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Law School Digital Publishing Platforms Must Generate a RSS Feed

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Law school digital publishing platforms need to include a RSS feed.

I’m trying to share news of the pro bono and community service work that law schools are doing. In the case of most schools, I cannot because they have no RSS feed on their blog and news sites.

I’ve been browsing through news from law schools on Twitter and my RSS reader, looking for news of the community service and pro bono work of law school students, professors, clinics and other programs.

The work is impressive and would inspire anyone with a heart to think of the law as a career, in order to serve others, and lawyers, to get involved in community service and pro bono work.

But in the case of most law schools, they may as well have a paywall around the publications sharing such news.

The publications, including blogs, don’t include a RSS feed. Crazy thing is that the publishers, and I expect their web developers don’t know what a RSS feed is and why its critical for a successful publication.

No RSS means I can’t get updates from the publication to my RSS reader and, in turn, read and share the updates. I am not going back to Twitter or the publication every day to check for updates.

I am thinking of developing a digital publication shining a light on this pro bono and community service work and the people involved. Until then, I see the news in my RSS reader and on Twitter. I highlight the school and the causes on Twitter.

For a digital publication (driven by RSS feeds, as many are), news from schools would be aggregated and curated automatically with profiles, schools and publications automatically generated. Items could be featured and email updates would be sent to subscribers.

The collective knowledge sharing and inspiration would be pretty cool.

But many – probably most – law schools have failed to include an RSS feed in their digital publishing platforms.

RSS? Real simple syndication is something included on publications ranging from the New York Times to law blogs.

Not having RSS on your platform is like having a radio station, but not using an antennae to reach people’s radios.

As a law school, imagine telling law professors, students and reporters that we’ll get your content up on the law school’s site, but we’ll not let individuals and organizations receive your contributions in the way other law schools do so for their contributors. A lot of people won’t see the good things you do.

For me, when I see a law school blog cited by the school on Twitter, I go to add the blog on my RSS reader so I receive regular updates of their good work and share the news on social media.

This morning, I saw another good school starting a commitment to share news of their pro bono and community service work. Doing so on a blog, without a RSS feed, by sharing links on Twitter.

I suggested to them inclusion in the Open Legal Blog Archive for further visibility and engagement. Couldn’t do it because no RSS feed.

Anyone who says an RSS feed is not important is wrong.

There are too many important and busy people who use a RSS reader to get their news. These folks not only read your news, they share it on social media to large and relevant audiences.

A RSS feed gets your content to large content aggregators, publishers, libraries and, in the case of the law, to legal research and AI platforms.

It would be great to see a RSS feed on all law school publications and platforms. The good work of the law school students, professors, admin’s and alums could be seen a much wider basis..

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