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Editorial The Internet

Forbes Goes After Bloggers 287

Posted by Zonk
from the forbes-make-internet-angry dept.
walterbyrd writes "In a recent article, Forbes bashes bloggers big time (forbesdontbug/forbesdontbug)." From the article: "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. " BoingBoing has a long post about the article.
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Forbes Goes After Bloggers

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  • Blog Bashin' Fools (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:18PM (#13900475) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft: So many rants to choose, so little time.

    CBS, CNN and ABC News: Big media are lap dogs to the powers that be. To afraid to really speak out for fear of harming revenue, stock value, etc.

    IBM's Notes software: If you make software, someone, somewhere will complain.

    Kryptonite bike locks: The best bike lock in the world, picked in seconds with a BIC pen.

    The most effective defense against being slagged in blogs is to take the charm offensive. Be open and honest. If you've done wrong apologies and move on. Strip their legs out from under them. A harsh retort is more likely to get them a larger audience.

    "Ackthpt is t3h rat basturd!1"

    Yes, I'm afraid I am. Sorry, I'll try to do better next time. If I had $5, I would most certainly mail it to Happy Guy, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield, USA

    I wonder if anyone's started a blog critising AMD for eating Intel's lunch. [eetimes.com]

    • by RLiegh (247921) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:23PM (#13900532) Homepage Journal
      CBS, CNN and ABC News: Big media are lap dogs to the powers that be. To afraid to really speak out for fear of harming revenue, stock value, etc.

      And that, as I'm sure you're aware, is precisely what scares Forbes and those of their class. Traditional journalism is a tamed parrot which only says what its' owners have trained it to say.

      They needed be afraid though; history has shown that independent social movements and forms of communication remain independent for a very brief period of time before becoming absorbed into the tame and vapid mainstream of social thought and expression.

      Blogs scare the societal elites now; but in five years from now they'll be just another corporate form of propaganda, pushing the sheeple in the direction which the top 1% want them to go.
      • by Egorn (82375)
        That's why AOL/Time Warner is trying to buy into them [reuters.com] and regain control of journalism.
      • They're giving the blogs too much credit. Take this line, for example:

        "Circle Group stock fell below a dollar in a year of combat with Miles and the anonymous bashers on Yahoo (and after Nestlé dropped Z-Trim)."

        Oh by the way, Nestle pulled out and the stock tanked. Sounds like the year long battle should go in the parenthesis instead. This piece has the objectiveness and balance of... a blog!
    • by Burz (138833)
      Seems like part of the author's message is pleading for a return to consumers who cannot easily defend themselves against against corporate swindliers and incompetence... and right-wingers. Are we surprised?

      Yes, paid shills are an odious problem. But why not simply call them that? Could the author himself be a shill? One has to wonder.

      No target is too mighty, or too obscure,

      Its great being both mighty and obscure, isn't it? Rich crooks [theyrule.net] are under attack by concerned citizens and consumers; Now that small-f

  • ...for providing the username/password. =)
  • I shudder everytime I get called into a senior exec's office and he's got a copy of the Forbes Christmas tech guide on his desk.

    "Says here that everyone is going to ARCnet. Why aren't we?"

    Grrrrrrrumble.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:19PM (#13900489) Journal

    Hmmm, have to register to read the article, I hate that.

    But, from the slashdot summary, ..., 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...,

    As with all sea changes in communications comes (especially early on) a high noise to signal ratio. Hopefully reasonable readers apply reasonable filters to what they read.

    There may be incendiary posts, unnecessary posts, and inappropriate post (including but not limited to trolling, flaming, and slander), but in the collective body of blogs are useful nuggets worth mining. Vendors, companies, and individuals benefit if they choose by tuning in to this.

    The evolution of airing a complaint has evolved from snail mail (good luck), to phone calls (good luck), and with the internet, to "Contact Us" (hmmm, good luck). None of these in my experience have been as effective as I prefer because the receiving complainant can easily ignore the missives as so much whining, and invisible that they don't have to be responsive.

