What’s better, ALM’s collective legal periodicals or the collective work of lawyers and other legal professionals who are blogging? Can ALM (f/k/a American Lawyer Media) survive the rising phenomenon of lawyers and law students blogging on an open WordPress platform to build a name and build a business?

Fifteen years ago no sane person would have raised this question. But a lot has changed since then.

I picked up a subscription to ALM’s aggregated Law.com feed for my news aggregator this year.

A few reasons for buying the subscription. One, there were ALM stories I would see in my feeds on Feedly that were behind the ALM paywall. I wanted to read the stories and share relevant ones with my followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Two, I wanted to build relationships with ALM reporters and editors. With the high ALM turnover, I didn’t know as many people there. What better way to get to know them than to share their stories on Twitter.

Three, ALM reporters were reporting on interesting subjects I wanted to learn more about.

And four, by tweeting and blogging about the subjects of their stories I could build relationships with the people and companies being covered.

Though there are items on ALM not reported elsewhere, usually on the business of law, I was struck by the brevity of many stories and, often, the shallowness of the analysis and reporting.

Made me wonder if law blogging was not on the verge of replacing ALM and other publications as the source of legal news and analysis. LexBlog platform bloggers already publish upwards of 200 posts a day — and there’s some good stuff.

Lawyers have deep subject matter expertise and those who blog well have an unmatched passion for what they cover.

Blogging lawyers are often active on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media establishes trust and sources.

Social media, person to person, moves news and commentary today. Unlike reporters at the New York Times and even a few at the ABA Journal, I am not seeing many ALM reporters actively me and others on Facebook and other social media.

Legal moves slow. Lawyers hold on to what they’ve had in the past. Legal PR often looks for “earned media” versus more the more influential commentary that moves across blogs and social media. All pluses for ALM.

The value of editors will of course be the rebuttal of some. But Facebook is the leading source of news for a growing number of people in the country, including the majority of millennials.

News is what other people report and share. News is not defined by who is reporting.

Blogs haven’t nailed curation yet. That’s coming though.

Today, ALM may have “a winning hand” with have all the stuff in one place. But technology curating WordPress published legal news and information with AI components could relegate ALM to the slow lane in the next few years.

WordPress is by far and away the most popular and, arguably, the most powerful publishing and content management system that exists. Its world-wide community of open-source developers is delivering improvements and feature enhancements (including curation) at a far far faster clip than developers working on a proprietary platform, such as the one ALM is likely using.

I remain a subscriber to ALM’s Law.com feed, I like some of the stuff. I am sure they have a large subscriber base.

I just wonder if ALM represents the future of legal publishing with the growing popularity of blogging by passionate lawyers and law students with deeep expertise using publishing software that is more advanced.

While some law firm website developers are advising law firms to bury law blogs inside a law firm website, a just released ABA book on strategic online publishing for law firms advises just the opposite. Law blogs should be located off websites on a separate domain to build influence, achieve better seach engine performance (SEO) and generate business.

In fact, the authors, Steve Mathews (@stevematthews) and Jordan Furlong (@jordan_law21), both veteran and widely respected legal publishers and business development professionals, are seeing a growing trend by law firms to move blog publications off their websites.

Their new book, “Creating an Online Publishing Strategy for Law Firms,” provides lawyers and law firms with all they need to know about turning their firm’s content marketing (e.g. writing, newsletters, and blogging) into a coherent, effective and strategic online publishing campaign.

Key for Matthews And Furlong was to provide a step-by-step guide offering advice and ideas for building and maintaining an effective online publishing strategy that can communicate a lawyer’s and law firm’s expertise and enhance their profile with target clientele. In addition to large law firms, their book is useful for small and midsize law firms, from at least 10 lawyers up to as many as 100.

