Jan 29, 2014

‘New’ Law.com to be Unveiled Next Week

4 Comments · Posted by Robert Ambrogi in General

ALM, the parent company of Law.com and an international network of legal and business publications, is slated to launch a new Law.com website and mobile app next week. ALM has scheduled a launch event Monday night in New York City, to coincide with the start of LegalTech New York, which begins the next morning.

I am expecting that the event will include more details on the new Law.com contributor network. As I wrote here in October, Law.com has been preparing to launch an extensive contributor network in the style of The Huffington Post, with somewhere between 100-500 independent writers from outside ALM becoming regular contributors of commentary and analysis. The network is expected to use the same software that powers the Forbes network of independent contributors.

Also in October, it unveiled an app for iPads and iPhones that I described then as “seamless, stylish and customizable.” I do not know whether next week’s announcement will be a replacement or an update for that app.

Already this month, ALM rolled out 18 redesigned websites for its regional and national publications. The announcement described the redesigned sites as “sleeker, more graphically rich, and faster” and said that advertising would be “more natural and better integrated.

As part of the redesign, ALM also moved its affiliated blogs. Whereas they previously ran on the Typepad blog hosting platform, they are now incorporated directly into each publication’s website. For example, here is the former version of The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes, and here is the new version. Posts from the blog are also featured on the main LegalTimes page.

At least some of the blogs will now require you to register in order to read the posts. For example, the Tex Parte Blog, the blog of Texas Lawyer, says:

Access to your favorite blogs will continue as part of ALM’s digital membership. When you visit, you just need to sign in to your existing account, or register for a new membership. It’s as simple as that!

I described ALM’s new digital memberships in a post last August. If you opt for the free registration — as opposed to a paid subscription — then you are limited to five free articles every 30 days. It appears to me that the limit now applies to blog posts as well as news stories, although I have not confirmed that. If you followed these blogs using their RSS feeds, you will need to update the feed link.

 

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4 comments

  • Avon · January 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    It’s absolutely true that it will cost plenty of money to read blogs!
    This week the Blog of the Legal Times suddenly resorted to Law.com’s pop-up alert that, after 5 views per month, you can’t read it without paying.
    I do understand that “monetizing” ALM’s web outreach may have become necessary. They’ve got writers and others to pay. There have always been some ALM articles for paid subscribers only. But a lot of the rest has only in recent months been subjected to the new 5-a-month limit, which I consider pretty drastic. 5 is not much.
    I’m sorry I’ll now miss the BLT too! It’s got timely same-afternoon news; but I’m not able, or even willing, to pay so much just for that.

    But now it’s not merely “too bad.” I’m pretty upset to learn here that not only will ALM charge money to READ the content, but simultaneously they’ll stop (or reduce) paying people to WRITE it! The fine writers I’ve grown to respect and admire are in a horrible position if they’re now competing for work with unpaid volunteers.

    I have a lot less sympathy for a website that can’t give away its product for free, if they’re going to be getting that product for free.

    We’re being had – or we’re being used. We’re not being asked just to pay deserving writers; we’re expected to pay to serve ALM – not merely as union-busters or something, but as actual eliminators of valuable jobs and fine workers. It looks like, in the space of a week, I’m shifting from being a fan of ALM to something between disgust and outrage.

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  • ‘New’ Law.com to be Unveiled Next Week - Legal Marketing News | Legal Marketing News · January 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    […] Check out the article at Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites here: ‘New’ Law.com to be Unveiled Next Week […]

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  • Nathalie Gorman · January 29, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    On behalf of ALM, I would like to clarify that The Blog of Legal Times is part of The National Law Journal & Legal Times and is written by paid members of that publication’s editorial staff. –Nathalie Gorman, Editor, Law.com

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    • Author comment by Robert Ambrogi · January 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks. I did understand that, but I realize I wasn’t clear about it.

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