When blogs attack
Pragmaticism was vandalized recently. I apologize for the interruption--the culprit is now being reeducated, and by reeducated I mean we're making him listen to "Justin Timberlake: A Tribute to Bono" over and over.
Forbes magazine had an interesting and polemical cover story the other day: Attack of the Blogs. They throw down the gauntlet at the beginning of the article:
'Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo..."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 main point of the article is that blogs are a difficult-to-fight way to attack brands and people. I don't disagree--they (1) do attack brands and people, and (2) they are difficult to fight. But it's almost as if the article undermines its own point by doing what it's railing against--taking blogs so darn seriously. Because there are fewer checks and balances on a blog, it's harder to get a blog to stop, or track down its author, than, say, a newspaper story. BUT, the flipside of that is that (at least in theory) we'd take a blog less seriously than an article in the newspaper. So, do these two forces cancel each other out, or does, as the article asserts, the bad outweigh the good?
I wonder if comments on this post will split down political lines. I'll put forth my own argument after we get into the discussion.