In a post here last January, How LexBlog Quietly Reinvented Itself This Year, I described how the 14-year-old LexBlog had gone through a fundamental reinvention of both its business model and its blogging platform over the past year. Now, it is taking a further step in that new direction by offering to license that platform to others in the legal field.
The open-source platform, which LexBlog calls Apple Fritter, is the design and publishing platform that powers LexBlog’s network of some 15,000 legal professionals blogging across several thousand different blogs. LexBlog will now make it available to law firms, bar associations, web development companies,
marketing and communications agencies, and other legal publishers.
The idea is to provide a self-service platform for entities that want their own managed digital design and publishing platform but that do not want to take on the cost and effort of building, hosting and maintaining such a platform. Licensees of the platform could use it to design and launch blogs, websites, microsites or magazines, using various pre-configured options and themes.
“LexBlog is as much a technology company as it is a publisher,” said LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe. “Apple Fritter is a state-of-the-art design and publishing platform that’s engineered to meet the needs of digital designers, developers and publishers in the legal industry.”
All sites deployed using Apple Fritter are maintained in LexBlog’s secure, redundant, minimal-downtime hosting environment. If desired, the sites can be included in the LexBlog Network for greater visibility.
O’Keefe founded LexBlog in 2003 to develop blogs for lawyers. For many years, it sold custom design and development of blogs, at prices to match the custom effort. But the focus of its reinvention last year was to enable it to sell blogs at much lower prices and to launch them more quickly, in order to serve a greater number of legal professionals.
“Part of what we’re going for is to make self-publishing and blogging more accessible to a smaller-firm lawyer or individual lawyer,” Joshua Lynch, LexBlog’s chief technology officer, told me last January. “At the same time, it gives us a lot of tools to help larger firms or organizations such as bar associations publish many blogs.”