a concert in virtual time.
Dennis Kennedy: So, there’s two notions, I think and I think that Balls’ definitions is really important in a number of senses, but the two things I think of with Metaverse are basically VR goggles as your interface. So, and that’s gives you access to these 3D worlds and there is what I would call a Metaverse operating system or OS where you say there are some things that are going to happen and you have the continuity or persistence. So, your identity, the history of what you’ve done, that you can come back to where you were. That you can do payments. That you can you can you can own things. You can trade things. All those things can happen. And I think those are the keys to it, and why it is – you can sort of see it as this parallel world where there’s a lot of similarities.
But if you don’t have – obviously, you don’t have the goggles, you don’t have the same experience and if you don’t have that consistent operating system, especially with the history of what you’ve done, it’s just a pale imitation of what a Metaverse would be. So, I think there’s a richness to the 3D world that we’re probably just on the verge of. And I think that my experience to this point, I would say we’re in very early stages of that.
Tom Mighell: Well, let’s step back a second from that. Because I agree that the headset, that the – for example, the Oculus Quest 2 which we both have, very important critical tool to experiencing the Metaverse. But that doesn’t necessarily have always been the case. I mean, my first experiences, my personal history of the Metaverse really takes into account two different things. One was Second Life and Second Life has been around for, I don’t know, 20 years and it’s still around, it still exists. And it was something that was very 2D. It was something that you can go to today and be in a virtual world on your computer and you can walk around with your avatar and interact with people and do things.
There was a – I think a second, there may still be a Second Life Bar Association out there somewhere. The real difference from the headset is the ‘immersiveness’. Once you put that headset on, you are in a different world. You can turn 360 degrees and be in a completely different place, which brings in my other personal history of the Metaverse. The book that really influenced me a lot, that I really enjoyed was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which takes place almost entirely in the Metaverse. It again, the similarity between that and Neal Stephenson’s book is they both sort of take place in dystopian worlds, where people escaped to this virtual world to have some resemblance of normalcy.
But I mean, they have, they’ve got it down to a science where they wear suits that approximate physical sensation. So, people can touch you in the Metaverse and you’ll actually feel it using the suit that you’re wearing. So, it’s very advanced and I totally recommend that book to everyone. There’s a new one called Ready Player Two.
Not quite so sure I recommend that, but that – and frankly, the movie. Not bad. It was a good, fun movie to watch, but that’s my history. But I think that that shows that the way to experience the Metaverse, if you’re going to, you really need to invest in a set of VR goggles. We happen to recommend the Quest 2. They happen to be the most widely available. They tend to be the best. But there are others HTC makes the Vive, or the Vive. I can’t remember how you pronounce it. But that’s out there as well. There are other options and other companies making them. But the Quest 2 usually is what I see is on the top of most recommended list.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I would say –when, because sometimes people point to Second Life or other things like that. I would say, at this point, the technology has reached this point – this is point right now, where you’re expecting a fairly real-life experience. And like you said immersion that think that I love time, as you know, that this VR travel things. So, the other day, I was watching elephants in Africa and they were just across the river from me. And so, if you go to a VR space, that feels clunky and feels sort of that it’s animated and not as real. I don’t think that’s as good as an experience in that sort of 2D thing. I don’t think that would grab us in the same way.
It’s almost like, how young people don’t like – I don’t even understand black and white movies, a lot of times. So, I think there’s – that’s an interesting piece of how the technology has changed expectations on what we see. So, that – I think this really rich immersive experience is key to it and the history like Second Life and some of the other things are interesting and I think there’s learnings from it clearly. But I don’t – I think we’re about to step into a completely different era of the Metaverse.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think there’s two things that have changed about virtual worlds since Second Life came into being, which is graphics technology and internet connectivity. I mean, they’re both about, I would say 100x better than they were back then. I Just remember how clunky it was to walk around in Second Life, where it feels so natural wearing a pair of VR goggles, but I think that’s – I think, the technology itself has been a huge difference as to why it seems to be better and this is now a better time for things to start taking off. Maybe we want to talk, Dennis, about kind of our own experience in the Metaverse? We did a time, we spent some time together in the Metaverse. Do you want to start off talking about it?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So, we decided that in preparation for this podcast, we would actually have a meeting in a Metaverse workspace. And so, we both downloaded an app called Horizon Workrooms, which is part of the Facebook family and we were able to meet together in it’s essentially a conference room that we could kind of configure any way we want. We had avatars so we could see each other and we had a whiteboard, we could write on and we could look around, we could change the art in the room. We could do all this stuff and it was, it was fun, it was easy to use. There was like a little bit of spatial audio that was kind of cool. There was a presentation room and it worked pretty well.
