"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. "
And then there's this quote from Peter Blackshaw:
"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality"
A nomination for Most Interesting Job That Is Also An Excuse To Play On Your Computer All Day also came out of the article: Mr. Blackshaw works for a firm whose purpose is to keep an eye on blogs for companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Ford, in order to make sure that they can counteract any negative publicity that might be floating around the blogosphere. While I think that Mr. Daniel Lyons, the man who wrote this article for Forbes, needs some therapy, it's the same type of therapy that I would prescribe for those who think that supermarket tabloids are evil. Does Mr. Blackshaw's company pick up the latest "Weekly World News" while buying their bread and milk to make sure that BatBoy isn't slighting Ford's new line of hybrids?
"The online haters have formidable allies amplifying their tirades to a potential worldwide audience of 900 million: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, plus a raft of other blog hosts....Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic "content" without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate"
And how much traffic does the average blog get anyway? Let's say that I dislike, oh I don't know, my new coffee maker, and think that it's a piece of junk. I can write a post describing all of its deficiencies , maybe gather some comments online from review sites, completely attacking the maker of this beautiful yet absolutely horrible coffee maker. Who's going to know? A few friends, a couple of people in my family. But that's about it. It's like being a writer - if no one knows who you are, then only a few people will happen to cross your path and read what you've put out there. Some bloggers have huge followings; more have a decent number of people that cross their path. I can't help but think that Mr. Lyons has been "attacked" personally or professionally by a blogger at some point, and is more than a little paranoid as a result.