Topics include:

  • Designing a strategy to guide publishing efforts and integrate them with business development and branding plans
  • Choosing the best platforms for content, including blogs, newsletters and more
  • Distributing content through a variety of channels, from magazines and other old media to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other new media
  • Creating a publishing culture within a firm that motivates participation and contributions to the publishing strategy
  • Measuring the effectiveness of a firm’s publishing efforts, including the best metrics and tools to gauge the return on your investments

Blogs are the easiest, most effective, and most accessible form of legal publishing, per the authors.  But publishing content is not enough, “distributed publishing” is needed for a lawyer or law firm industry group to create a dominate market presence and generate business.

Law firms are moving their blog publishing away from their websites to create this market dominance and generate business.

Firms that originally tended to keep all their public content within the strict boundaries of their website gradually became more willing to locate that content beyond the website, isolating content for each target market on a web platform affiliated with the firm in some way (e.g., blogs, microsites, etc.).

Over the past several years, social media have been offering firms the opportunity to share that content even farther, outside of their own website and related platforms altogether. From our perspective, these two trends — locating content beyond the website, and circulating content throughout the internet — form the backbone of a strategic approach to both content creation and circulation that we call “distributed publishing.”

The authors do a nice job of explaining the logic of this strategy.

Distributed publishing involves a “hub-and-spokes” model of content delivery. Think of your law firm website as the central hub, the headquarters of your firm’s internet presence and its most valuable assets (home page, lawyer biographies, and practice descriptions). Now move out from that hub to an “inner ring” of spokes representing the firm’s complementary content platforms (blogs, microsites, etc.). This hub and this inner ring constitute most… of your firm’s content production.

Now move out farther again, and you’ll encounter a huge “outer ring” of spokes of third-party content production and distribution engines: a diverse assortment of trade periodicals, online news services, and most importantly, social media networks. These entities will distribute your content to a much wider audience than your own firm-affiliated web products could manage.

The three component parts of this “distributed publishing” ecosystem — your website home base (hub), your satellite firm-owned content destinations (first ring of spokes), and the vast array of content production and distribution networks (second ring of spokes) — all work together to establish the powerful, diverse, interlinked network of your firm’s online presence.

Blogs away from websites are more influential to clients and prospective clients.

Firms need this diverse presence in order to impress an increasingly sophisticated client market. When people need the services of a lawyer and conduct an online search, among the most important factors they consider is information about the lawyer located elsewhere than the lawyer’s website. Potential clients are likelier to be impressed by a lawyer with a website biography, a LinkedIn profile, blog contributions, a Twitter feed, shared presentation slides, third-party publications, and relevant legal industry tweets, than with a lawyer who has just a website biography alone. Law firms with farther-reaching and higher-quality online “footprints” generated by these multiple presences also tend to score more highly in search engine results.

The authors provide a diagram of the “spoke-and-hub” to strategic law firm publishing where you’ll see blogs at the first ring out from a firm’s website.


Matthews and Furlong know their stuff. I have know each of them for a long time, have the utmost respect for them and find them not only on top of their game, but also very giving of their time to the industry through their own publishing, speaking and social media activity.

Mathews, president and founder of Stem Legal Web Enterprises, a web development, publishing and strategy company for the legal profession has been working within the online legal environment for almost 20 years (including 12 years inside law firms). He’s conceived, managed, coded and marketed law firm websites, blogs, intranets, portals and extranets. Of partcular note for those claiming blogs inside websites are better for search engine performance, Mathews is recognized as one of the leading authorities on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for lawyers and law firms.

Furlong is a lawyer, consultant and legal industry leader, who previously served as the editor of National, the publication of record for the Canadian Bar Association (equivalent of ABA Journal). As a senior consultant with legal web development company Stem Legal Web Enterprises, he advises lawyers and law firms on content marketing and consults regarding the establishment and execution of publishing strategies. He’s also widely respected on the business of law in the future.

I don’t say this to impress you with Fuhrlong and Matthews, but to impress upon you that these guys have been publishing online and blogging for a long time. They are not website developers who have come to content marketing and blogging later on — out of necessity, not because they personally blogged to build a name and relationships for business development.

