Digital sites live their lives in dog years. Once wildly popular, Gawker.com now keeps struggling to retain a distinct identity, hold onto readers, and attract new ones. Politico.com, which ate the WASHINGTON POST's lunch, is losing key talent such as Michael Calderone. And DrudgeReport.com lacks excitement.
It's occurring to me, a rabid fan of Abovethelaw.com, that maybe that site is also past its prime.
For one thing, the number of comments is leveling off. Its post "Nationwide Salary Watch: Morgan Lewis Raises Salaries" has 9 comments, "Gay Justice Could Be Coming" has 52, and "Career Alternatives for Attorneys" has 14. Not too long ago posts could register comments in the three digits.
In addition, in the past 18 months its reason for being seemed to be attorney layoffs after the bubble burst in legal services. However, that once-shocking phenomenon has been absorbed. Therefore, the site could be losing some of its pull power.
No surprise, it's experimenting with new items for the menu such as a career center and bit of match-making.
The issue is whether ATL can reset itself to stay a must-read for young lawyers and law students. One of the few sites which has been able to reinvent itself and at the same thing increase readership is Huffingtonpost.com.