Network-Lawyers aka netLs • weblog • email discussion • wiki web
This weblog runs in tandem with an email-based seminar and discussion list and a wiki web collaboration platform which is the best place to start

  Blawgistan News

The Blawgistan News is a sort of meta-blawg that contains links to key legal blogs, with the titles of recent postings. It's a real timesaver--a great idea, well executed.

Jerry Lawson
netLed | 1/29/2003 11:14:00 AM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Legally Inclined Blogs in a Web Ring

netLs is now listed in Web Ring for Legally Inclined Blogs which is hosted at:
netLed | 1/27/2003 04:03:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Collaboration -- co-blogers and dialog with readers

. . . . . an excellently worked example of collaborative blogging (outside of the legal arena) is Cory Doctorow's (Cory is a close friend, but I wouldn't mention his or any other blog unless it deserved mention on the merits.) There's no way he can keep up with all there is to keep up with, so he uses many co-bloggers, and, IMO, that adds to the blog, not subtracts. Each co-blogger has his/her own particular interests (consistent with the blog's overall theme), reading many voices, points of view is a plus to me. (Inside the legal arena, an example of collaborative blogging is UCLA Law Prof's "The Volokh Conspiracy" at

BTW, note how, for every blog entry in Cory's, there's a "discuss" link to (fka If you don't want or can't handle the bandwidth of reader comments within your own blogosphere, it's a great way to give readers feedback/comment opportunity, on quicktopic's bandwidth dime. That isn't unethical, btw, that's why quicktopic exists. James S. Tyre

A BONL--Best Of Network-Lawyers discussion--item forwarded by John DeBruyn
netLed | 1/26/2003 09:34:00 AM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  B O N L . . . . Best Of Network-Lawyers discussion

BONL translates to Best Of Network-Lawyers ... a new feature here at netLs the Network Lawyer's collaborative weblog. Members of the Network-Lawyers discussion are encouraged to copy messages from the discussion that exemplify the value of the Network-Lawyers discussion and past them into this space, the netLs weblog. Edit this page by adding a weblog item

Members of the Network-Lawyers discussion are invited to go behind the sceens here at netLs to see how this weblog works and, if you would like to help, to join the editorial team. Last I looked: Stuart, Jerry and Bob have joined netLs weblog to boost our collaboration here. (this item added by John DeBruyn)
netLed | 1/25/2003 01:20:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Spamnet makes my life better by Jerry Lawson

When I get time I want to write an article called "Why I Love Spamnet." It has improved my quality of life. In the mean time here is what Jerry has to say from a recent Network-Lawyers discussion:

As far as I can see, Cloudmark's signature product, Spamnet, uses by far the most promising approach: collaborative filtering. Instead of deleting messages that escape its initial screening, you select the remaining spam and "block" them. This sends a message back to Spamnet's database. The central database uses the information to refine the filter even further. In other words, you are not wasting your time by developing your own set of filters. It gives you the option of checking the messages it has flagged as spam before you delete them, but I have to admit that after going for weeks without every having seen it misflag a message I wanted to keep, more and more often I just delete the trash without looking at it first.

Searching the Internet used to be a challenging task, but Google's sophisticated use of a form of massive collaborative filtering (through weighted links from web masters) made it a lot easier. Spamnet will not make the spam problem disappear, but I think it can make a major dent in it, the same way Google made it much easier to find relevant material on the Internet.

I get a lot of spam because my e-mail address is given as the contact at several web sites, and I post to a lot of e-mail discussion groups. Some people advocate systems whereby senders not on a "white list" have to confirm that they are not spammers, etc. These won't work for me, because I get a lot of requests to speak or write articles by e-mail. A certain percentage of senders would simply not follow through, and I would not have a chance to consider the invitations.

When I get time I want to write an article called "Why I Love Spamnet." It has improved my quality of life.

Jerry Lawson
netLed | 1/25/2003 09:19:00 AM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Network webring

The webring is an tool for sharing links to member weblogs, web sites and other web resources. The WebRing Hub is where is where all of the sites are listed. Anyone may suggest a weblog, website or other resource to be added to the webring.

The WebRing Hub is also the control tower where the web ring masters (your are invited) control all aspects of the WebRing including the contents of the box with the webring links that are relayed to the participating web pages via java script. The relatively short java script that is inserted on a web page to call the contents of the rectangular box shown above and its contents above looks like this:

<script language=javascript src=";y=netled;u=10081101">

You may go behind the sceens at WebRing to look over the set up for the maintainance of the Network-Lawyers-Network web ring. To assume the role of webring master, you should use the same User ID and password as you would use for access here. That User ID is Netled. If you need the password that works here and at the Network-Lawyers-Network webring use the form at email the password to me.
netLed | 1/18/2003 03:39:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Blogs recommended by members

Members of the Network-Lawyers discussion group are invited to add weblogs to a listing of Blogs hosted at the Blogs Directory of the Network-Lawyers links area.

