To intermediate or dis-intermediate, that is the question. The web has upended the traditional publishing model where editors select and filter content. BlawgWorld 2007, released today, is an example of “re-intermediation.” 

Pre-web, we had little choice but to rely on reporters, editors, and publishers to deliver news and information. My presentation Legal Publishers in 2007 and Beyond points out the web can make anyone a news source, an editor, or publisher. No longer must we rely on intermediaries for news.

Dis-intermediation has pros and cons. Information is plentiful but finding and evaluating sources is hard. I still read newspapers and magazines because I value the intermediation; I want trustworthy reporters and editors to exercise their judgment in selecting and covering stories.

Blogs are a great source of information. The number of legal blogs – blawgs – is astounding. But how do you select which to read? Directories such as Blawg, Justia BlawgSearch, Blawg Republic, or’s Quest directory provide extensive listings but limited editorial guidance.

BlawgWorld 2007 (10 meg PDF) is an example of re-intermediation. It “features a remarkable collection of essays from the legal blogosphere.” The editors (at TechnoLawyer) have published highlights from from 77 useful blawgs, offering one easy way to find and evaluate them. (Note: See the PDF press release for more info. Disclaimer: I am not dis-interested since this blog is one of the 77.)

The 1st edition of BlawgWorld in 2005 was downloaded 45,000 times. This volume suggests demand for re-intermediation, for editorial guidance in navigating the blawgosphere. It will be interesting to see how BlawgWorld evolves and whether we will see more re-intermediation in legal publishing.

BlawgWorld also contains a vendor-sponsored problem and solution guide for common legal technology questions. [Will that dis-intermediate legal technology consultants? :-)] The PDF format is well-done, with all content no more than 3 clicks away.