    Not all ignore complaints, pleas for help, etc. Notably (and I'm only picking a couple) I've always received timely and helpful replies from Amazon.com and Thumbnails Plus [slashdot.org] . These are only two examples, I could cite more.

    But with the volume raised, the signal amplified with the more public blogosphere I've seen signs there can be positive outcomes. Again, while some posts are inflammatory only, valid complaints about activities, governments, and companies in such a public forum spur action faster and more effectively than in the past.

    And, as with all emerging conduits, mechanisms are being built and refined eventually improving the signal to noise ratio to a much more acceptable number (case in point... you troll or flame too much here, even anonymously, you get shut down until you clean up your act).

    I am looking forward to the future that is the blogosphere.

    • look carefully after the link to avoid registration.
    • Not only that, but the example given (of Miles vs. Halpern) is a case of stock fraud, where Miles merely used Blogs (amongst other online media) as a means to further his trading.

      He used normal press releases too - just pointing out to blogs is ridiculous.

      Folks like Miles would use any new technology to get ahead, that he used Blogs too means absolutely nothing.
    • The problem with the kinds of blogs that are being criticised here is that they amount to nothing more nor less than the pointless, trivial griping that usually goes on in bars or on front porches because Person A got pissed off about what Company X did. Then, since you always want to side with your friend and not Company X, everyone in the bar or on the porch or at the bus stop says, "Yeah, you know what happened to my cousin/brother/nephew/uncle/3rd great grandma/neighbor/etc, ...". Everyone basically u
  • by fremen (33537)
    Bloggers badly blog bashing belief bloggers blog badly.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.
  • by bconway (63464) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:20PM (#13900498) Homepage
    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

    The uproar and exposition of the Kryptonite bike locks was covered extensively on Slashdot. This _security_ product had severe design flaws that exposed the owners of their device to significant risk, and the company buried it, hoping no one would notice.
    • And slashdot is a blog -- one of several that "hammered" Kryptonite. That's the point.
    • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:39PM (#13900699) Homepage
      This is just more trash talk from Dan Lyons, Forbes own resident pro-SCO, anti-"Linux crunchies" troll. He's apparantly realized that his only hope of keeping his job indefinitely is to convince his bosses that having one's arguments meticulously dissected by flaw-finding weblogs is a meaningless annoyance that happens to everybody, and to dissuade his bosses from ever paying close attention to the flaws found in Dan's own work.

      Don't even click the link and give them an ad impression. Unless the man has just lost his mind, the whole reason for writing these shrill rants is to draw more "Slashdot effect" hits. It's quite possible that Forbes is thrilled to see all the attention in their web server logs, not yet realizing they're getting it by driving away the "Wall Street Journal" audience in favor of the more populous "National Enquirer" crowd.
      • He's apparantly realized that his only hope of keeping his job indefinitely is to convince his bosses that having one's arguments meticulously dissected by flaw-finding weblogs is a meaningless annoyance...

        Or it's a way to drum-up pagehits from the blogosphere.

        I'm sure the sensationalism helps Forbes' ad revenue, in the short-term at least.
      • There's no doubt an element of that but I'm sure it reaches deeper. There's a certain special offense when powerless proles are capable of raising problems for the monolothic, faceless multinationals which are Forbes' client base. There's more than a hint of anti-republic monied elitism in it, a sentiment almost as old as civilization
      • His articles [google.com] are in fact not very Linux friendly.
    • All that forbes said about blogs is, IMHO, good. It says basically: while the internet is a "free speech zone", everyone should keep their noses clean, because no dirt will escape. Simple as that.

  • Of Ben Franklin's newspaper. This sort of thing has been going on since the begining of the country- that's what freedom of the press is all about.

    Having said that, my new signature line is key to defeating the danger of the blogosphere. For every action, there will be an equal and opposite reaction. This goes for business ethics just as much as it goes for momentum.
    • Unfortunately (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcc (14761)
      For every action, there will be an equal and opposite reaction. This goes for business ethics just as much as it goes for momentum.

