A guest post from Ann Priestley, consultant for UKCLE, and general technical-whizz!
UKCLE has just launched LILACnet (http://lilac10.wetpaint.com/), a combined wiki and social network for LILAC10 (http://www.ukcle.ac.uk/newsevents/lilac/index.html), the forthcoming UKCLE conference at the end of January. We have added the 40 plus abstracts for the papers which will be presented at the conference and invited presenters to add their papers or any other materials as they wish. All the slides from the conference will be added to UKCLE's slidespace (http://www.slideshare.net/ukcleslidespace).
So far, much the same as for LILAC 2009. What is different this time is that LILACnet is geared towards comment and discussion. LILACnet members can create a profile page and communicate with other members, either one to one or by contributing to a discussion. They can look for members who perform the same role as themselves, who are involved in similar projects or who simply have common interests. Networking is frequently highlighted in feedback as one of the conference highlights, and we hope that law teachers will take to an online network with as much enthusiasm as they do to F2F networking at the
conference every January.
There is anecdotal evidence that law teachers are using the big social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn - or at least if I run my address book against these services a lot of names come up!, but how are they using them, and what role could UKCLE play? Niche services like Academia.edu perhaps offer more value to academics - see Michael's profile (http://gcal.academia.edu/MichaelBromby), but it seems to be more institution than discipline focused.
A recent post on the Nature Network (http://network.nature.com/people/franknorman/blog/2009/10/30/social-networks-are-they-useful-or-pointless) asked Social networks: are they useful or pointless? At the heart of the question is how they can become part of an academic's everyday routines - but the same questions were asked regarding email a few years ago, and who can do without emal now?
We hope that LILACnet will act as a small pilot and offer some
more evidence on how law teachers could use social networks. LILACnet is geared to the conference life cycle, however anyone is welcome to join in, so please do sign up!