Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

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)

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Japan DX Pavilion at @CloudEXPO Silicon Valley
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The graph represents a network of 1,329 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "#DevOps", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:50 UTC. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 7-hour, 6-minute period from Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 16:29 UTC to Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:36 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Where many organizations get into trouble, however, is that they try to have a broad and deep knowledge in each of these areas. This is a huge blow to an organization's productivity. By automating or outsourcing some of these pieces, such as databases, infrastructure, and networks, your team can instead focus on development, testing, and deployment. Further, organizations that focus their attention on these areas can eventually move to a test-driven development structure that condenses several l...
The term "digital transformation" (DX) is being used by everyone for just about any company initiative that involves technology, the web, ecommerce, software, or even customer experience. While the term has certainly turned into a buzzword with a lot of hype, the transition to a more connected, digital world is real and comes with real challenges. In his opening keynote, Four Essentials To Become DX Hero Status Now, Jonathan Hoppe, Co-Founder and CTO of Total Uptime Technologies, shared that ...
Over the course of two days, in addition to insightful conversations and presentations delving into the industry's current pressing challenges, there was considerable buzz about digital transformation and how it is enabling global enterprises to accelerate business growth. Blockchain has been a term that people hear but don't quite understand. The most common myths about blockchain include the assumption that it is private, or that there is only one blockchain, and the idea that blockchain is...
Never mind that we might not know what the future holds for cryptocurrencies and how much values will fluctuate or even how the process of mining a coin could cost as much as the value of the coin itself - cryptocurrency mining is a hot industry and shows no signs of slowing down. However, energy consumption to mine cryptocurrency is one of the biggest issues facing this industry. Burning huge amounts of electricity isn't incidental to cryptocurrency, it's basically embedded in the core of "mini...