      Unfortunately companies don't seem to be learning the right lesson about what that opposite reaction is. I assume, right, that with your sig you're trying to point out that if companies don't like people complaining about their actions on the internet, then the correct response would be to stop taking actions worthy of complaining about? No, according to Forbes, the correct resp
    • The problem is, with the fickleness and lack of accountability of the blog world, slander and unfounded scares are just as easy to pull off as justified whistleblowing. When Apple got dingedby ipodsdirtysecret.com, the creators of the video and furor conveniently left out the fact that the problem was much rarer than they made it sound and that they hadn't made a reasonable effort to resolve the matter privately before raising their online lynch mob. When it died down Apple was guilty of at worst a minor su
      • The problem is, with the fickleness and lack of accountability of the blog world, slander and unfounded scares are just as easy to pull off as justified whistleblowing.

        The same was true of print before the slander and libel laws- Thomas Jefferson even approved of the situation. In many ways it's still true- because the law is slow, and print media is faster, and blogs are faster yet.

        When Apple got dingedby ipodsdirtysecret.com, the creators of the video and furor conveniently left out the fact that the
    • by tootlemonde (579170) on Friday October 28, 2005 @06:54PM (#13901389)

      I'm sure Alexander Hamilton said the same Of Ben Franklin's newspaper.http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/pop_apolo gy.html>

      Indeed. Should blogger feel the need to respond, they might do no better than Franklin's response to criticism of his Pennsylvania Gazette, May 27, 1731.

      He begins:

      Being frequently censur'd and condemn'd by different Persons for printing Things which they say ought not to be printed, I have sometimes thought it might be necessary to make a standing Apology for my self, and publish it once a Year...

      He then gives 10 things for his critics to consider, among them:

      4. That it is as unreasonable in any one Man or Set of Men to expect to be pleas'd with every thing that is printed, as to think that nobody ought to be pleas'd but themselves.

      8. That if all Printers were determin'd not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed.

  • by jettoki (894493) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:22PM (#13900524)
    Mass Media to the Masses: Please ignore the vulgar upwelling of free speech to your left. Look here, its Britney's baby photos! Lookit the photos! Thassa good boy!
  • What do you expect (Score:3, Informative)

    by MycroftMkIV (197922) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:24PM (#13900540)
    from Microsoft shill Daniel Lyons? Any time he can make Linux or anyone connected to 'free', 'open', etc., look bad, he'll do it. Truth be damned.

    Mike
  • So, power to the people?
  • A forbes article that's pretty much a rant against Freedom of Speech.

    Not that I'm suprised. /predicts within 20 years, we will have an ammendment passed to limit the powers of "freedom of speech".
  • by Japong (793982) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:25PM (#13900556)
    Amazing - Forbes, which caters to the very rich, is shocked and appalled that suddenly people who aren't rich are getting heard. And these giant, billion dollar companies just can't seem to figure out who to crush, or how to lock them out of the media. Hopefully once the internet becomes even better equipped for creating many-to-many streams of information (blogs are taking on newspapers, podcasts are taking on radio... soon it might even be... television?), we'll at least get to a point where the select few have aclimatized to the fact that there oligopolies are gone.
  • ... will only carry out character assassination against those companies and individuals that the powers that be want smeared. Establishment organisations have always been against true free speech while paying lip service to supporting it.
  • democracy of sorts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheAdventurer (779556) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:26PM (#13900568)
    god, don't you hate it when the lowly plebs have a forum in which to have their voice heard? I just feel so much sympathy for giant corporations with access to the biggest media outlets in the world. It's just awful that they are being picked on by individuals who more often than not live paycheck to paycheck and have to face the practical consequences of the decisions these companies make in private board rooms.

