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Oct31
It's not me, right? It's you.

I enjoyed reading Steve Rubel's analysis of Forbes' new cover story attacking blogs, ironically titled - Attack of the Blogs.  Forbes defensive take on blogs reminded me of that skit from Saturday Night Live circa 1984 when Harry Shearer (impersonating Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes) interviews a nervously smoking, hyper-defensive lawyer played by Martin Short.  Forbes does a nice 2005 version of playing the defensive, sweating lawyer.

Is it any surprise that the guys that dog the use of blogs are the traditional media?  Or that to read this story online you have to be a Forbes member or subscriber?

Steve does not ask for an endorsement of blogs from Forbes, just fair reporting and a willingness to understand the story they are reporting on. forbes_80_100-tm.jpg

 “Forbes, I am very disappointed that you chose to take such an unbalanced POV when BusinessWeek and Fortune told us both sides of the story.”

The Forbes story and Steve’s response and my support of Steve’s response (and so on) is a microcosm of how media has changed.  In traditional Media, you write a story and if it is wrong or one-sided or somehow tainted, how would we as readers know?  How could we comment on it or add to it without being a  part of the traditinal media machine?  We could not.  We were helpless.

Sure, people may have talked about it around the water cooler and if it was important enough, a rebuttal or correction might have made it on the news a week or month later in the next issue.  On the other hand, write a blog and get it wrong or one-sided and the world is there to correct you – like it or not.

Steve has a handle on this. I met Steve at the BlogOn conference in New York a few weeks past.  He moderated a fascinating panel about how markets are conversations and how creating conversations with your customers is now possible through social media, in particular blogs. Shel Israel, co-author with Robert Scoble of Naked Conversations participated on the panel.  THhe book has the sub-title,  “How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.” 

The book explores how blogs are changing how we gather, filter and learn information and how that offers a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Like Steve, Shel and Robert, I believe that companies that participate in the blogoshpere and engage their customers in a conversation are thought leaders and will ultimately win. A change is occurring and it is in favor of the people.


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