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Forbes Goes After Bloggers

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the forbes-make-internet-angry dept.

Editorial 287

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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Blog Bashin' Fools (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900475)

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]

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (5, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900532)

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.

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (3, Interesting)

Egorn (82375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900665)

That's why AOL/Time Warner is trying to buy into them [reuters.com] and regain control of journalism.

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (1)

Monstard (855195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900544)

I'm all for the little guy, but to be fair it's hard to take the charm offensive against 10,000 ranting blogs. And the worst part is, unlike Slashdot, the real world has no moderation!

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (1)

UOZaphod (31190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900714)

Before you bash the article in its entirety, consider the following paragraph:

But if blogging is journalism, then some of its practitioners seem to have learned the trade from Jayson Blair. Many repeat things without bothering to check on whether they are true, a penchant political operatives have been quick to exploit. "Campaigns understand that there are some stories that regular reporters won't print. So they'll give those stories to the blogs," says Christian Grantham, a Democratic consultant in Washington who also blogs. He cites the phony John Kerry/secret girlfriend story spread by bloggers in the 2004 primaries. The story was bogus, but no blogger got fired for printing the lie. "It's not like journalism, where your reputation is ruined if you get something wrong. In the blogosphere people just move on. It's scurrilous," Grantham says.


I'm sure the next time some candidate is attacked unfairly in the blogs, people will be screaming about it.

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900805)

But if blogging is journalism, then some of its practitioners seem to have learned the trade from Jayson Blair. Many repeat things without bothering to check on whether they are true, a penchant political operatives have been quick to exploit.
I'm sure the next time some candidate is attacked unfairly in the blogs, people will be screaming about it.

Hardly something unique to blogs. On this approaching anniversary of a radio play [wikipedia.org] which caused mass hysteria because people tuned into the middle of it and didn't question word when it was passed along to them.

Re:Blog Bashin' Fools (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900798)

I used to occasionally look at Forbes Magazine when some suit had left a copy behind, but I usually just used it to line the bottom of my birdcage. It wasn't long before my little birdie died. Maybe having to look at that rag was what killed the poor thing. I guess what I am really trying to say is that Forbes Magazine is not fit for the bottom of a birdcage.

Props to the OP... (2)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900476)

...for providing the username/password. =)

Forbes has Long been the Crap-Standard (1, Funny)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900481)

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.

FUK U USA (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900482)

That is all, Eh?

Re:FUK U USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900711)

Montreal??? hahahahahahahahahah

blogosphere CAN be healthy, too (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900489)

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.

Re:blogosphere CAN be healthy, too (1)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900529)

look carefully after the link to avoid registration.

Re:blogosphere CAN be healthy, too (1)

SuperRob (31516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900794)

There is always the cypherphreaks/cypherphreaks combo ... which works on a lot of news sites, including the NY Times.

Re:blogosphere CAN be healthy, too (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900737)

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.

Re:blogosphere CAN be healthy, too (2, Insightful)

rvandam (893100) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900797)

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 understands that its just mob bashing and doesn't actually have anything against X. A week later they're sitting with friends from work at lunch and someone starts talking about how great Company X is and they chime in. It's pointless, meaningless, and normally never affects anyone. Now all of the sudden someone puts the same silly bashing up on a new, kewl and trendy kind of website called a "blog" and everyone suddenly pays attention to it. It's as intelligent as using /. comments to gauge public perception of Microsoft. At some point, we all learn to ignore people who spend all their time complaining. Hopefully, the same will happen in the world of blogs. And quickly.

#1 (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900495)

Yes, let's just bash the 1st Ammendment. Bravo, Forbes. Then again, not really a magazine that believes all men are created equal either, :-). Hrm, maybe I should blog this Forbes bashing post.

Maybe you're unclear on the 1st ammendment (1)

b00m3rang (682108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900688)

It starts with "Congress shall make no law". Are they lobbying congress to ban blogs? I doubt it. Therefore, take your invalid alarmist argument and insert it horizontally in an orifce (yours) of your choice.

Blog? (1)

fremen (33537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900497)

Bloggers badly blog bashing belief bloggers blog badly.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Bashing? Subjective at best (4, Insightful)

bconway (63464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900498)

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.