    Also, boycott Nestle.
    • Don't you know that those lowly plebs are only parroting what our competitors want them to say? People don't have opinions of their own! (Well, except for a few crackpots.) All you have to do is look at the way those people have negative things to say about us, and it's obvious they're part of a sinister conspiracy. They're probably communists. And intellectual terrorists.

      You... wouldn't happen to be siding with those bloggers, now would you? Siding with terrorists?

      I thought not!
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:27PM (#13900572)
    ...... I'll quote them in my blog.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evil agent (918566) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:29PM (#13900590)
    Perhaps I should start a blog about how I hate blogs...
  • Forbes don't like that people actually can exercise their constitutional rights to free speach ?

    Sigh!
  • You say people are able to exercise their first amendment rights? And you can't find them in order to threaten them? Aww, let's pass some laws to help out. Ya damn crybaby.

    Anonymous free speech is guaranteed by the constitution. Get used to it or do business in another country.
  • DMCA abuse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slavemowgli (585321) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:32PM (#13900622) Homepage
    What I find surprising is that nobody has pointed out yet what Dan Gillmore [bayosphere.com] has mentioned: namely, that the article encourages firms to "(f)ind 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".

    Geez. Talk about an abuse of the (already abusive) DMCA and the justice system in general. I really lost a lot of respect for Forbes when I read that - going after people who exercise their right to free speech and disagree with you is bad enough, but bringing fraudulent lawsuits against them and their ISPs is, well, criminal. Or if it's not, then it should be.
    • Re:DMCA abuse (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cyberformer (257332) on Friday October 28, 2005 @07:03PM (#13901462)
      There's a comment from an EFF attorney addressing this in the linked BoingBoing discussion (not TFA itself --- I don't want to give those bastards a pageview, even with adblock on). It's stupid advice that could cost companies a lot of money.

      Basically, the DMCA is bad, but not that bad. Diebold tried to abuse it in exactly the way that Forbes is suggesting, and got fined $125,000.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:32PM (#13900626)
    Daniel Lyons deserves to be banned from publishing in Forbes for his sidebar on Pamela Jones. Completely paints one side of the story without any attempt at balance, and uses quotes out of context to twist the meaning of the words.

    >> When O'Gara's story about her quest appeared in Linux Business News, an online magazine, indignant bloggers went on the attack. They said the story was unethical and demanded that the site take it down. (So much for free speech.)

    >> Jones responded by penning a pious thank-you to her defenders. "My faith in the human race is restored," she wrote. "It means so much to me to know that there is still a line, an ethical line, and some things we agree we ought never to do to a fellow human."

    If I recall correctly, O'Gara's story attempted to question Jones' sexual orientation or something else of that nature, and Pamela Jones' reply about "an ethical line" refers to this.

    Daniel Lyons completely left that bit out, instead talking only about O'Gara as simply trying to meet Pamela or verify that was her real name, and that bloggers ravenously swarmed to keep that information secret.
  • Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns.

    Which really annoys Forbes because that's their turf [forbes.com].

  • Apparently groklaw just posts a bunch of IBM rhetoric without considering the merits of SCO's allegation ... ROFLMAO can somebody really write this with a straight face ???
  • We all know it is bad that people now are able to tell the truth about corporate abuse. The world was much a much better place when corporations like Fox were able to say that "We will decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is." http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1998Q2/foxbgh.htm l [prwatch.org] and make journalists who were able to think for themselves and had their own opinions shup up.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    JON: With more on the role of blogger's in today's media, I'm joined by Daily Show senior media correspondent, Stephen Colbert.

    STEPHEN: Jon, before we begin, I'd like to get something off my chest, before I get 'outed' by the bloggers.

    My real name isn't Stephen Colbert. It's Ted Hitler. No relation. Well, distant relation, two generations back. Directly. I'm Adolf Hitler's grandson. Anyways, it's out there. It's no longer news.

    JON: Uh, uh, wow. First of all, thank you for your honesty, Stephen...

    STEPHEN: It
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:34PM (#13900649) Homepage
    This might have meant something coming from some other source, but Forbes is hardly the height of objective and level-headed reporting itself.

