As Bob Ambrogi reports, ALM will be shutting down their Law.com Law Blog Network later this year.

Law.com’s editor Nathalie Gorman told Ambrogi in email:

When we first started the Law.com Blog Network, it was a great way for us to help legal blogs get off the ground and get the advertising dollars that they might not have been able to attract otherwise. As blogging has become more mainstream, there are now a lot more services and ad networks available to work with. This being the case, we will be winding down the Law.com Blog Network in its current form by end of Q3 2014. However, we value the relationships we have with the members of the Blog Network tremendously, and we will be reaching out to them individually to see how we can continue to work together. We hope that this will continue Law.com’s tradition of supporting and promoting the work of thought leaders and innovators in the legal space.

The blogs themselves, published and owned by legal professionals and firms, will of course continue on their own. It’s the list of the blogs as a network on Law.com and the Law.com affiliated ads running on the blogs which ends.

When Law.com launched its blog network in 2004 blogging was in its infancy. Just listing a dozen or so law blogs as Law.com did gave credibility to blogging.

ALM also continues it’s support of bloggers across its network publications and recognizing their work at ALM’s LegalTech. For that the legal blogging community owes a debt of gratitude to ALM.

In recent years, I’d agree with Gorman that the Law.com Blog Network really has not been of much value to the bloggers on the network nor ALM. I’m not sure that the advertising revenue generated from ads placed by ALM on the blogs ever generated a lot of money for the legal bloggers.

I assume ALM will be reaching out to the bloggers on the network to see if they’d like to publish on Law.com’s upcoming contributor network. The difference is that the content will first be published on Law.com and then on the legal professional’s blog.

It will be up to the bloggers to decide if they see sufficient value in contributing like this when they have already established themselves via their blogs.

I’ve always seen the value of a true law blog network. A network where the focus is to empower the individual brands and individual domain presence of each blog – and each contributor on those blogs.

The role of the network then becomes to shine a light on the bloggers, their blogs and the legal insight and commentary generated. The network also then becomes a powerful discovery network for legal professionals and the public to find professionals, blogs, and subjects to follow.

This has been our focus with LexBlog’s LXBN Network.

The ABA Journal has a Blawg Directory, but as the name implies it’s a directory, not a media network.

Justia has its Blawg Search, but as the case as with the ABA, it’s more a directory and the aggregation of blog content for search, than a media presence based on law blogs.

Law blogs continue to grow in prominence. Never before have we had lawyers covering as many areas of law. Never before blogs have we had this level of insight and commentary from practicing lawyers – the lawyers with true hands-on experience.

Rather than asking legal bloggers to contribute to your publication or setting up affiliate advertising programs that generate little revenue, we all benefit from a true legal blog network that harnesses the intellectual capital lawyers are sharing.

By truly shinning a light on the lawyers and their blogs, the blogging lawyers get what they want – an enhanced reputation and relationships leading to professional and business development growth. The media network benefits from the growing body of work.

Some may not see the true value of law blogs with many marketers selling law blogs as merely traffic generators – enough so that the marketers sell blog posts to lawyers so lawyers need not even blog.

Lost in that noise though is a tidal wave of knowledge and secondary law generated by passionate, caring, and experienced lawyers. That content and the lawyers behind it is ripe for a true law blog network.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Alexander Baxevanis