Lenore Hamilton of the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute has published Social Media and the Tyranny of Distance – Pacific Access to Legal Information, Journal of Open Access to Law, 1(1) (2013).
Here is the abstract:
The track assumes that the use of social media is widespread and can advance the professional and public need to understand or engage with the law. Is this a presumption that underpins the context of the ‘developing’ world?
PacLII is the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute. Its work started in the mid 90’s and it became a LII in 2003. In the 15 years of its activity, PacLII has begun to host legal material from 20 jurisdictions with common and civil law backgrounds. All could be labelled ‘developing countries’. PacLII’s work covers a vast geographic area and is hostage to the tyrannies of literal distance.
PacLII’s work has been underpinned by great strides in the spread of internet access and a growing commitment to free access to online legal information. Yet we do not use social media.
Is PacLII exhibiting Luddite tendencies in our thinking – are we missing out on a new revolution in communication? Perhaps the audience can challenge our presumptions on the ineffectiveness of social media.
We therefore seek to ask the following questions in the hope of stimulating discussion of whether and how social media could promote a further commitment to online legal information in the developing world:
‐ How would we use it and to what end?
‐ What would be the challenge / benefit ratio to our users?
‐ How does it improve upon other communication tools such as newsletters and emails?