I don't want to address the Forbes cover story, "Attack of the Blogs," that characterized blogs as "the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective." Long before blogs, plain old Web sites (POWS) were used to promote various agendas using underhanded techniques, joining print, radio, TV, etc. as abused mediums. Just watch an episode of fictional West Wing, follow the travails of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby or read your favorite leftist or rightist rag. Blogs may make it easier to gang tackle, but the grandstanding Forbes article focuses on the relatively few number of dirty tricks bloggers, without telling the other side of the story. I'll refer you to Doc Searls' post, covering Steve Rubel's with assorted links, and Shel Israel's open letter. An an antidote to the "Attack of Blog," I'd recommend reading (when it's available) "Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by the aforementioned Shel Israel and Robert Scoble (Wiley, 2006). I read a pre-release copy over the weekend and it covers the blog bases with real-world examples and insights for anyone who might have a stake in communicating, or conversing, in an era in which subjects (people, places, things) can be exposed and laid bare at Internet scale, and participation and honesty rather than obfuscation and subterfuge hopefully prevail.
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