    I mean, if nothing else, look at this article. This article is essentially made up entirely of brand-bashing, personal attacks, and smear campaign, and then it goes on to complain about "brand-bashing, personal attacks, and smear campaigns". Hmm.
  • that's always good, and healthy for a democracy

    what the forbes article suggests is that we should all suppress our desires to express ourselves

    i mean the article is 100% right: blogs are a wasteland of mental detritus

    however, i'll take that wasteland of mental detritus over some sort of expectation or belief that the content of all of our minds should be placid and the same, without any sense of dissent

    blogs are nothing but windows on people minds, and anyone who is surprised that most of what is in our minds is absolute crap doesn't really know the human species very well

    blgos are an avenue for venting, for blowing off steam, and it's a healthy, acceptable way to do so

    to suppress that doesn't destroy asocial impulses, it merely means pressure builds and asocial thoughts and desires get expressed in far less acceptable ways, often in real life

    far better the web serve as our mental trashground than real life, don't you agree?

    so the author of this piece may or may not be happier in an authoritarian state, but they certainly are guilty of taking blogs WAY too seriously in the least, and at the worst, they have antidemocratic instincts and impulses

    and if so, then please, by all means, dear forbes article author: enjoy your emigration to north korea, the utopia of sameness and consensus you seek
  • I remember reading about a suicide where a person blew himself up. Naturally the blogs picked up on the story and completly trashed the guy by saying he was a terrorist and he wanted to kill people. They provided all these information supporting the fact that he was a terrorist that the Government says is complete bull. Of course I don't know if this is just an effect of news in general or blogging.
  • Sage advice from Forbes on what to do about those evil bloggers:

    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 t
    • Hail Xenu? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tackhead (54550)
      > Sage advice from Forbes on what to do about those evil bloggers:

      Pretty un-sage. And pretty un-Forbes-like. Sounds a lot like a certain UFO cult, actually.

      > BASH BACK. If you get attacked, dig up dirt on your assailant and feed it to sympathetic bloggers. Discredit him.

      1. Spot who is attacking us.

      2. Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies.

      3. Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.

      4. Start fee

    • 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.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Forbes advocating barratry [law.com] here? Something that happens to be illegal across the whole of the USA?

  • by nadamsieee (708934) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:35PM (#13900666)
    Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns.
    That's an interesting statement coming from a magazine that frequently publishes personal attacks [groklaw.net] and smear campaigns [groklaw.net]. Come to think of it, since a blog is by definition a personal web-log, this entire article is just one mass personal attack...
    • I clicked it, a search of groklaw mentions of Forbes came up.

      What does that mean? You think every time groklaw mentions Forbes, Forbes smeared someone?

      I just don't get what you're trying to say here.

      The first part seemed more like a mistake than a personal attack too, not that Forbes has never personally attacked someone, just not in this case.
  • Boing Boing. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:35PM (#13900667) Homepage
    One of the great points made in the BoingBoing commentary is that, if a corporation follows certain bits of the article's advice, they could open themselves up to liability. For example, if you do as the author suggests, find "copyrighted text" on their site and then use it for the basis of a DMCA takedown notice, they might be able to justify their usage via fair use. If so, it's possible for them to countersue you for sending a misleading or inaccurate takedown notice. Again according to the commentary, Diebold got hit with $125,000 in fines for precisely this reason.

    Not terribly responsible journalism by Daniel Lyons. Of course, you may remember the earlier Lyons article in which he defended [forbes.com] Maureen O'Gara's attack on groklaw's [groklaw.net] PJ. He doesn't appear to be an open source enthusiast. For example, in an article on Marc Fleury of JBoss fame, he writes [forbes.com]:
    "Poor guy. Did he not get the memo? This is what open source software is all about: creating knockoffs and giving them away, destroying the value of whatever the other guy is selling."

