Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Larry Alton

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Linux Containers

Agile Computing: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Attack of the Blogs

Jeremy Geelan Takes A Brief Sideways Look at Daniel Lyons' Much-Discussed Forbes Article About "Attack Blogs"

Attack of the Blogs: But “Blogs Don't Kill People, Idiots Do”

What’s the key issue underlying Daniel Lyons’s controversial “Attack of the Blogs” article in this month’s Forbes? In my view his piece, with its knowingly provocative title, has provoked much heat…but so far very little light.

So let’s try and redress that, however slightly! ;-)

Blogging is a hot topic in the professional news-gathering community right now and one of the simplest ways to understand all the fuss (on both sides) is to think for a moment of why Microsoft feels so threatened by Linux. The professional journalist community, if you accept this analogy, is like Microsoft, and the blogging community is like Linux, it holds out the promise of providing a product for free that is at least equal to and very possibly superior to the commercial version.

If you hold with this interpretation, then it becomes at once easier to understand why a professional writer (Dan Lyons) writing for a commercial publication (Forbes magazine) might have a vested interest in publishing an article turning the spotlight on what he terms “attack blogs” – that’s to say, blogs used by for example rival companies “as a weapon, unleashing swarms of critics on their rivals.”

But Lyons himself writes in Forbes that attack blogs “are but a sliver of the rapidly expanding blogosphere,” so let’s concentrate instead on the fact that 100,000 new blogs are said to be created every day – that’s more than one new blog per second. (These stats are derived from the San Francisco firm Technorati, which tracks the content of 20 million active blogs.) Does the blogosphere, viewed from this perspective, amount to a threat to paid-for journalism?

Personally, I think that’s the wrong question. To my mind, it’s a little like asking, does the availability of free drinking water threaten the existence of Perrier? The answer is no; they are two separate things. People will always want journalism as well as blogalism, for the simple reason that, while from a paid-for news product one has the right to demand standards of accuracy, decency and compliance with ethical standards; from a blog one can demand none of the above.

Which is not to claim that the vast majority of blogs aren’t both accurate and ethical; they are. Nor that there is no such thing as rogue journalism; there is. But blogalism isn’t predicated in any way on professional accreditation, so there really is no form of sanction for breaches of any sort, whether of accuracy, decency, or even privacy. The rule is simply, “If you don’t like what you’re reading here, just stop opening this site in your browser or receiving this RSS feed.” First Amendment rights are a wondrous thing; but they are no great guarantee of unblemished reporting.

As the world continues to spin ever-faster, with issues like globalization, outsourcing, and disintermediation all intertwining in a sometimes almost bewildering variety of ways, and with consequences both foreseen and unforeseen, I would go so far as to say not only that journalism will continue to be both valued and purchased by readers worldwide, but that the thirst for “mediated” reporting will increase as a function of the expansion of the blogosphere. When you can find ten thousand views on anything, it becomes more important and valuable, not less, to consult the view of a single trusted source. Or, more likely, a small group of different trusted sources, just to be on the safe side.

So it is not, in my opinion, a fear of pending redundancy that motivated Daniel Lyons and/or his publisher Steve Forbes to highlight the pernicious nature of “attack blogging,” so much as an inevitable curiosity about a phenomenon that technology has inadvertently enabled.

Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences in operation. Just as the inventor of the automobile doubtless had no intention of facilitating the one-night stand, neither did Dave Winer set out to foment Reckless, Stupid Syndication. It isn’t blogs that “attack,” it’s people. Or rather a sub-section of people: idiots.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Chris Hill 10/30/05 11:06:31 PM EST

If you go to http://www.forbes.com/execpicks/forbes/2005/1114/128sidebara.html you will note that it is used as a vehicle to attack Pamela Jones of Groklaw.

It also says that your owner said the following: "What are my options?We have criminal people who were taking us hostage, trying to destroy my business,"says Sys-Con Chief Fuat Kircaali.

If Lyons is quoting correctly, and the whole editors walk out - which was rather well reported - did not happen, then I expect that your paper will be receiving comments soon. I also expect this to blow up in Sys-con's face.

When this happens, please thank Mr. Lyons for misreporting the facts. Again.

davidR 10/30/05 04:11:10 PM EST

||| How about the whole issue of anonymous blogging, you don't mention that...? |||

Anonymous dissent is a long and noble tradition, just as insult and invective were the stock-in-trade of the English political essayists of the 18th century

nam golb 10/30/05 03:24:40 PM EST

How about the whole issue of anonymous blogging, you don't mention that...?

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...