Saturday, October 29, 2005

Forbes goes bonkers

The latest issue of Forbes Magazine has a theme on the threat from blogs.
Attack of the Blogs - They destroy brands and wreck lives. Is there any way to fight back?
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, ...” And so on.

Well, maybe they deserved it? There are a few good points in the article, but most is sensationalistic and slanted. Worth noting: I have helped Microsoft Sweden recently with guiding and encouraging their employees to start blogging. It has done a great deal to make Microsofts employees become more open and less feared.

It’s also worth noting that some facts in the Forbes article are plain wrong. The advices in the sidebar “Fighting back” concerning copyright, for example: “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.” does not apply to any Swedish law. We have, as I understand also is the fact in the U.S., the “fair use” - quoting from other people's copyrighted work to create a new one.

A number of bloggers have already made good comments on Forbes article: Micropersuation, BoingBoing, Dan Gillmor.


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