Thursday, July 05, 2007

Online Rating System: Help or Hindrance?

In The New York Times article, "On Second Thought, Let's Just Rate all the Lawyers", criminal defense lawyer John Henry Browne, sites his reasons for filing a lawsuit against allows regular people to find the kind of lawyers they need in their location. After typing in a zip code and specialty, a list of lawyers come up with a rating out of 10 points.

Unfortunately for Mr. Browne, his first visit to the site ranked him at a 3.7, in the site's "caution" zone. He claims to have lost two potential clients because of Web site.

Avvo appears to generate their rankings from public records including disciplinary reports and factor in education, experience and specialization help. Lawyers are allowed to add information to their profile after providing Avvo with a valid credit card number.

They will not disclose exactly how much each record factors into their ratings, but claim lawyers could temporarily increase their scores by inputing minor prizes and awards. After typing in positive information about his career and experience, Mr. Browne watched his score rise to a 7.4.

When you're building a stronger business, focus on the metrics that matter rather than getting caught in an arbitrary rating game.

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