I would say that when I was at MasterCard, we were using like this super high-end Cisco presence. I think it’s cool was called Presence for videoconferencing, I would say that my experience with that was better than this – the VR Workroom just for working with someone because there was an oddness to it. If you laugh, like your mouth made funny, funny motions, and I’ll let Tom. I’ll let you explain about how you just saw the top half of each other and the whiteboard was a little bit tricky to work with, but it was it was cool. I don’t know how often I would use it for a business meeting the way that it is, but I guess I could see the potential of it. Let’s put it that way. And so, it kind of gives you an idea of what somebody might use it for and then if you combine it with the other VR experiences that you might do in games or travel experiences or videos or whatever. That will give you an idea of where Metaverse could go.
So, I don’t have time. Maybe you want to talk about your experience in the Workroom, which I think was similar to mine. But I’m sure you have some nuances.
Tom Mighell: It was, I mean, I think it was fun. It was pretty easy to use. Once we were able to get in, you’re able to download it. I created the account. So, all I had to do was invite Dennis and Dennis was able to log in. You can – like you said, choose a meeting configuration. You can choose a number of different conference tables. It can have it in presentation format. You can choose either a sleek office or a modern office or a cabin, at least from this version. There’s a whiteboard there, that I think the whiteboard is cool in concept, but I would say it’s only really okay in execution.
We were trying to write and it felt like I was a child trying to write. My handwriting looked like children’s writing on there because it just didn’t – you wrote with your controller, your virtual reality controller. And there is a way to write on the whiteboard that we weren’t quite able to make work. So, you can you can actually make your desk the whiteboard and sit and write on the surface of your desk. And so, we were able to do that. That was okay. It was fun. What I really liked about it from a work perspective is you can connect your desktop to the virtual world and you can bring that into the world with you so you can show a presentation. I brought up a presentation on the screen, so Dennis and I could watch it. So you can show that you could probably bring up other documents. You can share really anything from your computer.
So, for me, it’s really no different from having a Zoom or a Teams meeting in terms of sharing your screen and showing information. The main difference there is that that document doesn’t take up the whole part of your screen. It’s really, it’s like you’re in a room looking at the screen and seeing things. So, that was nice, but I would say, ultimately, is this really better than Zoom meeting or a Teams meeting? I think, perhaps, because we’re also tired of being on camera all the time, interacting with an avatar as maybe a happy medium, like Dennis said.
When I sat down next to Dennis, I quickly realized that the only thing that was visible for both of us was the top half of our body. There’s no bottom half, so that was a little odd. It’s a little odd to watch Dennis laughs, and it just looks like he’s talking. So, that looked really strange. I think that the customization is not quite there because I didn’t look like how I think I look. I don’t think Dennis looked like how he typically looks. It wasn’t terrible, but it really – and it felt like two strangers being in a room together.
I think we all see approximations of each other in that virtual world and we are saved the exhaustion of being on screen, but I don’t know. I’m not totally sold on, why would we want to have this in a virtual world versus seeing each other in a real telepresence like you described? I’m just not convinced that that’s the place where we all want to be having meetings right now.
Dennis Kennedy: Well. And, to be fair, the business meeting, is that really – if we talk to Facebook or anybody else putting together —
Tom Mighell: Correct.
Dennis Kennedy: — or a Metaverse, like, the business meeting is not the killer app.
Tom Mighell: That not we’re there. That’s just with them. That’s just a side note, right?
Dennis Kennedy: It stretched the imagination.
