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Chapter 7: The VLW Blog

The VLW Blog is a centerpiece of the new Virginia Lawyers Weekly Web site.

Founded in March 2007, the VLW Blog originally was hosted on the popular Blogger platform. When our new site debuted in April, we imported all material that had been posted on the old site (vlweekly.blogger.com) to the new site, which is incorporated into the new home page (www.valawyersweekly.com/vlwblog).

Virginia Lawyers Weekly is published every Monday, and the print edition provides all the previous week’s information – all case digests, news stories with analysis, Verdicts & Settlements and more.

The Blog provides the editors and reporters at Virginia Lawyers Media with the medium to report news immediately after it happens.

Here’s what the Blog brings:

BREAKING NEWS. In the past year, we have had the opportunity to report trial results, judicial elections, General Assembly updates and a host of other news events right away, without having to wait for the Thursday-to-press, Monday-to-mailboxes cycle.

CASES. In addition to breaking news events, the Blog has provided us the means to get some of the latest and most significant new cases to our readers. We’ve posted case items, sometimes with links to full-text decisions, on the Blog.

NEWS LINKS. And the Blog is a great way to provide a news aggregation service – we e-mail our Daily Alert with links to legally related news stories each morning. We take the more significant items and provide a short blurb with a link within the Blog.

HEARSAY. For years, we featured a popular humor column entitled “Hearsay” in the newspaper. You’ll find that type of material has migrated over to the Blog.

Greatest hits

Every month or so, we compile the most interesting Blog posts into a column entitled, “Best of the Blog,” which appears in the newspaper. This gives us a way to marry the best Blog content to the newspaper, and to show readers of the paper who may not yet be readers of the Blog what they’re missing.

One distinct advantage to incorporating the VLW Blog into the main VLW site is that all blog material is now searchable from within the VLW Archives. When you perform a search of our back issues, the blog posts are included in the database of information that the Google search engine sifts.

As with most blogs, the VLW Blog provides the opportunity for reader comment. We welcome responsible posts from the Virginia legal community on the stories and items that we put on the Blog.

One final note: Dolan Media Company (NYSE: DM) operates 21 business units in cities across America, and our newspapers are divided into two groups, law and business. With the start of the VLW Blog in March 2007, Virginia Lawyers Weekly was the first member of the Law Group and fourth unit in the company overall to enter the blogosphere. Nearly all the Dolan Media sites now have a blog of some type.

Dolan Media each year presents a series of editorial awards honoring the best work done at those 21 units, for best writing, commentary, photography, layout, etc. In 2008, the company added a category for “Best Blog.”

At the company editorial summit held in Arizona in April, the VLW Blog brought home the bronze. We placed third in the blog competition; our colleagues at the Long Island Business News took first place and the Minnesota Lawyer team came in second.

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