Antony Mayfield's blog
Blog Backlash on the way?
Blog Backlash on the way?

Blog Backlash on the way?

Just
when we all started to get dewy-eyed about the possibility of using connected
media to help companies adopt a more open attitude to communicating, we could see a backlash beginning.

Just
when corporates are more open to counsel about the positive ways they can use
blogging to communicate internally, listen to the market’s conversations and
engage with publics in a new way, they may start reading scary stuff like the
Forbes cover story "Attack of the Blogs" (pointed to by Jack
Schofield on The Guardian Technology Blog and may require free log-in and
password).

It
even comes with a side-bar entitled "Fighting Back", which lists top
tactics for "attacking" negative blogs, starting with a sensible
"Monitor the blogosphere" to the scary "build a blog swarm"
which basically advises firms to bribe other bloggers to post negative comments
on and about a blog which offends your company or brand. 

There are
some sound facts and some important issues for corporate communications and
reputation discussed in this article, to be sure. It is worrying, however, that
this somewhat sensationalist summary of blogging may be the primary reference
for some business people and influence their decisions about corporate
communications.

I
also worry that the tone of the article may prompt powerful people to start to
mutter that "something must be done" about blogs.

For
a lot of people – more in the UK than in the US – the term "blog" is
a mystery. It would be a shame if the first detail they got about them came
from media coverage as part of a backlash.

What
do you think?

Here are some choice views on other posts (which Forbes may say just proves its point):

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UPDATE: While controversy continues to rage about the Forbes articles, we hear via Neville Hobson and and a comment on Steve Rubel‘s Micropersuaion, that John Furrier of The infoTALK Podcast will be interviewing Forbes president Steve Forbes tomorrow – will be really interesting to hear the great man’s thoughts.
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UPDATE – 4/11/5: Steve Rubel posts the following saying thew author of the original piece is backing down a bit:

Sam Whitmore has snagged a podcast interview with Daniel Lyons, the author of Forbes’ controversial cover story on blogs. In the interview, Lyons appears to backpedal a bit off the harsh tone of the story, but he remains consistent with his remarks on CNBC. (MP3 download)

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