Tom Mighell: Yup.
Dennis Kennedy: And there’s also like a couple of different VR issues that come up. So, this time and I will both tell you that using the goggles and wearing glasses is difficult.
Tom Mighell: It’s terrible. It’s Terrible. If you have glasses, it’s just so hard to wear the goggles.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’ve done some research and I’m thinking about just getting a pair of glasses that are just for the goggles. That are sort of smaller and give me a little bit more space in there. And then also, that – there’s probably a limit that time and I didn’t run into. I think it we were on for about an hour of where sometimes the guy goes do kind of get heavy on your head or you get sweaty.
Dennis Kennedy: Oh, I got there already. I mean, it’s – with the glasses on there, it can be painful after a while. It’s true.
Dennis Kennedy: And then also, you get – once you’re in these rooms, it’s kind of cool because you can kind of spin around your chair and look at the door behind you or look out the window or see the art on the wall, but it’s like all VR. If you kind of look around real fast or – that you can get a little nauseous or feel like a little vertigo. But, those are all things that you’ll get used to. I actually think –the two things I found weird was like, you can move your seat around like without sort of warning the other person. So, you can be sitting across the table and boom! You’re sitting right beside them and the sound. It is a little spatial where all of a sudden —
Tom Mighell: Sounded a lot closer.
Dennis Kennedy: Like on the other side of the table and then it sounds like they’re right on top of you and they’re right beside you and you turn to look at them and it really is like the top half their body is floating over the chair.
Tom Mighell: But they’re right in your face at that point?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah and it’s just – So, it is weird. I just realized that it’s just going to be like a whole new set of etiquette that comes along there. And so it’s interesting, just to try because I think even at a relatively early stage, you can kind of see some of the potential. And this is like a nice application for that like I said, but it’s totally not the killer app and it’s not what people are interested in. Why people are putting all kinds of money into that, which is going to go in different ways. And so, I guess, Tom, we’re seeing a little bit lawyers, moving, looking at the Metaverse space.
And sort of Internet pioneering law firm ArentFox bought some real estate, some prime real estate in the Metaverse which is sort of was big news in the last few weeks. So, I guess, Tom, you want to kind of take us down the road on maybe where the Metaverse is going. And then we can kind of ease into what maybe the legal aspects that it will turn out to be?
Tom Mighell: Well, so I think that, for as far as ArentFox buying real estate. I mean, this is kind of along the same lines of NFTs, which I think we’re going to try to talk about in an upcoming episode. But all of this virtual property, I still struggle with the value of that. But it is very similar to a gold rush. If you’re not buying your own property in the virtual world, someone else is going to buy it for you and it won’t be there. Now, what does that practically mean? I’m not quite sure what the answer to that is. But – can you afford to be behind the curve? There are those who would say that you should not be behind the curve.
Here’s kind of what I think. I think that there are a lot of different entrance ramps to choose from as far as what the Metaverse looks like. Now, this, working together in this conference room, I think you’re right. This is not the killer app for the Metaverse right now. I think that Meta with their Oculus and their Horizon apps. They have a new app that I think about – it is not a lot of people, but 300,000 is not a small number. It’s not a huge number. Three hundred thousand people are now using another Horizon app from Meta where you can go in and you can be in a karaoke bar and you can – your friends is going to be there and you can sing to each other or you can go and DJ something and there are a lot more interactive fun closer to the hitting your target point of the Metaverse, than sitting in a conference room and looking at a PowerPoint presentation on a virtual screen.
So. lots of games opportunities. I will say the dizziness is real. There’s an app that I downloaded at the beginning because I really wanted to understand what that meant. And I downloaded, there are apps for rollercoasters and you can take a ride on virtual rollercoasters all around the world and I hate rollercoasters to begin with. And this only reinforced my hatred because I was dizzy within 30 seconds of being on the rollercoaster. It was so realistic. I nearly fell over because I was standing up trying to be on a rollercoaster.