    "What's new is that now open-source companies are turning on each other."
    Memo to Slashdot, and to myself: YHBT.
  • to voice their opinions!

    I, for one, am glad that Forbes Magazine is willing to stand up and speak out for the victims of this heinous free speech.
  • ...the media got a taste of their own medicine. After all they *never* prominantly post damaging, factually incorrect stories and then hide the retractions, right?
  • For having opinons that have not been vetted and approved by their social betters. Namely, us. The people that decide what news IS news, how it will be reported, what it will be called, when, and for how long. We've worked tierlessly to have people become addicted to learning what we want them to know the way we want them to know it. And then these damned bloggers go around spouting opinions, opinions on opinions, variations and digression on opinions and sometimes actual independently verified facts!
  • I love seeing the fallout coming from those who love control, governments, corporations, unions, and churches.

    I'm completely pro-freedom (as some know), beyond any libertarian even. I believe in the ultimate freedom of speech and expression. I guess so do many others without realizing it. I believe you should be able to libel, slander, copy verbatim with recognition, and yell fire in a crowded theater.

    Blogs are a part of my desire to get rid of DNS. Type "McDonalds food" into GoogleWWWikiTorrent and you
  • No target is too mighty

    That bit right there says an awful lot about the appeal of blogs.

    I'm sure there's an awful lot of people who feel that their voices are either a) being ignored, or, b) being silenced by the "mighty". Ignoring which side of the political aisle you love/hate, when was the last time you felt your local elected official was truly acting in your best interests, instead of his or her own? Or, how much do you really trust the corporate world, the insurance industry, your gas compan

  • by AaronStJ (182845) <AaronStJ @ g m a il.com> on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:40PM (#13900704) Homepage
    I've only skimmed the article, but has it occured to you guys that it might not be all wrong. We're quick to rush in and defend blogs - they're a great way for the underdogs to expose actual wrongdoing and injustices - but maybe not all bloggers deserve our support.

    The truth is, Forbes is right, blogs allow yahoos with an axe to grind and phony information to gain publicity adn credibility - after all, they're the underdog, standing against the faceless corporation. In a day where pretty much all of us are very skeptical of anything published in the mainstream maybe far too many of us are willing to take anything read in a blog as the gospel truth (I read it on the Internet, so it has to be true).

    FUD flows in both directions, and businesses should be at least aware of the blogosphere, and that bloggers may be spreading misinformation, and how to counter it with the truth. Businesses, of course, also need to know that the blogosphere is watching their every move - and they need to be more careful now than ever that they always act ethically - something thye should be doing anyway.

    Reading the Frobes article deeper, it's pretty hard to defend. The article itself is full of misinformation and despicable ideas (in their sidebars, they side with SCO, malign Pamela Jones, and suggest using the DMCA to take down blogs). Nevertheless, the general idea of my post still remains - maybe we're a bit too trusting of blogs, and it doesn't hurt to look at the other's guys point of view. Bloggers are just as capable of spreading FUD as a corporation - even more capable because wheras a corporation has very very little accountability, an anonymous blogger has even less.
    • I don't disagree with you, but are there really a majority of people that blindly trust blog entries? Obviously there's some, but there's always those kind of people. Everything is about reputation and throwing all blogs in one pile makes about as much sense as throwing all people into one pile. That's really the major flaw of this article. It's as if someone wrote an article entitled "Man on the street corner is a lunatic!" and then goes on to either completely distort non-lunatics as lunatics, or has
    • That said, I'd think most people would have a hard time finding blogs as full of tripe as Daniel Lyons articles. He's far worse than 99% of the bloggers he's criticising, and keeps writing blatant lies in his articles despite the number of times his errors have been pointed out (so it's not like he doesn't know better - he just refuses to face reality).

      He has no credibility left, if he ever had any.

  • by kuzb (724081)
    It looks like Kryptonite bike locks [engadget.com] deserve to be bashed.
  • The linked articles are also interesting.

    BASH BACK. If you get attacked, dig up dirt on your assailant and feed it to sympathetic bloggers. Discredit him.

