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Habitat Magazine looks to grow its audience with new case law tracker

By: Peter Keung | January 19, 2022 | Case study and Business solutions

As the publisher of a successful online magazine, Carol Ott is always looking for ways to diversify her publication’s revenue streams. In fact, building and executing on multi-channel digital strategies has been the focus of the partnership of Ott’s Habitat Magazine and Mugo Web for the better part of a decade.

During that time, Mugo has helped Ott implement features such as:

  • Streamlined production workflow
  • Self-managed subscription center
  • Video and other high-value content delivery formats

With her latest project, Ott wanted to expand not only the features Habitat offers, but also extend her business’ reach beyond its core audience of condo and co-op board members in the high-stakes New York market. Her new target: attorneys who practice real estate law, an adjacent audience and a promising area for Habitat to leverage existing expertise and relationships.

The result is the Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker, which launched in 2021. The site is a subscription-based legal reference database and monthly newsletter that offers a monthly summation of relevant New York court decisions dealing with co-ops and condos, along with a searchable database. Decision summaries are written by well-known attorneys in the co-op/condo space. The searchable database includes case summaries and links to the actual court decisions.

An ongoing relationship

Ott began working on the concept of a case law tracker back in 2018, and continued to develop the idea after she purchased a series of newsletters, many of which focused on conflicts between tenants and condo boards.

Ott reached out to two prominent attorneys in the New York area and secured the use of case note content, then contacted Mugo Web about the project. Involving Mugo at the early stages of the project, as a strategic partner, made perfect sense, Ott said.

“They are really smart guys,” Ott said. “They facilitate a project like this through more than just their programming.”

Creative integration solutions

The Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker is built on the Ibexa content management system, as is Habitat’s primary site. Designing the content database to provide easy, value-added case references was a big part of the project, said Anup Saund, Development Manager on the project for Mugo. Another technical challenge was integrating a new audience engagement system as the site’s subscription and permission control platform. 

The Co-op & Condo Case Search cases

The Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker offers a preview of its functionality to guest visitors, with full access behind a paywall. To guarantee site performance, Mugo implemented a system through which the Ibexa CMS uses APIs to validate a user’s logged-in / logged out status, and then presents promotional pages based on that status. Actual transactional forms, including sign-up and subscription management, are generated by the engagement system and  embedded in Ibexa page templates.

Information is just a search away

Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker subscribers can search listed cases by strings or keywords and find general overviews, called “squibs,” along with links to the full case listing at public records sites. They can also see associated case notes from advising attorneys that put the ruling into context and receive email newsletters.

Mugo created an editorial workflow that makes it easy for contributing attorneys to post new briefs, which are then reviewed and posted by Habitat team members within the Ibexa CMS.

Always innovating, always growing

The challenge moving forward, Ott says, is educating her new audience of attorneys that the Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker is targeted specifically to their needs. Habitat has such a strong brand presence as a leading resource for co-op boards that it’s a learning curve for attorneys to realize that the case tracker is the right fit for them.

And of course, Habitat is always looking toward it’s next evolutionary step as a multi-channel digital publisher.

“There’s always some new feature or value you can provide your audience,” Ott said. “So you always have to be thinking about the next opportunity.”