Last month LexBlog opened its aggregation service to the outside world. This is something we have wanted to do for a while, but it has taken us a while to get to a place where we are comfortable.

Our philosophy behind this was pretty straightforward, a rising tide lifts all boats.

The more publications we have, the greater exposure we can bring to publications on the network. A month in and that seems to be working and more people are contacting us to join.

And the timing is great. Very soon we are going to be launching a new LexBlog, built upon a more solid technical foundation. Everything seems to be coming up LexBlog, but sadly we did not anticipate something. Immediately upon opening the doors, we hit up against an issue we should have considered.

What are out criteria for accepting publications? Do we reject people? If so, how do we do that without sounding like jerks?

At first, we thought, let’s just bring everyone into the fold. This sounds wonderful in theory, but as you might guess, when you try to be truly open you attract a lot of people whose content is at best advertising and at worst, SPAM.

Very quickly we realized we needed to have more strenuous review criteria. This has fallen upon our Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Bob Ambrogi to figure out.

Throwing humans at this problem is not ideal. If we really want to expand LexBlog, we need a better solution. One that doesn’t need to consider the publication or even the author, but instead reads the actual post. This means machine or deep learning.

So, will future iterations of LexBlog know good content from bad content without human oversight? Is that even possible? I am an optimist and a fan of technology, so I am going to say, “yes.”

Whatever we do develop to solve this problem, it will be more compelling than having humans do it. More importantly we will learn from it while continuing to make mistakes. Doing so we will sharpen our technical chops and at the same time grant us a deeper understanding of the core nature of legal publications that will enable us to help improve them.

That is why everyone here signed onto do this and so onward we go.