ABA Techshow 2014

‘60 Sites’ session takes in the crowd’s favorites

Posted Jun 1, 2014 3:00 AM CDT
By Victor Li

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As a near-capacity crowd inside the Continental Ballroom at the Hilton Chicago watched, a four-person panel—outgoing Techshow chairwoman Natalie Kelly, director of the State Bar of Georgia's law practice management program; Randall Juip of Foley, Baron, Metzger & Juip in Livonia, Mich.; Lincoln Mead, the IT director of the Utah State Bar; and Sharon Nelson, president of Sensei Enterprises in Fairfax, Va.—delivered in rapid succession a list of 60 useful, informative and sometimes funny websites to use at home, in the office or on the go.

It was another of the most popular ABA Techshow sessions and the traditional conference closer: "60 Sites in 60 Minutes."

For the first time, the "60 Sites" session was crowdsourced. Several conference-goers submitted sites for consideration, suggesting websites that dealt with some of the hottest topics at Techshow.

Cybersecurity was on a lot of people's minds at the Techshow, and some of the recommended links dealt with password strength, hacking and encryption. Mead's first site was MyKolab.com, which offers secure email accounts that purport to be NSA-proof. "The information is stored in Switzerland, which has some of the most rigid privacy laws in the world," Mead said. Several sites evaluate the strength of passwords, including one of Nelson's choices, Telepathwords, as well as How Secure Is My Password, which was submitted by Baton Rouge attorney Craig Bayer. Meanwhile, Catherine Reach, director of law practice management and technology at the Chicago Bar Association, offered two websites people can use to see whether their email addresses have been hacked: Have I Been Pwned and and Should I Change My Password.

After Friday's keynote address from Google Ventures product partner Rick Klau (See "Klau's Clues"), the panel spoke of sites that can be used to conduct data analytics. Juip recommended Hashtracking, an analytic tool that tracks hashtags on Twitter. Larry Port, CEO of Rocket Matter, submitted three sites: CallRail, which provides metrics for phone calls, and Marketing Grader and Optimizely, which measure how effective websites are. Klau had originally mentioned Optimizely during his keynote when recounting how the 2008 Obama campaign had used data analytics to figure out donation patterns from website visitors.

For shoppers, the panel had several websites for users to keep track of good deals. Kelly suggested Airfarewatchdog and Tingo.com—the latter even gives you money back if you paid for a plane ticket and the price subsequently went down. Juip chose WannaSpend, which allows users to input an amount and gives suggestions for gifts based on that budget. And for Apple lovers, Grand Rapids, Mich., lawyer David Ledbetter recommended Dealmac, which lets users compare prices for Apple products at various online sites.

The panel wasn't without a sense of humor, and several links had more entertainment than professional value. Among the choices were PeopleOfWalmart.com, You Had One Job, and MakeBeliefsComix.com.

For the full list of all 60 links, click here.

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: "Web Wonders: '60 Sites' session takes in the crowd's favorites."

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