We will be setting up the link just below the links to members' weblogs over on the left. (this item added by John DeBruyn)
netLed | 1/16/2003 08:39:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Bravenet hit counter

Stuart also put me on to Bravenet which hosts many tools for webmaster and weblog proprietors. The tool that Stuart recomended was their hit counter/statistics collector which is installed here at netLs weblog. It is over on the right below the links and the subscription box. Click on the icon for access to the page at Bravenet where the statistics for this page are collected. (this item added by John DeBruyn)
netLed | 1/14/2003 09:36:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Bloglet email subscriptions to weblogs

Stuart Levine added email subscriptions to his weblog Tax and Business Law Commentary using the Bloglet subscription interface and tools that are available from Bloglet for free (donations accepted :). This is a snap to do, I just did it here for our netLs weblog. Look over in the right hand column just under the listing of members' weblogs where you will see the nifty subscription form that Bloglet supplies.

Bloglet supports Blogger, which is the flavor of this weblog, Stuart's T&B Law Commentaryand Bob Ambrogi's Lawsites and also Radio (the type of blog selected by Jerry Lawson for his Netlawtools plus four or five other blog flavors (all listed on the Bloglet site. (this item added and revised by John DeBruyn)
netLed | 1/13/2003 08:41:00 AM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Links in the side bar and blogging on

I have set up the links sidebar. A few comments:

First, what I know about HTML can be put into a very small thimble. Consequently, the way I set up the sidebar was by "reverse engineering" what was already in the frame.

Second, I discovered that Jerry's posting of Bob's link had an error in it. Specifically, at the end of the link there was a superfluous "." (The superfluous character was a period, not the quotation marks.) Since I had copied the link into the link section via copy and paste (see above comment), the mistake repeated itself. I have now corrected both the link in the link section and in Jerry's original posting.

I point this out not to earn brownie points, but to make a point. I find the blog process to be somewhat exhilarating since it involves a sort of detective work. However, I am mindful that the process only has value if the blog imparts value. By this I mean that my site must be valuable to readers because it imparts matters of substance concerning tax and business law. In this sense, knowledge of a little HTML is necessary, but the real value of offerings such as Blogger, etc. is that they allow individuals with little knowledge of the underlying superstructure to make substantive postings in areas that they presumably know something about.

The reason that we are able to use computers in our daily work is that a lot of programmers managed to create programs (Windows, WP, e-mail, etc.) that allow us to do our work virtually unmindful of the superstructure that they work on. (Think of it this way: How many authors or newspaper reporters ever really understood the process of making a printed page. Perhaps newspaper reporters did, to some extent, at least in the old days because they worked in the same building that the printers who put the paper together worked in. My understanding that this is no longer the case. Yet another example of the isolation of various classes of workers.)

My hope is that the blogger phenomenom will, in essence, extend this capability to a wider group of contributors who don't know and either don't want to know or don't have the time to learn a good deal about the underlying process that allows them to disseminate their knowledge and comments.
Stuart Levine | 1/05/2003 12:14:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Network-Lawyers members' weblogs

For those not familiar with it, Network-Lawyers, the online discussion group sponsoring this this blog, is devoted to practical discussions of lawyer use of the Internet. Hosted by Yahoo Groups, it is the successor to the mailing list previously moderated by Lew Rose on the same topic. This blog was set up to let members of the group familiarize themselves with this exciting new technology.

Several members of the Network-Lawyers groups operate their own blogs already, including:

Lawsites, by Robert Ambrogi
Tax and Business Law Commentary, by Stuart Levine
Netlawtools, by yours truly

If you have a blog and I have missed you, let me know, or better yet, log in here yourself and let us know.

Jerry Lawson
Netlawtools: Internet Tools for Lawyers
WWW | Blog | Book
netLed | 1/05/2003 05:25:00 AM   >> Post a comment >>   |

  Jerry, Bob and Stuart sign in

And another belated user logs in ...

I tried to set up another blog here yesterday as, but it wouldn't upload for some reason. The help file (dated October) said only that they were aware of the problem, and were working on it.

Fortunately, I had no trouble logging into this one. This service appears to have a lot of potential.

Jerry Lawson, Burke, Virgina
netLed | 1/02/2003 05:39:00 PM   >> Post a comment >>   |

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