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.That's one way to look at it, I guess, but buried down there at the end of the first page is the admission (squeak!) that "Attack blogs are but a sliver of the rapidly expanding blogosphere." A more reasoned & less sensational take on this is that there are axes being ground in every sphere of human expression. People have opinions and articulate them. Sure... the blogosphere gives an established author the potential to reach a large audience quickly, and occasionally siezes on a story & swarms it to prominence, but that's the exception, not the norm. A half-dozen cases that the article refers to do not a media trend make. Try again, Forbes!!
"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, a Cincinnati firm that sifts through millions of blogs to provide watch-your-back service to 75 clients, including Procter & Gamble and Ford. "The potential for brand damage is really high,"says Frank Shaw, executive vice president at Microsoft's main public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom. "There is bad information out there in the blog space, and you have only hours to get ahead of it and cut it off, especially if it's juicy."
Update: I'm with Jim at SerotoninRain: "Perhaps you should consider cancelling your Forbes subscription and read some of the titles in the sidebar." Now that's a good thought!!
via CGM & Micropersuasion.