Forbes: Attack of the Blogs

October 28 2005

Look, Mom, I'm in Forbes magazine!

Ed Brill, an IBMer who works on Notes marketing and publishes his own blog (, responded on July 23 last year to Radicati's bearish Notes report. He questioned whether she had ties to Microsoft and referred readers to two other blogs with far blunter assertions.  ...
Radicati fought back by responding on her own Web site, but the smear job hovers online, appearing when you Google her name or start with Brill's mostly diplomatic site and then work your way through its links. One step away is IBM itself, which has a Notes site that once linked into Brill's. That link has since been taken down. Radicati says IBM ignored her pleas to stop Brill from linking to the hate sites. IBM says it has nothing to do with Brill's blog.
One important point to re-emphasize, from Radicati's response at the time:
[W]e believe that the comments on Ed Brill's blog represent his own personal opinion and that of his friends, and do not reflect the opinion of IBM Lotus' management.
Well, either they do or they don't -- I'll take the published comments on their website as their formal position on the discussion.

There's not much point in otherwise commenting on the specifics of that fifteen-month-old incident, or even many of the specifics of the article.  Others have done that already this morning: Dan Gillmor, Steve Rubel, Neville Hobson, Chris Pirillo, Boing Boing, AmericaBlog, BL Ochman, Jupiter Research, many others.

Instead, I want to talk about the value of blogging.  I had no idea what my blog would become three years ago when vowe encouraged me to start one.  My early entries tended to be more random and varied.  In the last eighteen months, though, this blog has become a voice within the collaboration software marketplace.  I tend not to hold back -- one of the incredible values and core tenets of the blogosphere.  My competitors dislike this.  My customers and partners mostly like this.  I've been willing to admit mistakes, to make corrections, to change decisions.  I've shared wonderful news and events, and challenges and disappointments.  Is it "fair and balanced"?  Not always, but I make no such representation.  I say things that sound like a shill, but I also say things that have brought criticism from colleagues and partners.  Such feedback has helped make me a better writer, to the point where we're now at 15,000 hits a day and growing...with readership from customers, partners, competitors, analysts, reporters, friends and family.  It's made me a better professional overall, too -- Blogging has helped me do my job better, and while I emphatically do NOT claim sole credit for a product that hundreds of talented professionals work on every day, Notes/Domino revenue has been growing double digits for a year+ now.  Certainly, the voices in the blogosphere have helped me, and the entire Lotus team, improve our market position.

I think the simple lesson that is completely missed in this article is, "the truth is out there".  Are there bloggers that write libelous, slanderous, hate-filled vitriolic and useless sites?  Sure.  But they can publish newsletters and buy radio time and stand in the town center and give a speech with all the same content.  Blogging is no different than any other media -- readers need to assess the credibility of what they read, not just what they are reading.  I'll stand by my credibility -- and yours as commenters on this site, or bloggers yourselves-- head and shoulders above anyone who writes one-sided stories, condones anonymous attacks, and tries to silence the truth.

Link: Forbes: Attack of the Blogs >

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