Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Blog?

The BlogA Forbes magazine article by Daniel Lyons, titled "Attack of the Blogs," characterizes weblogs as "the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. ... Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns." Lyons urges companies that come under blog criticism to fight back by hiring consultants to monitor the blogosphere, suing bloggers and their web hosts - and by building their own "blog swarm." But PR industry blogger Steve Rubel says he is "very disappointed" in the Forbes piece. "With all respect to Lyons and the magazine's editors, bloggers are not Corporate America's Boogeyman. They can be a company's greatest allies and evangelists if AND only IF we take the time to take them seriously and engage them in dialogue. Instead of telling us about both opportunities and threats, you paint the blogosphere as the Wicked Witch of the West."