But gaming is one way. I mean, there’s lots of games that you can play with by yourself or with other people. We are already seeing concerts in the Metaverse. If you’re familiar with the game, Fortnight, they’ve hosted lots of live concerts where an avatar of a well-known singer shows up and does a concert for everybody else who also shows up in their Avatar. I think virtual workplaces are going to be a thing, whether they’re going to be popular or not. But I think that the challenge here is going to be how to connect everything – all of these worlds together.
Because I think that – to me, the thing that’s intriguing about the Metaverse is that you have the same identity across all of them, so that you can say, “I go to this Metaverse to attend a concert. And I go to this one for my work.”. And your identity can be similar to your work identity, which are your real-life identity. Which is I want to try to maintain who I am across all these different platforms. I don’t know if that’s really what they mean by this continuity, but I’m intrigued by it and I’m interested to see where it goes.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think this is one of those things where it will initially feel like a nice to have and maybe it’s for other people, but you’re going to see some things where it will just click for you. And so, one of the things I saw somebody say was, once you have the Metaverse, do gambling casinos make sense at all anymore? And especially for people who play the machines, right? And then you’re like, “Oh wait, I totally get that.”.
I can really understand that as a VR type of experience and other people go like, “Dennis, I don’t even know what you’re talking about like why that would make sense.”. But I think you’re going to see some things like that. And then I see lawyers are getting kind of dribble in there. And so, like the Arendt Fox thing. I think it’s a great branding thing, but I went on into the Metaverse site where they bought the property, I couldn’t find it. And I would say that part of the reason is the search tools and other things that are just terrible in that universe. But they’re going to get better. And the technology will kind of keep improving.
And I think, Tom, with the Metaverse were kind of like where we are at a number of places where it’s the technology competence rule. It’s that there are going to be lawyers for whom this is really important, there are going to be some who’s going to create amazing micro niche practices. There are other people were going to find the need to represent people. We are going to look at different things. There’s some areas that jump out good. There’s already concerned about sexual harassment in the Metaverse, intellectual property, other things.
So, I think that it’s good to be aware. The entry point is pretty cheap with Oculus goggles, and there’s going to be a lot of things to sort out. And like you said, I mean this whole continuity thing and we look at block chain, tokenization, all those sorts of things to say like, “how do I do these identities? And how do I move them across from one of Metaverse to another?”. Because it’s pretty clear, there’s not going to be one Metaverse. There’s going to be many of them, and that’s going to be a problem as we access this.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think in your questions for our – in our preparation for this, you say, is it too early for the for the Metaverse and my answer to that is no. It’s not for two reasons. One, it’s fun to use. So, I think whether it’s going to be useful or not, it’s still fun and I still recommend that people take advantage of it because I think it’s just a joy to be in a totally different world. I mean, during the Olympics, I put on them, the app for the for the NBC Olympics and it was like I was standing in the stands watching it. Because I had access to all the different cameras and it was very cool experience. So it’s fun.
And then and then as Dennis says, that rule of tech and that lawyer competence. It’s good to be aware and to have tried out things that your clients might be trying out as well. Whether you become an expert in the Metaverse, like they’re going to be some lawyers who decide that’s their niche and they’re going to do it. There’s already lawyers deciding, it’s their niche. As Dennis mentioned, sexual harassment is going to be an issue. There is already a claim of rape in the Metaverse, which is just sort of amazing to me that we’re already seeing legal implications from that, but it’s headed that way. So, it makes sense for you to pay attention to it. So, Dennis, what do you recommend to some of the best ways to get started for people?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I mean the entry point with the Oculus VR is actually very reasonable, like $299, $399 all in and so, that’s the way to try it. There’s a number of free apps that you can use. So, I think the entry point is a good pick, some people who follow, who are covering that area. There’s a number of things have been written, some really excellent stuff. You want to understand the interplay of Web3, NFTs and the Metaverse. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to read a little bit of science fiction to get a sense for where you’re headed there.
And then just sort of decide, determine whether it’s a place that interests you and the timeline that you think you need to pay attention to it. So I’m enthusiastic, Tom, about the Metaverse. But I still think we’re a ways’ away. Like compared to augmented reality, which I am super enthusiastic about, I would say the Metaverse, I’m like, moderately enthusiastic about and I would likely just put more of my attention into augmented reality. But, other people may do the same thing and I don’t know. I know the time you usually have like a list of starter places for people. So, I’ll flip it over to you for that.