Pick up the book, it’s short and easy read. If you’re in doubt of the merits of blogging strategically and think the book costs too much, let me know. I’ll buy you a copy.

Fastcase’s legal research solution is now integrated into LexBlog’s managed WordPress platform.

Publishers on LexBlog’s platform are now able to cite a case, code or regulation and have their citation linked to the source. Clicking on the link will then display, within the same browser interface, the case, code or regulation from Fastcase’s data base.

Here’s a visual of how a blog publisher may use Fastcase citations on LexBlog’s platform.


Law bloggers have had a hard time citing cases, codes and statutes. Bloggers regularly cite primary law, but what do they link to? Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters LexisNexis keep primary law behind a paywall, making people subscribe to their service to gain access to the law.

A law blogger subscribing to such services has access to the law, but their readers may not. Even those readers who do subscribe to the law will not be able to access the law linked to by the blogger as the blogger may be using a different subscription service.

Many law bloggers uploaded a pdf of the law and linked to that. Others didn’t cite or link, if they did. Both a little clumsy.

That problem is now over for bloggers on LexBlog’s platform.

Equally important was the need to integrate secondary authority with primary law – cases, codes and statutes. More and more, secondary authority is being published online and open. Such is the case with the thousands of law blogs being published by practicing lawyers, law professors, law clerks and law students.

To limit secondary authority to published journals, law reviews and treatises (usually behind paywalls) is the height of folly today.

A law professor, law student or practicing lawyer is as apt to publish legal commentary on a blog or other online publication as they are to publish to traditional publications. More so in the case of practicing lawyers.

Courts have recognized law blogs and open online publications as secondary authority by accepting blog citations in briefs and citing blogs in their decisions. Courts will now be able to seamlessly examine the authority cited by a law blogger.

Somone doing online research pulling up an open publication or blog will be able to readily review the authority cited by the blogger. Courts and lawyers citing such publications and blogs will know that the source will carry links to primary law.

The second part of the Fastcase-LexBlog integration will incorporate LexBlog Network blog posts in Fastcase’s libraries. When a law blogger cites primary law, the blog will annotate the case, code or statute. Those doing research will have immediate access to the insight of other legal professionals.

Fastcase, through a partnership with HeinOnline, already annotates primary law with an extensive collection of law reviews. Law blogs curated by LexBlog will be a natural fit.

Expect to see this next phase of the integration within a few months.

Ed Walters (@EJWalters), the CEO of Fastcase, and I have talked about this integration for years. Ed is a big proponent of open law and law blogs serving as secondary authority.

As way of background, Fastcase is a leading legal publisher focused on smarter legal software that democratizes the law.

Founded in 1999 by Ed and Phil Rosenthal, Fastcase is one of the fastest-growing legal tech companies, with more than 800,000 subscribers from around the world and is licensed by the majority of state bar associations for their members.

I’m enjoying the addition of ALM’s (American Legal Media) publications in the feeds in my news aggregator, Feedly.

Through a subscription I just bought to ALM’s Law.com I receive feeds from the entire ALM network of 15 national and regional news publications, as well as commentary from leading voices in the legal field. I bought a subscription to Law.com for about $350/year, the rate given to small law firms. LexBlog, though not a law firm, qualified.

While most of the stories are about legal issues, law firms and the business of law, there are quite a few stories of interest to me and my followers on Twitter.

Stories on digital publishing, technology, business development, social media and the like. When I say quite a few, it’s probably about 5%, but that’s a higher percentage than my other feeds from sources and subjects I monitor in my aggregator. In addition, there are stories regarding law firms, companies and people of which I am interested.

The ALM is not one central feed through the law.com url, but comes via subscribing to each of the ALM legal publications. I went through the list of ALM’s featured legal publications and added them one at a time to Feedly (see above picture).

