What I like generally about this addition, is that JD Supra seems much easier for the casual visitor. If you’re trying to track down an employment lawyer or personal injury lawyer, there’s now a single location I can point people to (or bookmark) that shows the latest postings, and who are leading contributors.
I also like the top-5 contributor list on each page’s sidebar, which is based on the publishing track record within the category. The top-10 contributor list on the homepage is great for larger groups or big contributors, but these top-5 lists are a great way to stand out with 20 to 50 documents.
And if I put my SEO hat on for a moment, the practice centers also offer a host of new landing page opportunities for topical searches from the search engines. Making legal content more accessibile is JD Supra’s goal, and the additional search exposure adds to that offering. I expect the link value from the practice centers will distribute evenly across the site, and more importantly, into each of the content items. Both the contributor profile pages and the content pages should see an ongoing benefit.
But probably the biggest difference for me, is the balance JD Supra now has between search and browse. As many of my fellow law librarians can tell you, information seekers often vary in terms of their search-vs-browse orientation. Not everyone is the same in that regard. What JD Supra had been lacking, was the functionality to support the browsing style. The practice centers, in my view, fill that gap and create a more complete service.
Congratulations to everyone at JD Supra!