Apparently, some of the professional media gets really, really touchy when the rest of us jump into the sandbox with them. Witness this outburst from Forbes - they start out with an unethical blogger as their first example, in order to try and paint the whole field. Gee, it's as if they've never heard of Jayson Blair, or Steven Glass. Nope - it's "we're the professionals - trust us!" And the bloggers? All a bunch of rats:
Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. It's not easy to fight back: 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. Microsoft has been hammered by bloggers; so have CBS, CNN and ABC News, two research boutiques that criticized IBM's Notes software, the maker of Kryptonite bike locks, a Virginia congressman outed as a homosexual and dozens of other victims--even a right-wing blogger who dared defend a blog-mob scapegoat.
Yep, it's all bad out here - we should rely on those trusty industry analysts and big name journalists, because they never get anything wrong, and they never fall under the undue influence of vendors. There's then a whole page about how bad "word of mouth" negativity is on blogs. Hmm - I guess the author has never said a bad thing about a service experience to friends, because that would be, you know, wrong. But wait! It gets better - look at what Forbes is recommending:
BUILD A BLOG SWARM. Reach out to key bloggers and get them on your side. Lavish them with attention. Or cash.Earlier this year Marqui, a tiny Portland, Ore. software shop, began paying 21 bloggers $800 per month to post items about Marqui, while requiring them to disclose the payments. Marqui's listings soared on Google from 2,000 to 250,000 results. Never mind that one blogger took the money and bashed a Marqui marketing strategy anyway.
Yeah, that whole Marqui thing went over well. People always respond well to fake publicity. Their next idea is even worse:
BASH BACK. If you get attacked, dig up dirt on your assailant and feed it to sympathetic bloggers. Discredit him.
ATTACK THE HOST. Find some copyrighted text that a blogger has lifted from your Web site and threaten to sue his Internet service provider under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That may prompt the ISP to shut him down. Or threaten to drag the host into a defamation suit against the blogger. The host isn't liable but may skip the hassle and cut off the blogger's access anyway. Also:Subpoena the host company, demanding the blogger's name or Internet address.
Yeah, getting into a catfight will gain the respect of everyone, and tossing frivolous lawsuits at the little guy is even better. Their next tip is to sue for defamation. I have a better idea - flog the writer at Forbes who wrote this with a clue by four, and do the same to the editor(s) who approved the story.