Re:Bashing? Subjective at best (1)

plover (150551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900558)

And slashdot is a blog -- one of several that "hammered" Kryptonite. That's the point.

Re:Bashing? Subjective at best (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900674)

And slashdot is a blog

First, I think "blog" is a pretty retarded word, even for a portmanteau.

Second, I really don't agree with calling Slashdot a "blog". Slashdot isn't a personal diary for anyone, nor does it cover what happens to any specific object or place, so it's not really a log.

Re:Bashing? Subjective at best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900753)

Slashdot is CmdrTaco's personal blog (hence his user id 1)

He just allows other people to post in it.

Re:Bashing? Subjective at best (2, Funny)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900765)

You complain about blog being a retarded word and then come up with portmanteau ??

Subjective? No, defensive. (4, Interesting)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900699)

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.

Re:Subjective? No, defensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900792)

He's apparantly realized that his only hope of keeping his job indefinitely is to convince his bosses...

.... that major software companies advertising in Forbes like the FUD that he spewes (like his famous article stating that SCO will win against IBM [lxer.com] ).

I guess the Forbes corporate staff sees the value from pleasing those advertisers as more important than the harm such transparent lies do to the reputation of their magazine.

Defensive and in my opinion, not bashing. (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900795)

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.

Attack of the postal mailers!!! (1)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900500)

My favorite part was:
"his tormentor sent letters about Halpern to Nestlé, the American Stock Exchange, the Food & Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (involved in Circle's anthrax deal)."

Guess we should shut down these insidious user of postal mail and the organizations that support them like the U.S. Government and Postal Service.

I'm sure Alexander Hamilton said the same (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900510)

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 (2, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900695)

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

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900724)

You got my sig right- and you're also right that the business world is learning the wrong lesson.

Re:I'm sure Alexander Hamilton said the same (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900729)

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 support snafu instead of a vast conspiracy to force repeat iPod purchases.

Dear Forbes, (1)

Dan Up Baby (878587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900518)

That's how newspapers and magazines started, too. I suppose twenty years down the road some nascent prodigy's going to direct Citizen Instapundit, and then blogging will have arrived.

Forbe's first line of attack against bloggers is.. (1)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900519)

Their sign in page!

Oh n0es! (1)

unsigned integer (721338) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900521)

People expressing their opinions online who aren't journalists controlled
by mega-corporations or dinosaur print media outlets!

Thank you for bringing this shocking abuse of free will to our attention Forbes!

Nothing to see here...! (5, Funny)

jettoki (894493) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (3, Informative)

MycroftMkIV (197922) | more than 8 years ago | (#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

Re:What do you expect (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900702)

Bravo, bravo. Not even 100 comments on this article, and there's already ad hominem attacks on the author. Maybe you should start a blog called "Daniel Lyons Watch" and mock-reply to every one of his articles, USENET-style.

Re:What do you expect (3, Informative)

commonchaos (309500) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900710)

You have a point, a quick google search found a link to a site that lists all articles by Daniel Lyons [byliner.com] . Very interesting. Thanks.

Blogging = Free Press, right? (2)

dex.pdx (923011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900541)

So, power to the people?

Re:Blogging = Free Press, right? (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900651)

Power to the people RIGHT ON!

Re:Blogging = Free Press, right? (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900681)

clearly you arent in school. In elementray and high school, blogs are used as a means of harassing other students. Imagine all the shit you took in school and then imagine if the whole school and theoretically the whole world could also see that.

Go look at some kids blogs (and you can tell which ones they are since they often openly say so) and you get some idea of how bad this can be. Yeah, i know they aren't supposed to be there, but they are and it is a good counter to your point on how great blogs are.

Blogging = Responsable Press, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900780)

"So, power to the people?"

I'd be more impressed by the power of the people if they used some of it to demonstrate responsability and restraint. Being a squeaky wheel is easy. Being an effective squeaky wheel is harder.

Suprising (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900545)

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".

Re:Suprising (1)

lazd.net (902541) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900692)

Free speech is limited. One can't commit slander or libel.

Re:Suprising (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900739)

Just FYI, there's no such thing as "protected speech" in the US. That term was invented by some moron, but doesn't actually exist.

