Every year in the electronic discovery industry a “hot new something” happens that causes a stir and the next thing we know that “hot new something” is all everyone in the industry is talking about. All of the bloggers start blogging about it to share their pro or con opinions. The annual conferences start lining up speakers to talk about that “hot new something”. Regional litigation support organizations with monthly meetings start planning to have panel discussions to discuss that “hot new something”. Service providers schedule webinars with yet more speakers to discuss that “hot new something”.
The “hot new something” will be discussed ad nauseum for approximately 18 months. Around the 1 year mark, we litigation support professionals begin wishing that we never have to hear about that “hot new something” ever again.
Some people refer to these as “the buzz word of the year”. New people to the industry will start hearing the buzz word and decide that they need to learn as much as they can about it. Of course, there are plenty of articles to help with that mission. The positive for this plan is that if someone asks about “the buzz word”, the newbie is somewhat informed. The negative for this plan is that “the buzz word” is almost a distraction. There are so many other things that a newbie could be focusing on to really learn the industry.
Some examples of “hot new somethings” in the past have been related to (1) new software, (2) new rules, (3) new certifications, (4) new pricing structures, (5) a new technology, (6) a new workflow process or (7) a landmark litigation case.
My advice for newbies is to try your best to decipher which knowledge is related to the “hot new something” of the year and which knowledge has been around for years and will continue to be around for more years. Focus most of your time on the latter and a smaller percentage of your time on “the buzz word of the year”.