As many of you know, I share on Twitter a fair number of stories written by others – reporters, bloggers and columnists. I read stories in my aggregator for learning and staying abreast of news and developments, just as you’d read newspapers, periodicals and blogs.

From a business development standpoint for LexBlog and I, I meet and build relationships with the people (virtually to start with) whose stories, columns and blog posts I share. Who wouldn’t be curious who it is that’s sharing their story on Twitter?

They found out their story is being shared by me because I include their Twitter handle in my tweet. I also meet the people and companies who are the subject of the stories I share as I’ll include their Twitter handles.

In addition to potentially building relationships with reporters, bloggers, business people and companies, I serve as an “intelligence agent” for my followers on Twitter. I am combing the news in my aggregator on certain subjects and sharing the stories and blog posts with my followers. Not only does this build a name for me as being on top of my game on these subjects, but people come to rely on me as a source of helpful news and information.

ALM’s news feed is a good fit for me because of it’s legal bent, the reporters and subjects of the stories who I can meet, the quality of the journalism and my sharing of news and columns which folks would not otherwise see behind a paywall. I pay for my subscription to get the feeds, but non-subscribers can read the stories when shared by a subscriber on Twitter and other social media.

Sharing others’ content on Twitter seems to have built a lot of good will for me over the years. The more I share like this, the more people who follow me on Twitter, the more people like their stories shared by me and the more people share my blog posts. ALM’s feeds can only help.

Thanks much to ALM’s Shawn Harlan in business development and their chief sales officer, Allen Milloy, who helped me get the subscription.

Last week, Flipboard, a news and social network aggregator, released its first major upgrade in two years.

The signature feature of the new Flipboard is Smart Magazines which curate articles by the thousands of topics and sub-topics Flipboard has organized. Think AI for topics you are passionate about.

Flipboard has been around for almost seven years. Because of its eloquent interface on smartphones and tablets, Flipboard has attracted many lawyers as means of following developments on various topics. Espcecially law bloggers.

But what if you want a magazine made up of specific sources you select rather than the topics selected by Flipboard? That’s where the update and its signature feature, Smart Magazines come in.

Ever since Google Reader shutdown, people have asked us for the ability to create a “folder” for their RSS feeds. The new Flipboard does this but with a powerful twist: you now make a Custom Smart Magazine by mixing any combination of feeds accessible on Flipboard, including other magazines on Flipboard, RSS feeds, and even accounts, hashtags and lists from Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, Flickr, and more.

The resulting magazine becomes a mashup of every feed you select, sorted by date and time. You can flip through the whole magazine or tap the black bar at the bottom of the screen to quickly jump into any one of the component feeds.

Here’s a brief video on using a Smart Magazine to curate content by specific sources such as blogs and news sites that you select.

I have tried Flipboard numerous times over the years. It had an eloquent interface for viewing articles and flipping through the pages. I even suggested that blogging lawyers consider using Flipboard as one way of following sources they’d want to reference in their blogging.

But the news aggregator, Feedly was much easier to use for following sources (blogs, news sources) and subjects (company names and terms of art) and organize them into folders. Folders which can easily be marked as “read” as I skim through my feeds of news.

Feedly is intuitive and easy to use in creating an interface for all your feeds. Flipboard is not intuitive — at least for me. I watched the above video twice and read the Flipboard blog a few teams to figure out how to create a Smart Magazine with curated feeds by source.

I have about thirty folders of feeds on Feedly. Folders that include feeds from a various sources and subjects, including law, publishing, strategic partners, legal services and probono, WordPress, Notre Dame and Gonzaga. Creating 30 Smart Magazines, assuming it was possible would make for an awkward browsing experience.

I also did not see in Flipboard a way to subscribe to subjects mentioned in storties by influential news sources the way I can in Feedly. If I want to see news stories that mention Wolters Kluwer, LexisNexis or Fastcase, I just subscribe to the subjects in Feedly and receive in my feeds the relevant stories from Google News.