    Ah, so if the behavior is unacceptable by a blogger, it's acceptable for a company to do it in return?

    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 ho

  • What a shock it is where people can express their opinions freely. Stop them! Arrest them! This outrage must be curtailed forwith!
  • I'm a public school teacher (history, econ, comp sci) and a blogger (conservative) and I see a huge similarity between the old media and the blogoshpere and the medieval church and the renaissance/reformation. The old media is like the church, the guardians of the truth, while the new media (bloggers) are little old Copernicus publishing his ideas. Blogger, et al. are in many ways the new printing press.

    For example, the NY Times, the high priest of the church, has come under withering attacks from the b
  • On Kryptonite locks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tsiangkun (746511) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:48PM (#13900766) Homepage
    Those bitches sold me something as a lock, having only a single key to open it, and a guarantee against pick based attacks. In reality I bought a heavy ass paper weight. ANY person with a bic pen could open it. I bitched about it in my blog, after they refused to replace the lock because I lacked a receipt. Many others did the same thing.

    They still wouldn't exchange it.

    I bitched on my blog about how it's very unlikely I stole the lock, and waited for the owner to mug him for the key. Many others did the same thing.

    Eventually they opened up exchanges to anyone with a lock and a key to open it.

    Blogs give people the power to alter the pereption of a company, affect their bottom line, and coerce them into responsible actions.

    I still won't buy kryptonite products because of their complete failure to immediately and resposibly stand behind their products. It took so long for Kryptonite to stand up and replace the locks, I was forced to buy from another company to product my investment in my bike. By the time they actually implemented the exchange program, it was pointless because they fucked over everyone who had their their locks, and forced everyone to buy new locks from other manufacturers out of necessity.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:49PM (#13900769) Homepage
    True, Pamela Jones is a bit secretive, and a bit more of a free-software zealot than is really a good idea (I'm more of a BSD-liscence kinda guy.), but as a journalist, she is a hell of a lot better than Maureen O'Gara.

    Having actually READ Groklaw on a regular basis, as well as O'Gara's tripe, its clear that PJ is the journalist while O'Gara is the shill.

    It is unfortunate some of the zealots who DOS'ed Sys-con, but as an allegedly journalistic site, they showed a distinct lack of editorial intelligence in having O'Gara write for them. Sys-con probably would have been better served by the journalistic skills of Jason Blair.
  • by i7dude (473077) on Friday October 28, 2005 @05:52PM (#13900791)

    please register to read this article.

    thank you, now that we have your contact info, would you care to subscribe to our publication?

    no? are you sure?

    no!?! maybe you didnt hear me correctly, you'll actually receive our magazine, and get to read it!!!

    ok, well can we at least email you at a later time and see if you've changed your mind?

    anyway, our magazine caters to large corporations, many of which are souless. you know, the ones that neglect the very people they rely on to keep their heads above water. regardless, if we were to piss off said corporations, all of our advertising revenue would be lost...therefore, any indication that we support free speech would be bad. therefore, we hate people who speak up for themselves and those who have no voice. you should be ashamed of yourselves. maybe if you watched more funny television shoes, you wouldnt be so mean and critical...we hear that everybody loves raymond is nice.


    dude
  • I've often thought, even from the early '90s, that the internet is like a microscope into the human psyche.

    I mean, look at porn. No, actually *look* at it.

    Or the phenomenon of blogs.

    Or online dating sites.

    I recall stories of when microscopes were first invented in Europe and people were shown samples of water and being repulsed by the idea of swallowing such monsters as could be seen through the lens.
  • ...then get out of the kitchen.

    Seriously... the problem isn't the blogs that complain about people/companies. The problem is that the people/companies that were targeted behaved in ways that pissed bloggers off. If public figures and companies would simply behave ethically and reasonably and not give so many people so many reasons to hate them, then there wouldn't be so many bloggers writing bad things about them.

