Congratulations to Forbes for having one of the most poorly written articles on blogging ever. Daniel Lyons, who obviously falls squarely on the side of the older styles of journalism (those would be nepotism, invective, and abuse), pens a mighty blow against “the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns”, blogs. Here’s a nice sampling:
Often a bashing victim can’t even figure out who his attacker is. No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory.
“Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality,” says Peter Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Intelliseek…
“I’d say 50% to 60% of attacks are sponsored by competitors,” says Bruce Fischman, a lawyer in Miami for targets of online abuse.
One blog, Groklaw, exists primarily to bash software maker SCOGroup in its Linux patent lawsuit against IBM, producing laughably biased, pro-IBMcoverage; its origins are a mystery.
Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic “content” without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate; at times they even sell ads alongside the diatribes.
Ah yes, the sweet sounds of balanced reporting. Welcome to blogging world, Mr. Lyons. I’m guessing your next story will be about the poor quality of the millions of emails you are about to receive. And, not to take the bait too hard, but you are also an idiot, Mr. Lyons. Blogs are more than a cheap product-bashing tool. They are also important tools for communicating to millions of people. Even Presidential candidates use blogs to campaign. Blogs are social barometers. Blogs are ways for companies to talk with, not to, their customers. Companies also put on human faces with blogs (see Microsoft). Oh, and Groklaw is a pretty interesting study in the power of blogs to overcome the disinformation you obviously fell for, Mr. Lyons. (Hot Tip: SCO is going to lose.)
So, the next time you, Mr. Lyons, want to write a story about blogs or anything related to the Internet, pull your head out of you ass (or at least quit kissing the ass of what I’m guessing are sponsors) and try to present the entire story. And if a Forbes editor wants to prevent your brand name from ending up like a blog-bashed diet-pill, you’d do well to sort out Daniel Lyons.
Read the whole article (BugMeNot required; wonder what Forbes thinks of that extension?) and the original story on MeFi.