Following subjects has always been as important as following sources for me. This way I see things others don’t. I use the stories to strategically engage others, whether it be via Twitter or my blog.

I am sure many lawyers will continue to use Flipboard and find the upgrade pretty nice. No question the interface is slick and some lawyers are publishing their blog to a Flipboard Magazine and picking up a lot of readers as a result.

But I am sticking with Feedly and will continue to use Feedly in my curriculum when teaching law students and lawyers.

The popular publishing platform, Medium announced last week that it was laying off one third of its employees and closing two if its three offices.

As expected, the news has generated a lot of discussion. Particularly interesting for LexBlog and I is the discussion of the need for an eloquent and easy to use blog publishing platform.

Frederic Filloux (@filloux), veteran journalist and Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford, wrote yesterday of the need for a Medium-like platform because of the complexities of WordPress.

For elegant text-based publishing, there is a need for a simple, easy-to-use, well-designed platform such as Medium. WordPress was supposed to deliver just that, but it took a geeky turn, saturating its ecosystem with scores of third-party plugins — more than 48,000 at last count — whose quality can charitably be called uneven. Most WordPress sites end up using dozens of plugins, each one bound to create its own set of problems: slow page-loads, crashes, random behaviors or update cycles that don’t match WP’s platform agenda. Unless you have sizable tech resources at your disposal, WordPress is a nightmare. Switching to Medium gives you the impression of going from MS-DOS to iOS.

Veteran blogger and technologist, Dave Winer (@davewineragreed in part.

I think it is fair to say WordPress is to Medium as MS-DOS is to iOS, but for different reasons. To be fair you have to compare Medium to the hosted version of WordPress. There are no plugins there and none of the complications or management hassles he describes.

However the user interface of WordPress is large and spread out, the commands you need are organized in a way that makes them hard to find. A lot of the problems I have with WP could be solved by reorganizing its command structure.

Rather than a ‘Medium-like’ alternative to WordPress, why not a managed publishing platform based on WordPress coupled with a sound business model? One that offers more than WordPress.com, the hosted version of WordPress software.

WordPress has any number of advantages over starting from scratch or building on top of other systems. It’s open source software, customizable and offers a “community” of API’s and plugins making it integration friendly with other solutions and services.

LexBlog, perhaps not the answer for all publishers, is proving that offering publishing software as a service can deliver an eloquent and easy to use blog publishing platform so long as it’s founded on a sound business model.

We’re providing a fully managed publishing platform based on WordPress where a subscription provides one a license to our software as well as services including design, ongoing hosting, updates, features, email notifications, SEO, support and network.

When you assemble the software and services we provide (such as hosting, email service providers, premium plugins, site update services) from leaders in the marketplace the cost can be quite significant, not counting one’s time in managing and connecting those services. Pricing becomes attractive when selling publishing software as a service.

Rather than a free service relying on advertising like Medium, we’ve found blog publishers will pay for the value of a comprehensive publishing platform. A platform where the publisher has an independent branded site and domain, obviously owns their content and feels comfortable that their content is safe in the hands of a profitable SaaS provider.

The cost of the LexBlog solution, though relatively inexpensive, could be a factor to some publishers. The onus is then on us to bring greater efficiencies to the delivery of our software, something we’ve been able to do over the last year — enough so to start offering our solution at no cost to academia and librarians.

To justify charging a subscription Filloux believes a platform must include things a newsletter system such as good as MailChimp, good analytics, a “commercial cluster” aggregating around topics, SEO tools, and various layouts. LexBlog is offering such items or working on them.

LexBlog is just one example and our offering is not perfect. But with funding from our subscription revenue, we’re constantly working to make our publishing platform more eloquent and easier to use. The publisher’s content is safe as well.

Perhaps publishing software as a service is a good model for others.

Medium, a web publishing platform used by a number of lawyers, announced in a blog post that it is making major changes, laying off a third of its employees – 50 people and closing its offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Ev Williams, their CEO and founder, said in his post that the company is “changing our business model to more directly drive the mission we set out on originally.”