    People don't generally go out of their way to target you unless you did something wrong to pi
  • 1) Post some controversial anti-FOSS article
    2) Show boss how many page hits your article generates
    3) ...
    4) Profit
  • When one thinks about it, isn't Forbes itself a kind of print-version blog for the wealthy and wanna-be wealthy? Does anyone else even *read* it? Ads for things portrayed as "status symbols", as if anyone actually enhances their self-image by owning impermanent material possessions, articles about loopholes in tax laws and other such arcana... Or, could it be that they simply have problems with the idea that the sheeple might get ideas from some non-member of the wealth-elite - much less, I mean
  • 'Long'?

    The boingboing post is 450 words long - I'd hardly call that long.

    If you take out the words that are just quoting the Forbes article, then it's only 150 words long.

    I mean, yeah, compared to the 'can't be arsed' posting style of Dave Winer, which would probably be:

    Forbes says something about blogs [forbes.com]

    ...then I guess it's long.

    I blame MTV. Or something.

  • Oh my! Who gave the right for people to say what they thing? On the internet? I mean...it is so...2005...
  • PJ's First runin with Mr Lyons [groklaw.net]. Could this be why he had the "Who is PJ" sidebar? Anyone care to ask Forbes Editor to explain?
  • The problem is people who believe everything they read in blogs.

    Now before everyone jumps all over me, there are many excellent blogs out there on the net. However, the bell curve rules, meaning that there are also some blogs that are not so good. The problem starts when the readers of the blogs are unable or unwanting to distinguish the difference.

  • by HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) on Friday October 28, 2005 @10:32PM (#13902566) Homepage
    Asides from the /. affect Forbes is going to suffer, imagine the brilliant move of torquing off a large section of one's current and future demographic? Brillian, absolutely brilliant.

    Of course then there are the countless parodies - here's the anti-blog cover redone to mock the ginned-up hysteria:
    http://www.blogs4god.com/node/626 [blogs4god.com]

    Not to mention the crappy legal advice the column offered, which is nicely reubtted using the DCMA's own verbage:
    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004104.php#0 04104 [eff.org]

    Sheesh - didn't the editors ask for some research first? Or is that only the domain of bloggers and not 'real journalists'
  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Saturday October 29, 2005 @01:38AM (#13903285) Homepage Journal
    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.
    With an opening such as this we can surely expect objective, factual reporting in a neutral and fair manner. Yeah, right.

    Face it, if people can get good information directly from various websites, what do we need so-called professional journalists for? This is a threat to magazines like Forbes and the author of this reference article. And my guess is they realize this implicitly, and they don't have a solution other than the same solution Microsoft has tried to use against open source: fear, uncertainty and doubt. Or smear campaigns, which are essentially the same thing.

    Certainly the potential for abuse is possible in what people say. But that is the price we pay for free speech and free press. The only other alternative is government regulation such as licensing of journalists which, of course, publications like Forbes could handle while private parties could not.

    The presumption of this article is that people's weblogs cannot ever have anything of value. Also, like many others he chooses to pick on Groklaw and it's so-called pro-IBM and anti-SCO bias without regard to whether the comments on Groklaw are reasonable, accurate or true. The vitriolic tone of what the author wrote seems to indicate he has not read the material there, just taken the opinions of what people who don't like what is posted.

    This seems to be the whole point of his article, his opinion is that people being able to directly expose their opinions to others without the filtering of some media organization is automatically bad. Which it is.

    For the media organizations.

  • by linuxguy (98493) on Saturday October 29, 2005 @01:49AM (#13903327) Homepage

    It is quite obvious to me and many others that Frobes and Daniel Lyons are trolling for ad impressions.

    Please do not give them the satisfaction. By going and visiting their site you are only encouraging them.

    Many people have tried to reason with Daniel Lyons. It is obvious to most people that he does not listen to reason.

    So please, pretty please. With cherry on top. Let us all ignore Forbes and Daniel Lyons and his kind. Thanks.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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