One of the "privilages" of living in the US. A bill of rights, that our government refers to as 'suggestions on how to run a society'.

Re:Suprising (1)

yurivish (902527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900698)

Who is this dotslash you speak of?

Guilt Trip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900546)

Microsoft, CBS, CNN, ABC Yeah, I feel really bad now.

The more alternatives the merrier - (4, Insightful)

Japong (793982) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900591)

This is about the democratization of communication

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900760)

Err, no. TV and Congress is the democratization of communication, where 51% of those who vote tell 49% what they can say.

In other words, freedom of speech is the antithesis of democracy.

Whereas the mainstream media ... (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900559)

... 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 (5, Insightful)

TheAdventurer (779556) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Some of these comments are interesting..... (4, Funny)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900572)

...... I'll quote them in my blog.

Someone was making fun of Lotus?! (1)

RentonSentinel (906700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900578)

How dare they...

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900590)

Perhaps I should start a blog about how I hate blogs...

FA (1)

RoboB0B (751580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900594)

So we can think it and say it, but we can't blog it?

The other side of the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900598)

"Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns."

Blogging is not without abuse, much like the sold-out whoring "official" mass media. Could it be that the "official" media, including Forbes, is simply afraid of becoming less relevant?

Re:The other side of the coin (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900721)

"Could it be that the "official" media, including Forbes, is simply afraid of becoming less relevant?"

I think blogging and other forms of "alternative" media has already made the "official" media less relevant. That's why TV news shows (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Blogs/ [go.com] is an example), newspapers (http://thestar.blogs.com/ [blogs.com] for example) and the like are all jumping on the bandwagon. They're afraid of becoming extinct.

Forbes don't like! (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900600)

Forbes don't like that people actually can exercise their constitutional rights to free speach ?

Sigh!

Not if you are thinking by your self (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900669)

Forbes usually works with big media companies and politicians. So Forbest think that bloggers are difficult to understand and control. And that is somthing that no one than wants to preserve the status quo wants.

Gee, that's too bad (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900614)

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.

From the folks who bring us Daniel Lyons (1)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900618)

And they have the gall to complain about bloggers? You know bloggers are hitting a lot of nerves- good for them.

DMCA abuse (5, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900622)

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.

Pamela Jones sidebar is trash (2, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Dan Lyons himself is trash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900732)

I'm amazed that Forbes keeps around Dan Lyons, who'se obviously a paid shill for a couple large company's PR firms. A quick google search on him shows that he's almost always just the mouthpiece of the latest fud campaign (like his famous "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets" [lxer.com] article of 2004 when he pretty much stated that SCO would win their case against IBM).

My guess is that the only reason Forbes keeps him is because their advertisers (including the obvious suspect) pay them to do so - no matter how much it harms Forbes's credibility.

From the article.... (1)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900629)

It sounds like the company that was attacked by the bloggers was exposed for what it was...a lot of hype. Also, this is nothing new to blogging. There have been pumpers and haterz in the stock community since the begining. If you read the books about Jesse Livermore (who traded in the early 1900s), the used to have tout sheets all over the place. I don't see why they want to blame bloggers for this one.

No wonder Forbes hates blogs (1)

Len (89493) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900634)

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] .

They go after PJ & Groklaw too (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900636)

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 ???

Yeah, freedom of speech = bad (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900645)

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.

Ted Hitler's stance on the issue (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900646)

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's Ted. It's Ted Hitler.

JON: Ted, you're sort of 'old media,' you're an old media reporter. What are your thoughts on, in your mind, the role of these new media figures?

STEPHEN: Jon, the vast majority of bloggers out there are responsible correspondents doing fine work in niche reporting fields like Gilmore Girl fan fiction, or cute things their cats do or photoshopped images of the Gilmore Girls as cats. That's great. Where I draw the line is with these "attack bloggers," just someone with a computer who gathers, collates and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me...

JON: But, Stephen, I mean, to be perfectly...

STEPHEN: Okay, I put myself through school as a Colombian drug mule. I put heroin in condoms and I smuggled them into the country in my colon. Okay? Fine. Post away, atrios.blogspot.com

JON: Um -- getting back to the story, Stephen, the medium of the internet may be new but what bloggers do, as you just described it, is really in many respects what journalists do.

