LexBlog is of the same family (and the parent site, I suppose) of websites such as LexTweet and LexMonitor. LexBlog itself is an company that provides Web-based services to customers, and is targeted toward lawyers and law firms looking to start a blog. While it is a for-profit company that “designs, markets, and supports” blogs and bloggers related to the legal field, the fruits of LexBlog – namely, the blogs themselves – are available to the public in a well-organized fashion. This can be very helpful when trying to research a topic or look for trustworthy and authoritative views from notable firms and distinguished practitioners.
One might think that LexBlog’s sister (daughter? second cousin?) site, LexMonitor, would be the more relevant one when discussing blogs, since it is billed as “a daily review of law blogs and journals”. While LexMonitor is useful in providing a daily digest of blog posts on various topics, and had some handy features, it was difficult to find what I was looking for. LexMonitor categorizes blogs by practice area, and the site also contains an alphabetical list of blogs and authors. However, it was difficult to tell with any certainty what topics were covered by each blog from their title alone, and searching within that list was difficult. While LexMonitor provides some sort of search capability, a search for “trademark law blog” on the home page only turned up a list of the “Best in Law Blawgs” and other digests taken directly from LexBlog. The results also did not appear to be listed either by date or relevance, and I was perplexed at the lack of blogs that met my criteria. Finally, the content itself differed from LexBlog. While LexMonitor had a useful practice group breakdown, and even categorized blogs based on the focus (practice group or academic – even including a list of blogs by law students), some of their law students posts did not discuss the law at all. In fact, one blog in that section came from a veterinary college and was devoted entirely to treating horse diseases.
Not so with LexBlog, where after clicking on the “Network” tab on their main page and then clicking on the link to their list of AmLaw 200 blogs, a search for “trademark law blog” resulted in dozens of blawgs written by all types of firms on intellectual property matters, including trademark law. Most of the blawgs listed were quite good, focusing on current events and upcoming or pending cases. Another plus – they were listed in chronological order! Clicking on each result brought me to an overview of each site, and listed the relevant topics that each blog covered, so I was able to see at a glance where a blog might be more or less helpful to me. I realized that the disparity between the two sites and the blogs covered probably came from the fact that LexBlog lists the blawgs it helped produce (increasing both the quality and relevance of each blawg), while LexMonitor seems to be more of a collection of various blogs, though some of the same blogs appeared on both sites.
Overall, neither LexBlog nor LexMonitor was particularly user-friendly, though LexBlog provided more helpful results, and if LexBlog also had the ability to sort blawgs by practice group, that would be an immense help. I would not want to use either site to find the answer to a particular research question, but LexBlog seems to have some news and blawg posts that would be helpful to those interested in learning more about the current landscape of an area of law and seeing what issues are popular right now.