In a major blow to entrenched legal publishers Lexis Nexis and Thompson Reuters, in July Linkedin chose to partner with JD Supra to supply content for Legal Updates. In one sense this partnership is like combining peanut butter and chocolate as Jayne Navarre describes, but in another sense, it is kind of like Coca-Cola deciding to partner with San Dimas High School over the National Football League. This was a great opportunity for the major legal publishers but they lost out to a small start-up named JDSupra that is far more agile.
Here is how legal updates work:
JDSupra collects written content from lawyers all over the world. They tag it, optimize it and display it on their website. Any corporate alert, amicus brief, white paper, or blog post you create is given a second life through this site.
Here is why JDSupra’s marriage to Linkedin is so crucial.
Linkedin has more than 75 million members worldwide, including representatives of every Fortune 500 company. There are more than 1 million lawyers on Linkedin alone. Linkedin knows a LOT about their users. Where they work, what they do, what type of experience and education they have. Most importantly, they can make a very educated guess about the types of articles GC’s, HR representatives and C-suite individuals find appealing.
Enter Legal Updates
When a professional signs up for Legal Updates on Linkedin (this is done by clicking the “MORE” tab at http://Linkedin.com ———> click “Applications” ————–> click “Legal Updates” then click “Add”) they are sent targeted content on a daily or weekly basis.
To give an example of how this works, when the GC of IBM signs up for Legal Updates he will receive directly into his email box relevant articles written by attorneys that are submitting through JD Supra. GC’s, HR representatives and C-suite executives will received targeted legal content based on not only their preferences but also based on the information they have reported about themselves in their Linkedin profiles. This is a big deal, like I often repeat: it isn’t about who you know, it’s about what you have to say.
Executives no longer have to look for information- it will find them.
Why should Lexis Nexis and Thompson Reuters care? Because they are being beaten at their own game. For years Lexis Nexis has survived by collecting and organizing content that they didn’t have to create! User generated content has kept Lexis Nexis in business for a very long time, but now they are being upstaged by a start-up that has a better grasp on organizing and distributing content.
When I asked Adrian Lurssen, JD Supra’s VP, why Linkedin chose JD Supra he replied that it came down to their ability to tag and optimize content in a way that was attractive to Linkedin. They were speaking the same language. If Thompson West and Lexis Nexis want to keep their spots as the top dogs, they need to start learning the language to.