Recently, I was at the gym and grabbed Forbes magazine to read while I did the Alpine Pass on the upright bike. For the ride I would have much preferred a magazine of the trashier sort (e.g. US Weekly, In Touch), but since no such celeb-crazy mags were available I grabbed for the mag with the intriguing cover. The cover was emblazoned with the lede “Attack of the Blogs.”
Even given the not so positive cover title, I was shocked by the biased, obviously unresearched, and ignorant content of Daniel Lyons’ article. The short introductory paragraph might give a little insight into the general tone of the article.
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.
Lyons goes on to cite a handful of people who were negatively affected by some mean spirited blogging. A handful in a world with millions of blogs. And while Lyons gives much prose to the fact that bloggers can spout whatever they want without the constraints imposed on traditional journalists, he doesn’t balance it with even one of the multitude of examples of blogs reporting stories that so-called real journalists didn’t or wouldn’t report. Throughout the entire article I was shocked by what seems to be purposely inflammatory writing. There was no balanced coverage and definitely no sign of Lyons being at all knowledgable about blogs and the blog world. I would think there’d be at least one college intern lackey at Forbes that could give Lyons a quick rundown.
I would find the accusation that Yahoo! and Google are “potent allies” in the blogosphere’s supposedly libelous, slander-crazy bender anger inducing if it wasn’t so laughable. Why isn’t Microsoft listed among Yahoo! and Google as allies? Because while Microsoft may have its own blog service (which Lyons would know if he had done any research), including them as an ally would totally ruin one of Lyons’ later notes about the blogosphere’s attacks on Microsoft.
Additionally, Groklaw gets a mention for its attack on SCO. (Maybe Lyons misplaced his notes with the history of the IBM/SCO case?)
What bothers me most is that an executive with no blog knowledge will read this article on his business flight and get off the plane with a very wrong view of the blogosphere and no idea that blogs have positive attributes. That executive won’t learn the benefits of embracing the technology. And while I agree that the blogosphere is not all roses, sunshine and fluffy, floating clouds, Lyons’ highly biased, unresearched and ignorant article is reprehensible. Where were the editors on this one?