The article suggests the following as one of the reasons for this disconnect:
“[I]t is possible that the selection of a lawyer for a personal legal matter is simply too intimate a decision to come into play in the everyday use of social media.”
This is a provocative idea, albeit one that most of us have considered: even though the Internet, in 2011, essentially makes the world go round, people just can’t be trusted on the Internet. This idea also suggests that the entire discussion regarding the allowance of blogs by the ABA as advertising is moot. Put another way, maybe it’s not worth all the trouble of even figuring out what the rules are because blogs aren’t attracting lawyers anyways. When people hire a lawyer, they want someone they can trust, and there is a stigma of the Internet as an untrustworthy source. I would question, however, why blogs are any different than the yellow pages or newspapers.
Also, if this is really the reason why people aren’t looking at blogs, then why do Fourty-Four percent of people look at lawyer websites? I would suggest that it’s not that the decision of who to hire is not a personal decision, but maybe potential clients don’t actually believe what a lawyer says in their own words. Even though a website is presumably written in the lawyer’s own words, it’s more professional. Therefore, the increase in the lack of professionalism is, perhaps, something that the clients actually would consider before they hire a lawyer.
*The comments of this article suggest that the study was biased due to the population that was surveyed.