Kevin O’Keefe Asks…Do Traditional Legal Publishers Understand Legal Blogging?

To which HOB says yes of course they understand what it is but as yet they haven’t worked out how to make a 1000% profit every nano-second out of it .. so what’s the point !

Lexis still sees Law360 making them loads of cash so why would they work with anybody to provide content for free or at a low cost. We’d suggest that Westlaw, Kluwer and even the likes of V-Lex think and act the same.

This will of course change when a holder of primary materials comes along and works with lawyers to let them comment on legislation, rulings, cases, decisions that the provider gives lawyers ( and everybody else) for free

Here at HOB we reckon we aren’t far off a service that will think like this and will understand that connecting  lawyers and legal academics & others with primary materials for free and then creating arrangements that allow both the platform and the content provider to benefit in different ways off the back of the connection between primary materials and commentary. Sometimes that may be a pecuniary reward but other times it is the value of the content that will count for the most.

In a world of  digitalcoin, NFT’s etc we are looking into a future that will at long last see “specific” value in information that we suggest could well be traded for a range of other values.

Professional blogging is still a nascent world and has a long way to go. As usual the big publishers will pick up on the new ideas only when they see immediate cash returns but until then the market is open to all and sundry in the world of legal information.

Here’s what O’Keefe says

The main reason media stalwarts couldn’t understand blogging is that they couldn’t see beyond their all-too-familiar containers and distribution mechanisms. They were too entrapped in their dogmas.“

This from media and blogging veteran, Om Malik writing on the future of media.

Media players couldn’t cater to regular readers the ways that bloggers could.

Timothy Lee, an independent journalist who previously wrote for the Washington Post, Vox, and Ars Technica, cited by Malik, puts it well.

Our salaries were supported by advertising. To make the whole project financially viable, we needed a lot of readers. Practically speaking, that meant bringing in a lot of new readers.”

Legal bloggers do not need a lot of readers. Bloggers cover niches far down the long tail where a small audience looking for relevant information, insight and commentary brings business development success.

Legal bloggers don’t need paid subscriptions, advertising nor any form of revenue directly from their publishing. Relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation in a niche brings revenue in legal fees.

Traditional legal publishers charge subscriptions and/or sell advertising. They need lots of readers to be successful.

Legal bloggers have become a real force in legal publishing. More subjects covered by more experienced legal professionals than we could have ever imagined ten years ago.

The body of legal information and insight in legal blogs, aggregately, dwarfs the legal content generated by traditional legal publishing, whether it be in legal magazines/newspapers or treatises and manuals.

Can legal publishers see beyond their familiar containers and distribution mechanisms to recognize blogging for what it is?

A failure to do so could leave them short in needed legal offerings.


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