Who needs daytime soaps when we have blogging lawyers?
As a blogger by trade (but more importantly as a writer by trade) I have a high respect for those who write informative and high-quality blog posts. I look forward to those blogs as places to learn, share knowledge, participate in a community, maybe make some friends, and generally have an enriching experience. This is especially true when I visit blogs written by professionals. Just as I wouldn’t want to see my doctor or lawyer shouting obscenities on the sidewalk, I don’t want to see that person regressing into childlike behavior in the blogosphere either.
Unfortunately (as evidenced by the comment to which I have linked above) this happens all too often.
If your website is the face you show to the world then your blog is your voice. As such, I would go so far as to suggest that your blog is even more important than your website. Your pretty face may cause the guys stop and stare, but if your mouth is spewing trash you can bet they won’t take you home to meet the family. What clients want from their lawyer is not a hot one-night-stand; they want an intelligent class-act.
As a professional writing a blog, whether you like it or not, people are coming to you for education and guidance. Your visitors are making themselves vulnerable by admitting that they may have something to learn from you, a gap in their own knowledge. To throw that back in their faces with vitriolic rants and name-calling is worse than immature and disrespectful, it’s pernicious.
Whether your blog is attached to your firm’s website or not, anything you publish online—anything—will reflect what kind of person (or lawyer) you are to your colleagues and potential clients. In person, you represent your firm whether you’re in the office or at the grocery store; the same is true of your online presence.
Make it count.