The cover story from the most recent issue of Forbes states the following:
Attack blogs are but a sliver of the rapidly expanding blogosphere. A hundred thousand new blogs are created every day, more than one new blog per second, says Technorati, a firm in San Francisco that tracks the content of 20 million active blogs. Some big blogs attract millions of readers. Weblogs Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif. outfit that just got bought by America Online for a reported $25 million, publishes 90 blogs and could bring in $2 million in ad sales this year, says cofounder Jason McCabe Calacanis.
I think everyone can agree on this overview. However, many bloggers are upset that, given its stipulation that attack blogs are a “sliver,” Forbes nonetheless chose to focus its story on them.
Here’s my two cents:
1. Forbes focused on the sliver for good reason. What reason? An avalanche of news articles have already been written about blogs — including covers by Fortune and other financial/business magazines. Forbes is a latecomer. Rather than simply offer a journalistic “me too,” writer Dan Lyons sought a fresh story angle that would generate some buzz. He succeeded.
2. Bloggers are perturbed because, even though the story is factually accurate, it focuses on a negative aspect of blogging. They are worried about being unfairly lumped in with blogging’s “evil-doers,” to borrow a term from CNBC host Dylan Ratigan (who borrowed it from someone else we know.)
Together, these points beg a question:
If an avalanche of stories have been written about blogs, why do bloggers need to worry about one story that focuses on the negatives?
My answer is: They don’t.
In fact, the story will help the blogosphere by convincing a few more corporate Luddites to get on board with blogs and blog monitoring services.
After all, if we marketers have learned anything over the past few years, it’s that generating a fear of “evil-doers” is an excellent call to action.