As Web 2.0 (the next generation of web experience and sites) continues to grow and accelerate, visitors want interaction in everything they do. As the younger generation gets older and the older generation becomes more acclimated with web interaction, the typical Law Firm Website model will become a little less relevant. Web surfers want to ask for information via the web. They do not want to "call for a free consultation" or fill out an intake form where someone from the firm will contact them.
This is why you see a lot of Law Q & A sites out there. Law firm potential clients are asking legal questions on these sites and on general Q & A sites such as Yahoo Answers!
I have had discussions with many attorneys about the viability of the information of these sites. Some attorneys believe it is ok to give informational answers that cannot be described as any legal advice. Other attorneys believe that the whole legal question and answer model is fatally flawed. One lawyer told me "would you get advice on how to do open heart surgery on an answer from a website? So why would you be able to get solid legal information without consulting with an attorney on the phone?".
I'm not a lawyer and don't know which perspective is correct. I do know that less and less people like to use the phone. People want answers online just like they want to purchase products online. A general manager of a local Pizza Hut franchise told me his sales increased 25% when customers could order pizza online.
How law firms will deal with this quandary will be very important. Blawgs can be a little interactive, but do not answer the fundamental question, how should lawyers communicate with prospective clients in the age of Web 2.0?