Forbes magazine has an over-heated cover story this week nominally telling businesses how to fight back against blogs. Fight back against blogs? The examples — l’affaire Radicati, the Kyptonite Incident — are more appropriately read as human, and, yes, sometimes clumsy and error-prone, attempts to make companies more responsive to legitimate consumer complaints.
Getting minor details wrong while getting the main story right is hardly a hanging offense. Even when bloggers do get things wrong (which happens regularly), the pig-headedness of readers in setting blogs straight is awe-inspiring. I can hardly set a foot awry here without someone noisily setting me straight within hours, unlike some magazines that must be dragged into London’s High Court before backing away from unsupported accusations. .
Forbes, however, insists on taking the most negative view possible. Writer Daniel Lyons says that the Radicati episode was all about disgruntled Notes consultants sniping at an anti-Notes report; the Kryptonite episode was about bloggers exaggerating the number of Kryptonite locks at risk of being picked with pens. After exaggerating so desperately to make this point, Lyons goes on to accuse bloggers of agenda-driven reporting. Pot. Kettle. Black.
Publisher Rich Karlgaard is smarter than this. Why did this stretched piece ever see the light of day? And at least as bad, how did it ever see print in tech-friendly Forbes with its exhortation to file libel suits against bloggers, and with its “blame Google” rhetoric? While bloggers are far from blameless, they are worlds away from the business bogeymen that this dopey Forbes cover piece makes them out to be.
C’mon Rich, you know better.