@BAILII, the More-Than-Micro-Blog?
The @BAILII Twitter account went live on 31 May 2012. It’s doing reasonably well and is now up to 879 followers, which I don’t think is too bad for its first 52 days
Last week I had a long conversation with Joe Ury, Executive Director at BAILII about it. Both he and the BAILII Trustees have been watching @BAILII with interest since I first wrote to them. Our conversation was both positive and productive (and pretty fascinating)
It’s fair to say that BAILII has/had some concerns about what I’m trying to do, along with any and all other efforts to lever its content. The content debate itself has been going on for quite some time and tends to settle on the legal implications in both reproducing BAILII content, and also allowing content to be indexed by Internet search engines such as Google. However, @BAILII isn’t reproducing actual content, only utilising RSS feeds provided by BAILII and bringing traffic back to the original source so I believe we’re OK on that one at least
Joe explained that BAILII can’t run a Twitter account itself – it hasn’t got the resources to do so, however much of a good idea it thinks it is (which I think it does). Well, that’s where I come in. I did my best to reassure Joe that even though the account isn’t an official project of BAILII, it would be run with the same integrity that one would expect if BAILII were running it in-house itself: none of my own personal opinions, no endorsements etc; just a timeline of “raw law” direct from BAILII and the occasional necessary response to followers, like this one:
I get this enquiry fairly regularly.
I’ve also offered to go and speak to the Trustees, which I’m hopeful they’ll take advantage of at some point. As I said in my original post, I do believe @BAILII presents significant opportunity to BAILII if it were utilised properly, especially in terms of awareness-raising, legal education and fund-raising
For the time being then, I’m happy to say that @BAILII is alive and well. Joe says he will begin providing me with bits and pieces for circulation eg info on site issues and perhaps insights into BAILII that you would most likely be interested in. I said I was sure people would appreciate this, especially as these days we all like our information served up in our timeline without us having to go look for it!
The other final thing to mention is that I intend turning @BAILII into a self-contained “More-Than-Micro-Blog”. What I mean by this is that all information on how the account works, information that would help followers and so on will be gradually incorporated within the Twitter account itself using the pictures/favourites facility (and possibly TwitDoc), such as here and here. So, there will be no need to go to other blogs (even mine) to find out more about the account, how it works and how to get the most out of it. I don’t know of anyone else who has done this so this may be another first for @BAILII: the first ever dedicated More-Than-Micro-Blog?
In the next update I’ll explain some of the more tech type (read “boring”) things going on behind @BAILII, such as staggered RSS capture/feed balancing in order to manage tweet frequency (and not irritate the hell out of everyone) and other tips some of you may find useful/interesting
Thank you all for your continued support, it’s very much appreciated. Please support @BAILII by following on Twitter and spreading the word as much as you can
22 July 2012