AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
We trace the birth of the original idea for this book to a col-
umn we wrote called “The Strongest Links: Instant Messaging
Resources” in September 2005 for the ABA’s Law Practice
Today webzine. For some time we had been cowriting the regu-
lar monthly column on the best Internet resources for lawyers
on a variety of law practice management topics. For fun, and
to find a different way to work together, we wrote the column
in real time as an instant messaging session using Skype’s
instant messaging tools—including emoticons and acronyms
like IMHO and FWIW. It was cutting edge then. It seems a little
quaint now.
Although we were intrigued by how well our column on
instant messaging turned out—it’s one of our favorite columns—
we did not return to Skype or instant messaging as a writing
tool. Our writing practices seemed to lend themselves more to
asynchronous (not occurring at the same time) rather than real-
time collaboration. However, it’s also important to note that we
never returned to our previous practice of one of us writing the
first draft of the column in Microsoft Word and sending it to the
other as an email attachment, then the other making revisions
and additions and emailing it back as an attachment, and so on
until we were done.
In large part, the reason was that in August 2005, the
Writely online word processing tool arrived on the Internet.
Both of us began using Writely in September 2005, and we
began to use it for articles we cowrote with others. Google later
purchased Writely in 2006 and renamed it Google Docs, and
we consistently used it to write our columns and articles both
before and after the acquisition.

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