Attack the bloggers


Are we at the cusp of a new media trend called attack the bloggers? First it was Advertising Age and now its Forbes. I am disappointed to say the least by Forbes’ over-the-top cover-story that paints bloggers as a lynch mob. The fact that it is the #1 story being discussed today, and has some of the most powerful people like Paul Kedrosky worked up, I fear it might give Forbes a chance to say, “I told you so!”

As someone who worked at Forbes in the past, I am going to be restrained for old times sake. This antiquated point of view is in sharp contrast to my days at the company, when it was the first main stream business magazine to recognize the importance of open source, so much to put it on the cover. Or that it was one of the first old media companies to embrace the web and launch, a site that quickly became a bastion of online journalistic excellence. Well that was in the past. The story makes some good points about the accuracy of blog posts, but they were lost in the fear-and-loathing approach taken by the magazine. I just found that the whole story was over-simplifed and had a one-sided take.


Om Malik

i think the story did the job it set out to do – create a lot of buzz, and created the controversy which basically gave a momentary lift to a fading brand.

Many get into the semantics of media, but I don’t think one is different from the other. the blogs and MSM are co-dependent in many ways which is good. I think in the end, if you write, you want to be read.

Vinnie Mirchandani

I had an interesting discussion recently with some of my ex colleagues at Gartner. If Google or Yahoo are becoming the universal search tools, us bloggers, followed by print media, followed by analyst firms are getting more hits and getting our perspectives read. The ratio from what I can tell is almost 7 to 2 to 1 for tech topics. So from the Google channel, many of us have more of a following than a Forbes journalist or an industry analyst. Of course, they have their own proprietary channels where their visibility is much much higher than the average blogger’s. But whose channel is growing quantum times quicker? If they are not worried, they should be. Of course, per written word the price paid is in reverse and they can afford to keep their journalists and analysts focused full time (though an analyst only spends 10-15% of his/her time writing) – most of us do it as a hobby, but with economics changing, who knows?

As for personal attacks, smear campaigns etc – let’s see now – how many times has that printed paper – the National Inquirer been sued? Sure we have plenty of idiots in blogsphere, but print, radio and TV have their own share…Om, nothing against you, though!


The bloggers are banding together to “bomb” Google with links in order to get higher rankings on names, stories and events. It works. BBC News reported,”If a few hundred blogs host the same link and describe it in the same way then, as far as Google is concerned, the page they refer to is likely to be a good resource on that subject.”

Ross Mayfield

Here’s the old media’s new business model. Attack, gain attention, profit form attention, rinse, denial, lather and repeat.

John Furrier

I will be posting a podcast from Daniel’s boss Steve Forbes (his first podcast) on Monday on where Steve actually supports podcasting and blogs as the revolution that has changed and will change the economics of the world and of course it will be bloggers that will enact the flat tax :-)

Continental OP

It is an old and silly discussion. Bloggers are moderated by their readers and by fellow bloggers (who are quick to pounce on any mistake, lie, omission, or perceived threat to themselves.) Nevertheless, this argument for a utopic Universal Content Filter still exists (as if the editors and advertisers have served this purpose well in traditional journalism.)

Journalists predicting the end of journalism and the dangers of said end have always been and will always be utter bores. (Especially at Forbes. No offense Om. :) )


The divide between “professional” journalists and bloggers will grow ever larger in the coming months and years.

With no barriers to entry, and no quality control, will blogs become as valuable as spam?

I blog for fun on moneyiyour pocket does being passionate about an issue make my opinion less valuable than that of someone who derives a paycheque from the advertisers of the paper or magazine they write for?

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