Ev doesn’t say what the new business model will be. He does say that ad-driven media on the Internet doesn’t serve the publishers or the public.

…[I]t’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people. In fact, it’s not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos, and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get…well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.


We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative.

So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.

I’ve never liked a publishing model driven by eyeballs as a measure of success. Publishers, particularly professionals such as lawyers, will publish (blog) to build a name for themselves. The money they’ll earn with their name will be far greater than what they could ever earn through traffic, ads or selling their content.

When you’re building a name for yourself, you’ll even pay for comprehensive publishing software. LexBlog has proven it with thousands of lawyers paying to publish on professionally tailored software offered as a SaaS model.

Ironically, some lawyers chasing traffic, versus building a name for themselves started to use Medium over the last year. I have not heard from the lawyers, but I wonder how it’s worked out for them as a revenue generator — that is through legal fees.

This is quite a fall for Medium. The company raised $130 million in venture capital, most of it in the last year. The valuation for the latest round was $600 million. I always wondered if the investors were betting on Ev than the business model. Appears so.

Ev’s a talented and caring guy, giving us Blogger, Twitter and now Medium. Medium, as publishing software, also appears to be pretty good. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Medium.

One lesson for lawyers and law firms is to control your own publication. Not only do you control your content, what gets highlighted and how things are syndicated, but you don’t have to worry about your host’s business model when so much is at stake.

As Andrew Albanese of Publishers Weekly reports, Lulu Press, an online print-on-demand, self-publishing and distribution platform, announced this week the launch of Glasstree, an online publishing platform dedicated to academic and scholarly authors.

When I first read the news I thought Lulu was offering academics a blogging platform. Not the case.

Per Lulu:

Glasstree will provide a suite of online tools and services needed by academic authors, and will leverage technology, such as print-on-demand, to distribute their works more cost-effectively.

No question Glasstree offers any number advantages over the status quo. Glasstree will accelerate time to market, enable immediate updates, reverse the revenue model allowing academics to realize 70% of the profit from sales of their work, enable the deposit of works in institutional repositories and support open access.

There’s a big difference between a book and a blog post — or even a blog. Text books still drive college and graduate school curriculums. But aren’t we moving towards the day where publishing a blog will be more important than publishing a book for academics and scholars?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not be critical of Lulu and Glasstree. I just see innovation in academic publishing as putting the printing press in the hands of the authors. And in a way that knowledge is advanced faster than via books or even journals.

We’re already moving beyond law journals and law reviews to law blogs for law professors. Law blogs are routinely cited by the courts. Professors are building a name for themselves via blogging, enough so to gain tenure.

By blogging on a regular basis, it would seem an academic would run laps around another academic publishing a book when it comes to building a name for themselves. Blogging would also drive greater learning and networking for an academic or scholar.

Blog posts published by anyone could be curated into networks in any way that an academic or school sought fit. Couldn’t such a curated presentation of custom content be presented to students and other academics on a mobile device at pennies on the dollar as compared to published books or ebooks?

Rather than, or at least in addition to, a self publishing platform, shouldn’t we provide academics and scholars a managed blogging platform with accompanying services?

I get the peer reviewed, we need to hold onto traditional publishing and blogging will never be used as basis for tenure. But isn’t time to really look to the future?

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself thinking digital open publishing indexed on Google and curated for further use is the future. What an I missing?

A couple months ago, a marketing consultant to a major law firm pooh-poohed my suggestion on Facebook that he consider WordPress for the law firm’s digital publishing needs.

He called WordPress simplistic publishing software used only for blogs that’s inherently insecure and innapropriate for a major law firm.

Well, according to Nelio Software, 62 percent of the 100 fast growing companies in the United States (@inc5000) are using WordPress to power their sites. This is up more than 20 percent from just a year ago.

We’re talking well beyond do it yourself here. Whether blog, website or application we’re talking about sites developed by experienced WordPress developers versus something set up with WordPress off the shelf.