STEPHEN: 'What journalists do', Jon? As a journalist, I think I know what I do. I'm not sitting at home in front of my computer. I'm out there busting my hump every day at the White House, transcribing their press releases, repeating their talking points. That's how you earn your nickname from President Bush. And when he stands at the podium, points at me and says 'You, Chowderneck - question?' Everyone knows its me. Ted Hitler.

JON: But as long -- as long as the blogs fact-check, as long as these bloggers check their facts, why would you even object to this kind of political coverage?

STEPHEN: Because it's not political coverage, Jon. They're reporting on the reporters. The first rule of journalism is 'Don't talk about journalism'. Or maybe that's Fight Club, but my point is this. These guys need to learn: you don't report on reporters. Nobody likes a snitch! If they've got to report on something, why don't they take some of that youthful moxie of theirs and investigate this administration. Somebody ought to! You would not believe the things they're getting away with!

JON: But Stephen...

STEPHEN: Fine, Jon. Three years ago I killed a panda. Ling-Ling! Or the other one. I can't tell them apart. In my own defense, in my own defense Jon, it was dark, I was drunk, and it was delicious. Sorry to ruin your scoop, Colbert_Killed_A_Panda.com

JON: Now Stephen, like it or not, these bloggers have already gained a certain legitimacy.

STEPHEN: Yes, Jon, and therein lies our only hope. For with legitimacy, the bloggers will gain a seat at the table, and with that comes access, status, money, power. And if we've learned anything about the mainstream media, that breeds complacency.

Or, whatever.

(The Daily Show, Feb 16, 2005)

Who's the pot and who's the kettle? (2, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900649)

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.

IBM's Notes (1)

dapyx (665882) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900650)

I bet that those people that criticized IBM's Notes software are IBMers. Only IBMers use that software, because they're forced too -- I guess it's "eat your own dog food" policy.

Anyway, that piece of software increases morale because people laugh at the interface and wonder how could the designer have been so stupid. :-)

people should express themselves (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900652)

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

It's a tricky subject indeed.... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900653)

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.

Lovely sidebar on 'Fighting Back' (2, Interesting)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900654)

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 the hassle and cut off the blogger's access anyway. Also:Subpoena the host company, demanding the blogger's name or Internet address.

SUE THE BLOGGER. If all else fails, you can sue your attacker for defamation, at the risk of getting mocked. You will have to chase him for years to collect damages. Settle for a court order forcing him to take down his material.

mr. pot, meet mr. kettle (4, Interesting)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 8 years ago | (#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...

Boing Boing. (4, Interesting)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900667)

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.

How dare people have the temerity... (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900676)

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.

Re:How dare people have the temerity... (1)

UOZaphod (31190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900785)

Free speech is perfectly legal.

Slander and libel [wikipedia.org] , however, are generally not.

Anonymous slander and libel are even worse.

About time (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900678)

...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?

Damn those people AND their blogs... (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900685)

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! How is an Ogliarch supposed to manage the masses and maintain control when THEY insist on using thier f***king freedom of speech?!? We only told them they had it so they would trust us to use it for them. Now they think they can do it on their own! They REALLY BELIEVE all that "one man crusading journalist" crap we've been shoveling at them!! The genie's out of the bottle and we'll pay hell trying to put it back.

First thing, we concentrate ownership of the backbone providers, then start filtering content. Say its for the children or something.

Then we loosen up the surveillance laws. Use the children again, or maybe the "pirates are everywhere" dodge...

The Internet and freedom of speech (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900686)

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 SHOULD get not only the Mc homepage, but the rants and reviews as well.

I, for one, welcome our overlord-destroying-rights being recovered.

Targetting the Mighty (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900696)

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 company, etc., when they say they're really sorry, but the rates need to go up because of "X" ("X" usually having somethig to do with a major fuck-up on their part). The short answer is, you can't, and most people don't. What's been particularly troubling over the past few years is the active call to silence the voices that disagree, disapprove, or dismiss the hypocrisy, or those that actively highlight it.

