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Impact of RSS Driving the Dissemination and Aggregation of Legal Publishing is Growing


Dave Winer’s recent blog discussion on RSS – and its resurgence – got me thinking of how RSS has moved legal publishing and broadcasting – and how it will do so moving forward.

Winer invented RSS, twenty plus years ago, for in effect blogs to function.

An RSS enabled blog’s (all were) content could move into another’s RSS aggregator so we could read what each other were blogging. We could also track, via RSS, if someone mentioned on their blog our name or the URL of our blog.

RSS powered “trackbacks” by which blog posts referencing another blog post were listed at the bottom of the blog post being referenced. Trackbacks have dissapeared.

All very cool, as this drove a conversation between bloggers. A conversation which led to the advance of ideas – and in the case of legal professionals, advancement of ideas and the law.

Twenty-plus years later, I am sensing RSS is becoming more important than ever.

RSS is easy to use – for distribution of content and the aggregation of content. It’s as effective and stable as an API.

RSS is built into blog publishing platforms. RSS has powered LexBlog and its customer blogs for eighteen years.

Sure, there are are some legal website and marketing developers unfamiliar with RSS and not including RSS in their customer’s blogs – leaving their customers’ not having their content distributed and aggregated – all unknowingly. But they are the exception.

RSS doesn’t stop at blogs. RSS enables a podcast to submit its broadcasts to iTunes/Apple, Spotify, TuneIn and Google Podcasts.

RSS is building the legal library of the future. Already the posts of 2,600 legal blogs are being aggregated and curated by the Open Legal Blog Archive – via RSS.

Research and AI platforms, ala vLex and Fastcase – legal libraries, in and of themselves, are accepting legal blog feeds from LexBlog, Inc. and the Open Legal Blog Archive.

Not to be lost in all this is that RSS drives open law.

Open discussion driving the advancement of ideas and the law between both academics and legal practitioners.

Open law meaning open access. Rather than a model based on buying subscriptions – here we have open access to a library of law which one can freely subscribe to publications, subjects and searches.

RSS is not something many in the law think about – or are even aware – but RSS moves the law and the growing body of legal libraries.


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