Tom Mighell: Well, not surprisingly, I do. So, I think that in addition to what Dennis says, I think get a get a headset, invest in it. It is a low barrier. It’s not terribly expensive. I think it’s a useful thing to do. But –and explore the App Store that they have there because that’s really how you’ll find things that will interest you. But, if you’re interested in more of the serious side, then we’ll put some links in the show notes to a couple of virtual worlds that are designed for workplace or other formal types of events things like that. Sites like Spatial or Engage VR. I’m going to include a link to Horizon Workrooms. They are very varying degrees of pricing. I would start out with Workrooms. It’s totally free to use. So there’s again, no – low barrier to entry. So, try out the free ones and then decide if it makes sense to, to move on from there.
I am bullish on the concept of the Metaverse. I think it’s new technology. It’s interesting. It’s fun. It promises new innovations. But for lawyers, I think it’s just like any other new technology. Some are going to be on the bleeding edge. Most will come dragging along five to 10 years from now as it increases in popularity. But we think like we always think here, try it out, be able to say you’ve tried it out. Know what your clients are talking about. If they’re talking about it and we think you’ll be ahead of the game.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I was going to say that the areas in law that interest me with the Metaverse are the applicability and the overlap of the existing laws to this new space, whether there is going to be a one-to-one match and whether sort of like the existing way law is written, whether it’s even going to cover some of the things that come up in the meta verse and that will be a challenge. But I think the opportunity is that by trying these different Metaverses and maybe and using some of them as experimental spaces, we may be able to, to do some simulation and look at different ways to apply law, to apply regulations and see how they work in a quasi-real world. And that actually is pretty exciting.
Tom Mighell: All right. Well, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now, let’s get back to the The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy. It’s time for another segment of Hot or Not. We pick a tech topic in the news and decide whether it is hot or not. We’ll probably not agree in our assessments, but it’s a fun way to hear our perspectives on a variety of tech topics. So, ABA Tech Show and Legal Week will be in person, or as we’re recording or sort of actually have been and are in-person and some people seem almost giddy about that. Will Zoom webinar soon be a thing of the past? Tom, how hot are in-person tech events?
Tom Mighell: Well, so, let’s be fair. I don’t think that people are being giddy about the conference’s being in-person. I think they are being giddy that for the first time in two years, they’re getting to see each other in person without being on a Zoom or a Team screen. And for a lot of people who like to have in-person face-to-face interaction, that’s exciting.
So, I think you’re Hot or Not question really to me is two questions. That first question: are in-person tech events hot right now? And I think the answer is they’re heating up to a nice toasty level because precisely, because people are getting to see each other and it’s not just conferences, it’s music concerts, it’s Broadway shows, its family celebrations during the holidays. It’s any place that we used to have human interaction and we’re finally able to have it again.
So, I think in that respect, I would say, Hot Hot Hot, they are Hot right now. And I think that because face-to-face interactions are in general, more meaningful than virtual interactions, in-person conferences are always going to have the heat advantage. But I think that, Dennis, you have a – there’s a second question there which is: Now that we have gone through two years of online conferences and webinars, is the in-person conference still hot as the primary way for people to attend a conference? And you know, I think the past two years have proven that online conferences can be done except for the vendor experience, which is terrible. I think from a learning and even a networking standpoint virtual conferences, more than held their own.
I think about and I was part of a number of great conferences for the past two years. The technology has improved considerably, before the pandemic, I would say that the conference technology was terrible and people responded. And it really just improved tremendously. And if I’m just interested in the content, why do I want to pack up and head across the country for a couple of days when I can easily access it from the comfort of my home? So, I think that in-person conferences are going to have to share at least a little bit of their heat with online conferences moving forward because that virtual world has proven itself capable of providing an alternative. I like the idea of in-person conferences because I like to see my friends. I like to talk to people. I like to have that interaction. But I don’t think that that means that after we’re having these conferences in person, that online is going away. Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: So, I think it’s – there is like a little small flare here of where things are heating up. And then, I think once people kind of step back and compare the experiences, I think that the input of the face-to-face in person solely complete – it’s solely in person, is going to cool off even more than it has of for the first two years of the pandemic. I think there’s a lot to be said for the hybrid events in some case, but definitely online things. I’m – there’s so many things I can go to now because they’re online. And there is this notion of inclusiveness. I really feel in the virtual world that I don’t get the sense of in-person, right?