Blogs give the smallest a voice that can be heard. They are freedom of speech in its purest form: a pamphlet produced by the masses, and distributed to the masses, completely independant of the channels that the mighty now control. This scares the hell of the people in power.

I think that's a good thing.

Forbid someone actually voice an opinion (1)

Filoviridae (915980) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900697)

What a whiner. He's just pissed because he's not rich enough to shut everyone up.

Re:Forbid someone actually voice an opinion (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900758)

He's just pissed because he's not rich enough to shut everyone up.

More like, he's so rich he's offended that everyone won't shut up . . .

Article might not be all wrong (5, Insightful)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900704)

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.

Heh (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900706)

It looks like Kryptonite bike locks [engadget.com] deserve to be bashed.

mass media losing power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900712)

All this "bashing" is just the people expresssing their views.

Before the Internet even in the West we had a distorted view of the world based on very centralized and highly regulated media control. It wasn't China-- but ask Howard Stern or embedded Gulf Storm reporters if it was censored or not.

    Media companies and the government are scrambling to create legislation to regain control but I don't think it will ever be the same. Without global political unification and draconian measures---the internet has way too many nooks and crannies to have a different point of view.

All this talk about the morality of freedom actually seems to have affected change in meaningful ways beyond propaganda. The only ones that will lose are the fear monger politicians and a few insecure rich parasites.

    Vive la liberte.

buy my product but dont complain (1)

UprlghtCitizen (926734) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900716)

Well if these asshole business men don't want to hear what blogs say, then they should stop shoveling their crap products and services on people...then maybe we won't have anything to complain about.

We all have our least favorite stores (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900734)

When I start my blog, my least favorite store [Google search for "{store name}" lousy customer service] [google.com] will be at the top of the list.

I knew someone with a several-hundred-dollar issue with them several years back. They stalled and stalled and I'm not sure how it was resolved but until they shape up I'm going to keep spreading the news.

"sidebars" (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900752)

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 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. Also:Subpoena the host company, demanding the blogger's name or Internet address.
SLAPP anyone?

In the article on PJ, he describes Maureen O'Gara's attempt to unmask PJ, yet fails to consider the possiblity that MOG found someone entirely unrelated and performed a unprovoked and unjustified intrusion into an unrelated person's privacy.

The basic problem with the article is that is completely ignores the possiblity that bloggers are finding and publishing real facts that are unpleasant for companies to have publicised.

I don't like free speech (1)

bheading (467684) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900755)

What a shock it is where people can express their opinions freely. Stop them! Arrest them! This outrage must be curtailed forwith!

Help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13900757)

There's a bunch of people out there expressing opinions I don't agree with! Oh, the horror! Blogs must be stopped!

it's the new reformation of sorts (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900762)

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 blogosphere for continued bias and outright falsehoods. USA Today just got caught doctoring a photo of Condi Rice. The liberal bloggers are critical of Fox and others, but those most afraid of the blgos are the old media. Rather was caught by right-of-center Little Green Footballs and Powerline in a blatant attempt to pass forgeries. The NY Times was caught in numerous lies. AP was caught getting inside info from terrorists about where bombs were going to go off.

But whatever a blogger's political persuasion, they have stolen, for want of a better word, the power of the old media to control what we see, when we see it, how we see it, or worse, if we see it at all. That's the real problem. I don't expect anything less of old media. (It's also why Microsoft fights open source so fiercely. Loss of power and control.)

Blogs are tantamount to posting 95 theses for the whole world to see.

On Kryptonite locks (2, Interesting)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900766)

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.

Who is PJ? A better journalist than you... (2, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900769)

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.

article cliff notes... (4, Funny)

i7dude (473077) | more than 8 years ago | (#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

Re:article cliff notes... (1)

i7dude (473077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900801)

now that we think about it, watching shoes won't make you feel better, we hear that shows will however.

dude.

Guess whose next? (1)

bkmiictian (924514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13900793)

Did Forbes shift HQ to the Gulf?? Or do they have Saddam as their next CEO? Whatever happened to freedom of speech. Guess what? The next thing that bloggers will be blogging against would definitely be Forbes. Never seen anything more dumb, unless ofcourse its MS.
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