Today, 1 April, Applied Discovery announces the launch of a new review tool. Called Reviewitter, it is designed to allow the truncation and review of unstructured data into 140 character reviewable documents. The press release carriers an endorsement from Greg Bufithis of The Posse List, no less, who predicts that these “tweets” should “spur accelerated investment and uptake in similar tools that can help streamline the entire discovery process”.
Applied Discovery have helpfully provided a link which explains the choice of date. As technology advances, it becomes increasingly difficult to discriminate between real applications and those which do not (yet) exist. I have not seen today’s Times, but it has for many years carried advertisements for BMW on April 1st which sometimes take more than one reading to understand. Many years ago, for example, they had one for windscreen wipers which operate automatically when water landed on the windscreen. Ho, ho, we said, clever joke – but it did not take long for the technology actually to exist. Part of the joke, of course, is that Germans do not really understand joking as a social form.
Similarly, there was a light-hearted exchange on Twitter a few months ago about the potential requirement for mainstream e-Discovery tools to be able to ingest Twitter feeds for serious e-Discovery purposes. One of the participants in that exchange was Craig Carpenter of Recommind — exactly the kind of company which will be ahead of the rest in offering just that (see my article on iCyte for an example of Recommind’s flexibility as new technology arrives).
It is perhaps Google, more than anyone, who has seen the opportunity of brightening up our days with variants on its search screen which take account of some special day – shamrock on St Patrick’s Day or Olympic hoops when appropriate.. It comes as no surprise that Rob Robinson at Applied Discovery should be the first to spot the crossover between a calendar event, the growing importance of social media in both marketing and e-Discovery, and in serious litigation applications.
The biggest All Fools Day joke, however, is likely to be the Ofsted – Shoesmith – Ed Balls e-Disclosure story. As I write, there are already about four screens-full of tweets responding to a twitter search for “Shoesmith” and the news has only been out for an hour. We clearly need Applied Discovery’s Reviewitter to keep track of them all.