So, if I can afford it, I can’t go. If I can’t travel there, I can’t go. There’s there’s all sorts of different things that will make me feel like I’m not included and in a good virtual conference, it just provides me with so much access to speakers. I can ask questions and I don’t have to fiddle with parking, travel all of these other things. And I don’t have to worry that we’re in for like another upward surge of COVID. So, I think that there’s going to be this flare up now. But I think that people are going to struggle with this notion of inclusivity and they’re going back to in-person only makes conferences feel very exclusive and I think that we will struggle with that. And so, I think that you’re going to see a lot of conferences or most conferences are going to have that online component and it’s going to get better and better. Now, it’s time for our parting shots, that Onetip website or observation. You can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So, for those of you using Microsoft 365, they have updated their main entry portal to your Microsoft 365 account. And you can access it by just going to portal.office.com. And when you get there, you’ll notice that on the left, you’ve got a little bit of a different navigation, but the part that to me is really interesting and that I’ve started to use regularly now is there’s a button on there called ‘My Content’. And when you click on the My Content button, you have – all of the information that you have in a bunch of different views, to make it easier for you to get to the documents that you need. So, I have documents that I work on with Dennis for the podcast, for our book, for things like that. I have for work. I have documents in lots of different places in Teams for my different clients, and with my consultants in different places.
So, they’re in different websites or indifferent SharePoint sites or Team sites or on my own computer somewhere. But here, it’s all together in one place. So, I can see the entire list based on when I edited it. I can look at what I can filter by when I recently opened it with who shared it with me. If I’m working on a couple of documents that I don’t want to have to keep going back to an open, I can name them as Favorites and just go to My Favorites list and open them up instantly. I can browse by the people that I shared the documents with or worked on them with. I can look by meeting and see if there were meetings that included documents.
It is a truly useful way to get to the documents that I need on a regular basis rather than have to open up folders, navigate to that SharePoint side, open up that Team. All the documents that I need are in one place. It’s become my go-to for accessing documents during the day and all you have to do if you’ve got Microsoft 365 is just type in portal.office.com and you’re there.
Dennis Kennedy: And that’s one of the benefits is people underestimating the cloud is that how companies take the feedback they get and they make improvements and the service you start out with becomes better and better over time in most cases. So, I have two quick things. So, I’ve been working on my reference notebook project in my Second Brain project and I’ve been using an app, a browser app or I guess more of like an extension for Notion that is a web clipper. And so, if I find a page, website, video; something I want, I just click on this icon in my browser and it saves that page to my Notion reference notebook automatically for me and it’s just super easy and I can use it and then I have everything in that notebook and then I can go add tags. I can do other things that I want in the in that reference notebook database later.
So, that’s the main one I have. The other one is that we are people – don’t do like the alert colors for – we have to be in the reddest possible red alert level on cybersecurity and probably never had higher odds of being affected by cyber warfare. So, I just recommend the Cisa, did I say that right Tom, Cisa?
Tom Mighell: You said it right. Yes, Cisa.
Dennis Kennedy: So the – which is www.cisa.gov and there’s Shields-up site, so that’s /shields-up. And that’s going to give you a lot of material, alerts, warnings, suggestions, recommendations and that is probably going to be the most current stuff that you can get, that’s official on cybersecurity. So, bookmark that one.
Tom Mighell: And so, that wraps it up for this edition of the 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 episodes along with transcripts. If you would like to get in touch with us, remember, you can reach out to us on Twitter, on LinkedIn. We’d love to get voicemails, so we can feature your questions or comments 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 with 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.