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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

I’ll be in Austin on Thursday for the ABA’s Annual Mid-Year meeting.

In addition to ABA officials getting together, the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) holds its Mid-Year meeting at the same time. NABE serves the management staff of bar associations and law-related organizations and its membership is comprised largely of employees from such associations.

Knowing that relationships with people are the lifeline of any business, especially at LexBlog where we’re often more interested in who you are than what you do, I’m going down to spend time – even if it is only for one day – with people whom I enjoy knowing, and working with.

Fastcase, founded and operated by my friends, Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal, holds an annual dinner at Mid-Year for NABE member executives in appreciation for their using the Fastcase research platform and related products as a member benefit for their association members.

I’ve had the honor of being a guest of Ed’s and Phil’s the last few years. Gives me the opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones.

Mid-Year also provides the opportunity to meet with any number of legal and business professionals, some in earlier scheduled meetings and some set up when folks respond to my “I’ll be in Austin at Mid-Year, let’s meet..” announcements on Twitter and Facebook.

Meetings just for the social engagement, meetings offering folks feedback on what they’re working and meetings to share what LexBlog is working on.

Even when I am showing people what LexBlog is working on or releasing for a new product, I never view it as selling. I view the legal and business professionals I know as friends. I would be remiss if I don’t show them what we’re doing, I’d be leaving them out of what others have seen and are taking advantage of.

Look me up, if you’re attending. I have some time during the day – and Thursday evening, after the dinner.

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If you’ve been following along, you know that LexBlog’s been releasing its Syndication Portal product over the last six or eight months.

Bar associations are using Portals to generate revenue, showcase their members, inspire lawyers to blog, increase access to legal services and connect lawyers to people, among other things.

We’ve run network sites for associations for years, but not as a SaaS solution like Portals.

I asked my COO, Garry Vander Voort, to run a comparison breakdown of the network features and the features now available with the Portal solution. I wanted to have it in hand to answer questions I’ll get in a meeting Thursday with an association running on a network who may want to consider moving to a Portal.

The comparison showed a lot of new stuff once you unpack it.

The new items are in BOLD.

  • A mobile-first Syndication Portal hosted by LexBlog with a custom domain.
  • A sign up form for members to submit their RSS feeds for inclusion on LexBlog.com.
  • LexBlog will process, troubleshoot and add member sites to the Portal.
  • A directory of publishing bar members, firms and publications.
  • Access to an aggregated content feed containing just association member blogs and their content.
  • The ability to post original content onto the site.
  • Aggregation of not just post titles and summaries, but complete post content and metadata from Member Blogs.
  • Multiple responsive advertising widgets.
  • Content feature widgets to draw attention to specific members, their posts or podcasts.
  • An automated newsletter of member content sent to subscribers on a recurring basis.
  • Inclusion of association member content on LexBlog.com. This includes promotion of relevant content on the frontpage and social media channels.
  • Inclusion of relevant content into FastCase’s comprehensive national law library. LexBlog is the exclusive provider of law blog posts, as secondary law, to Fastcase.
  • Inclusion of relevant content into the vLex research platform.
  • Google Analytics integration.
  • Free service upgrades and feature enhancements to the the Portal as made by LexBlog.
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