The Louisiana Bar Ass’n has a service that emails you recent state court opinions. A lot of courts do this, and a lot of lawyers subscribe. I subscribe, but to be honest, I find it hard to read the emails. There is a lot of information in there that I don’t want, and it’s hard for me to make myself distill information anymore –especially now that I’ve gotten used to using an RSS/XML news reader.
Most people don’t know what that is. My wife knows what it is, sort of, because she watches me use my news reader. But she doesn’t use one herself. Still, I thought it was interesting the other night when she saw me looking at my bar association E-mail with all the recent state court opinions, and then said “you read those emails? I used to but I cancelled my subscription because there were too many criminal opinions in there and I just wanted to know about some of the civil opinions.”
Exactly. We are at the point now where people who rely on E-mail to receive ‘information subscriptions’ are getting tired of not being able to receive select information only. RSS/XML is the answer to this problem, but most ordinary people don’t really understand RSS/XML and don’t use news readers. But, even if they don’t use RSS/XML, most people know that they are inundated with information that they can’t control. And, increasingly, they turning off the spigot rather than trying to drink from the firehose.