I’ve written about a lot of websites over the years. But now I get to write about one that I had a hand in launching. This week, LexBlog formally launched a first-of-its-kind, global news and commentary network, delivering timely and targeted articles from legal bloggers throughout the world.
As I wrote when I first began working with LexBlog at the beginning of the year, I am a career-long journalist as well as a lawyer. I’ve been an editor, publisher, editorial director, magazine writer, blogger and podcaster, and worked for a number of media organizations and publications.
I’ve been concerned in recent years that traditional legal media has been cutting back its coverage of the news that matters to most lawyers. Sure, the Supreme Court still gets covered. Big firms still get covered. But the stuff that is the bread-and-butter of most law practices just isn’t covered as it once was.
But into this void have stepped legal bloggers. A key thesis of mine that spurred me to join LexBlog as publisher and editor-in-chief is that legal blogs have supplanted mainstream publishers as the best source of news and commentary for most areas of law.
The fact is, there are many thousands of legal professionals who write blogs. They write about breaking court decisions, newly filed lawsuits and the latest regulatory actions. They provide perspective on emerging trends. They offer tips to guide and inform both colleagues and clients.
However, with all this useful content out there, it is not easy to find and not organized in any useful way. Or at least it hasn’t been.
What we launched this week is unlike anything previously available to the legal community – a global news and commentary network, delivering timely and targeted articles from legal bloggers throughout the world. It unites the universe of legal bloggers in a single platform – no matter where they are located or what topic they cover.
Already, some 19,000 legal bloggers participate – lawyers, law professors, law librarians, law students, legal-industry executives, legal marketers, legal consultants, legal technologists and others, providing news, insights and analysis on virtually every legal and practice topic. The network includes:
- Featured articles curated by LexBlog editors throughout the day.
- Real-time feeds of all articles from member blogs across the world.
- Real-time feeds of targeted articles arranged by legal channels.
- RSS and email subscriptions to channel and blog updates.
- Profiles of each blogger, including the blogs to which they contribute and their recent posts.
- Profiles of the law firms and institutions that publish blogs, including all the blogs they support, all their blog authors, and the recent posts from across all their blogs.
Powering all this is LexBlog’s custom-built syndication engine that allows it to aggregate blog content from any source, regardless of whether the blog is hosted by LexBlog on its own blogging platform or externally on any other blogging platform.
Any legal blog hosted by LexBlog is automatically included, and any other legal blogger can add a blog to the network, at no cost, by registering the blog’s RSS feed at: www.lexblog.com/join.
This week’s launch is just the first phase of the new LexBlog.com. Future plans include greater curation of channel pages, expanded original content and coverage, and special-focus publications. In addition, LexBlog will license and deploy its syndication and aggregation platform to law firms, bar associations, law schools and other organizations to power their own custom publishing.
LexBlog founder and CEO Kevin O’Keefe also wrote about the launch this week, and, as he points out, the heavy lifting on the design, development and tech side of this project was carried out by a team that included product development head Jared Sulzdorf, WordPress wizard Scott Fennell, web developer Angelo Carosio, art director Brian Biddle and CTO Joshua Lynch. Thanks for carrying the editorial weight goes to editorial coordinator Isabelle Minasian. These are just some of the people who make up the great team that is LexBlog.
It’s been an honor to work with them and a thrill to be involved in this project. As we continue to work to enhance and improve LexBlog, we would love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions.