Forbes Magazine BASHES Bloggers in November Issue

It’s interesting that the author of the cover story for Forbes Magazine this month should claim that bloggers are dangerously opinionated. I find it even more interesting that this writer entitles his article (in a fair and even-handed tone) “Attack of the Blogs!” which is illustrated with an (equally non-judgmental) image of a man being punched out by his computer monitor .

The author, Daniel Lyons, states, “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.” Hmmm… Now THAT’s a fair, even-handed, and balanced and position, wouldn’t you agree?

This article is, in essence, Lyon’s own “smear campaign” against bloggers. So, is this yet another case of “do as I say, not as I do?” Methinks so. I didn’t warm up to that approach in my youth and I’m even less likely to warm up to it at my current more…ahem…”mature” age.

The teaser for this Forbes article (you have to register to read it) is “They destroy brands and wreck lives. Is there any way to fight back?”

I must admit that blogging is one way for the individual to be heard and a single person with the power of blogging has more “umph” than was once possible — and more than is often possible in any other way in this churning sea of information that is our modern world.

And, yes, there are bad bloggers — in the same EXACT way that there are people out there that just enjoy causing problems. Go figure. But to attack the whole as a result of the few that are less than exemplary is a bit extreme. It’s like killing the patient because he has a couple melanomas on his nose. All I can say is that it’s a good thing all journalists and writers aren’t judged in a lump by Mr. Lyons’ work.

To report this in this unfair way — this deliberately and viciously opinionated piece on one of the “big boy” publications makes me not only dislike this Daniel guy, it makes me question the wisdom of Forbes editorial staff that made the decision to go to press with this shock-over-substance lead piece. Personally, I’ve had enough “shock and awe” to do me for a lifetime, thank you very much.

Of course, that’s just MY opinion. And I’m a blogger — so it’s worth what you paid for it, I guess. And that opinion is potentially toxic, lest you forget.

And, it makes me wonder if the “powers that be” at Forbes were just feeling a little left out. Maybe their desire to be more included in the online blog world has led them (like an ill-behaved child) to seek negative attention from the blogging community rather than endure no attention at all. If that’s the case, they are being generously rewarded for their miserable behavior by bloggers world-wide. Bloggers just as appalled as I am.

Readers and bloggers are probably even more appalled if they read the sidebar in which Lyons encourages people to “Fight back” by writing their own blog (wait, weren’t these “bad” things?), “blog swarming”(e.g., paying bloggers to say nice things about you) and “bashing back” (Lyons urges folks to dig up dirt on the competition and spread the stuff — again using a blog platform). Oh yeah! I want this guy on my PR team! Don’t you? Doesn’t this sound like veteran business advice from an upstanding professional?

*Shaking my head in exasperation*

Uh huh. Right. I think I’ll pass. How about you?

As a marketing professional, I know that blogging is fantastic tool. As an individual I know that a blog, like any tool, can be mishandled and misused. But in the hands of an ethical and fair-minded business person, it offers businesses (and especially small businesses) the opportunity to compete in a larger forum and to do so more effectively and economically than has ever been previously possible.

I believe so much in the benefits of blogging that I’m leading a teleseminar on November 17th to help entrepreneurs and small business owners discover the benefits of blogging for themselves.

So, if you want to know more about how to use blogging to help position your business, register for the seminar. And if you are an “evil” blogger (or if your name is Daniel Lyons) I’d prefer you find a less productive way to spend an hour that day.