ALM’s revives early ambitions

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As online advertising surges, a number of b-to-b media companies are taking a second look at ambitious online concepts they formulated in the pre-2001 Internet heyday.

One of them is ALM’s Real Estate Media (REM) division, which is redesigning and repositioning (also referred to as Globe Street) over the course of this year. The latest strategy aims to return’s to its roots as a comprehensive destination for commercial real estate content.

Five years before its acquisition by ALM in April 2005, Real Estate Media launched with the intention of providing breaking news, analysis and strategic insights across a wide spectrum of regions and multiple market sectors. After the Internet bust, the site refocused on one of those ambitions—breaking news.

Starting this year, however, “Globe Street will be much more than news,” said Michael Desiato, VP of the REM division and the original editorial director of “We are expanding our digital presence to be a single Web destination for commercial real estate,” he said. “We are aggregating all of the content from our magazines into this site.”

Some of the content from the REM division’s 30 conferences and events will also be integrated into

Alex Kam, ALM’s VP-digital strategy and business development, explained that the shift from news orientation to industry destination requires a fundamental shift from both a technological and organizational perspective.

In the past, stories would only stay on the site for as long as the editors deemed them newsworthy, Kam said. “One major difference is that we now have persistent content,” he said.

The REM division includes five print properties: Real Estate Forum, Real Estate New York, Real Estate New Jersey, Real Estate Southern California and Real Estate Florida. Because of the wealth of content relating to those geographic areas, is developing minisites for each of them.

The first of these,, was quietly launched in November and will provide the template for the New York, Florida and Southern California minisites, which are scheduled to debut by April, Desiato said. is also rolling out industry-focused sections that are similar in format to the regional subsites. The first two, focused on retail and industrial real estate, are already up on the site. Capital markets will be launched next Monday, followed by technology and office space, respectively, on the two following Mondays.

Kam said he prefers to roll out one element of the redesign at a time rather than all at once. “When you’ re making a fundamental change like this, you want to isolate each change so that you can see the impact of that change and learn from it,” he said. “That, in turn, informs the rest of the process.”

As a side note, was originally modeled on ALM’s central site for legal content,, even though Real Estate Media and ALM (then American Lawyer Media) at the time were separate companies. Both companies were backed by U.S. Equity Partners, which sold ALM to London-based Incisive Media last July.

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