New Ipso Facto at the PG

The Post Gazette is reaching out to Pittsburgh's most over-crowded business sector:  the legal community.

The Business section of the print edition is now "Business/law," and there is an online companion called "Ipso Facto" that links to a lot of locally generated content about law, the legal profession, law firms and law offices, and even law schools.  The main Ipso Facto page is here.

Having seen a preview and now this version 1.0, I think that the PG's basic instinct here is right:  there is a good local audience for this stuff.  As someone with a small stake in the legal business, I was involved in some preliminary conversations about what the page would look like, and Ipso Facto links to some content that I generate -- both at Pitt Law, where I teach, and at one of my other blogs.  As an online veteran, I'm always interested in new audiences for what I write.  But I'd say the same thing even if I weren't among the links.  A growing number of local lawyers and law firms have blogs, and Ipso Facto pulls in some of that content.

Pulling it off this project, however, is going to be a challenge.  Ipso Facto is basically an aggregator (meaning:  the PG is generating ad revenue without investing in much new content of its own), and as with any aggregator the trick is to identify content worth aggregating, to clearly and fairly label content that originated elsewhere, and to segment the content appropriately to reach different sub-audiences.  There are many thousands of lawyers in the Pittsburgh region, but some are Downtown lawyers and many are small town or neighborhood lawyers.  Some work for giant industrial law firms or for corporate legal departments; many work for small practices or solo shops.  Some have highly specialized practices; many are generalists.  And so on and so on.  The PG needs enough content that reaches all of these -- and enough content that reaches each of them. 

We will see what version 2.0 brings.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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