From Marie Dodson (@Mdodson12) of Torque Magazine, my source:

From ecommerce and apps to business websites, personal blogs and beyond, WordPress powers online experiences for startups and enterprise companies alike.


It’s quite clear that WordPress has in many ways broken free of the “just for blogging” stereotype, which can be seen by the fact that 27 percent of all websites use the CMS to power their websites.

While WordPress is still a leading choice for bloggers, it’s also become the solution of choice for brands like Mercedes Benz, Samsung, Nikon, NASA, and more.In recent years, open source has taken the internet by storm. In fact, companies like Microsoft, Google, Tesla, and even the US government have embraced open source as part of their digital practices.

Perhaps the biggest reason for WordPress’s growth is the fact that it’s open-source software. Per Dodson:

[O]pen-source foundation has positioned it at the cutting-edge when it comes to innovation. For example, when Google Glass launched in 2014, the very next day there were plugins already available, which enabled users to leverage and integrate the new technology with their sites.

Compare this to proprietary or closed solutions, where this process is often long and grueling. Open source software is more customizable, scalable and agile, which is invaluable in today’s era where businesses need to move faster to stay competitive.

Open-source software benefits from the collective knowledge and collaborative work of over a hundred thousand developers worldwide, in the case if WordPress. Proprietary software can simply not keep up with the speed of improvements being done of open-source.

Law firms often turn to proprietary software for their websites, blogs, micro-sites and other digital publishing. Doing so they could be vendor-locking themselves into often outdated/expansive software and limited and expensive future upgrades.

LexBlog moved to WordPress years ago. I am glad we did.

We’ve been able to develop a software as a service business empowered by a custom WordPress solution that provides law firms with a better, faster and cheaper product. A product on which we can push regular upgrades and feature enhancements.

This would have been impossible without open-source and WordPress.

After talking with Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, a summer ago, I walked away thinking this guy sees WordPress dominating website development in the years ahead – growing from today’s 27% market share to 90%. It’s not that crazy — and we’re all likely to benefit as a result.

Are your law firm’s blogs running on a proprietary CMS (Content Management System), or for that matter matter, any CMS other than WordPress? If so, you may want to think again.

Marie Dodson (@Mdodson12) reports for Torque that Microsoft just migrated 20,000 blogs with more than 1 million posts and 1.2 million comments off its own proprietary content management system to WordPress. Most of the blogs were running on the same proprietary ASP.NET and SQL Server based CMS.

The result?

  • Sites have experienced an uptick in speed
  • Major SEO improvements
  • Improved site navigation on desktop and mobile browsers

Brian Messenlehner (@bmess), head of WebDevStudios, which worked with Microsoft on the blog migration, told Dodson that as part of Microsoft’s push into Open Source Software, versus proprietary/closed systems, they researched the best CMS to use and decided on WordPress.

You’d think that the largest software company in the world use their own publishing technology to run all of their websites, but like a lot of other companies they wanted to save time and money by going Open Source.

The adoption of Open Source software for publishing, with WordPress leading the way, isn’t going to slow down any time soon, per Dodson.

It’s free, flexible, and easy to use, maintain, and update. It provides companies with the agility to move faster without breaking the bank.

Per Messenlehner, it makes little sense for a company to continue to publish on proprietary software.

Lots of enterprise companies still pay a lot of money with licensing fees and maintenance on outdated proprietary software. These companies could dramatically cut their costs by switching to an open-source solution like WordPress.

Law firms do continue to publish on outmoded publishing software for blogs and other content, all of which could — and probably should be published on WordPress.

In addition, website development companies and consultants are advising law firms to use an underperforming and expensive proprietary CMS. In many cases, a CMS that the website development company built and that is exclusively maintained by the company — things which increase short and long term costs and limit innovation.

Look at Microsoft. An Open Source CMS, probably WordPress, is likely the best publishing software for your law firm.