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Bloggers SUCK – Lessons from Forbes

Posted By Darren Rowse 29th of October 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Forbes has an article in it’s latest edition attacking blogs. It’s called Attack of the Blogs (subscription required).

I’ve decided not to read it – mainly because to do so I’d need to subscribe to their online section. Part of me (the cynical part) actually wonders if the whole article is something of a publicity stunt.

ForbesI mean what better way to get million’s of people talking about you, linking to you and reading you than to write negative things about them.

Technorati has ‘Forbes’ listed as the fifth most search for term in the last hour (with some pretty stiff competition). I’ll be interested to watch these pages at BlogPulse and Alexa over the next day or two to see what their graphs look like as they update.

I’d love to get a peak at the sign up levels for their online section in the last day or two – I suspect they’ve had some pretty decent numbers.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Traditional media houses are feeling the threat from the blogging phenomenon.

  • Hmmm, a MSM attacking blogs / bloggers. How original.

  • Darren, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Scobleizer reckons we’re being played, and we’re falling for it. My first reaction to the article was also very, very defensive, but I guess we have to consider that it may represent a significant voice/concern amongst corporates (the people pro-bloggers are most likely to generate income from) regarding the social software phenomenon.

    And if we’re confident in the morality / integrity / potential / value / whatever of blogging as a mainstream medium, why are we getting so worked up?

  • Anything that requires me to subscribe online just isn’t worth my time these days. There’s always another news source doing it for the ad traffic…

  • The story is actually pretty interesting — certainly worth a read — if probably not worth a paid Forbes subscription, but can help you out there.

  • An interesting perspective. I had it tagged as another traditional media feels threatened by/doesn’t understand blogs but now that you have mentioned an alternative it does sound realistic.

  • ihaveanonimityrights

    you may use bugmenot dot com to share and find username&passwords.

  • I followed on to the Forbes articles from some blog. In other words, I read the critique first. :) So it was natural that my reaction would initially have been skewed. The article is quite longwinding, but the writer certainly does make valid points.

  • Darren, I know you are not interested in reading it, but just in case you change your mind, I used bugmenot login/password “forbesdontbug”.

    I would love to hear you respond to certain sections.

  • Good news is easy to be missed; it often doesn’t draw any attention. Bad news gets picked up by anyone and spreads like wildfire.

    If a big company like Forbes want cheap and easy attention, then take an opposite view on something popular and you will get results. If Forbes said Blogging was really cool, then no one would think about it. But take an opposing view and everyone will be talking about it… just like we are.

  • Good news is easy to be missed; it often doesn’t draw any attention. Bad news gets picked up by anyone and spreads like wildfire.

    If a big company like Forbes wants cheap and easy attention, then take an opposite view on something popular and you will get results. If Forbes said Blogging was really cool, then no one would think much about it. But take an opposing view and everyone will be talking about it… just like we are.

  • It’s the “Dvorak” technique at work Darren. Just as John pokes a stick into the Mac-user hornet nest whenever he wants a traffic bump, or George Ou at ZDNet has been poking at OpenOffice zealots to generate clicks and comments, I think Forbes is fishing for attention online. Like you, I’ve decided not to read the article. There’s been plenty of blog coverage from folks whose opinions I trust to get the essence of their argument. Just look at tech.memorandum to follow the discussion.

  • Jon

    if you don’t want to create an account with use:

    user: hillbilli
    pass: redneck

    there’s a site called that provides logins for sites like that needlessly ask for registrations for the only purpose of building demographic data.

  • BugMeNot has a Firefox extension, so when you come across a site that requires registration, you simply right-click and select BugMeNot. If it doesn’t come up with a valid user name / password combo, you can do it again to get a different one. It works well over 90% of the time.

  • Darren,

    I don’t know if this will work for all, it worked for me…

    WebLog Tools Collection has a link to a “print” version;


  • Attack of the bloggers, sounds like an award winning title for a new movie.The article is really funny to read for me as i have nothing to do with a conspericy with a company.
    I did not read this silly article ony took a peak.
    Just like blogging!

  • Ken

    Although it may be a cheap way to get a lot of hits / subscriptions in a short amount of time, a lot of us are using their (major websites’) content on a regular basis to beef up our own content or even fill up our blog. So can we really blame them when they try to get some extra hits on our behalf?


  • Blogging has personal touch. That’s why it is pouplar and people love it. If you are writing quality content, reader will keep on coming back to read your blogs. Quality bloggers will be unhurt.


  • I just read the article (thanks Mark for the link!) and it seems that a key point was missed: blogging is a medium.
    There will be controversy any time someone looks at just one practice within something so complex as blogging and discredits/credits it. The fact is that this is simply another form of human expression. It’d like talking. You could find some great examples of how people lied and propagandized and even started wars through spoken words. You can find the same thing in blogging. It’s pretty silly to discredit the medium though.

  • You’re welcome Danger…

    Agreed. How different would it have been had the “watchdog” marched in front of the Co’s headquarters with placards saying the same thing, winding up pictured on the front page of The NY Times or on national TV news filtering down to local papers and local TV news shows?

    Oh, I know – Attack of The Media… silly me :-)

    Suppose this guy had decided to tell 5 people face to face, asking each to tell 5 more face to face etc. etc.?

    Oh well, nobody ever “smears” anyone up for reelection or reports misleading articles in the papers or on TV, I forgot…

    “new and virulent strain of oratory” my derriere. It’s just not PC to ask hard questions anymore, you might discover the truth.

    Avoid the “brand damage” and maintain the bottom line – that’s the deal!

    And Bloggers are the latest Bad Guys. BS…

  • Darren,

    The vast majority of visitors to Forbes will have been using bugmenot – I really doubt bloggers, who are used to reading free content, would pay to view this stuff anyway. So it will have little effect on subscriber rates, as far as I can see – unless it is attracting the attention of old media stalwarts, that is. But either way, is it really worth damaging the reputation of a respected magazine just for the sake of a few more signups?

    But your approach is refreshing – let’s just ignore it and keep doing what we do.

  • I am an information junkie, so I read/watch/listen to, everything I can, even if it is a viewpoint I disagree with. How better to know the mind of the enemy? LOL

    I saw an interview with these fellas on cable news *coughfoxcough* and they were so off the mark it was laughable.

    They were going on about how bloggers can remain “anonymous” and publish something that can “destroy” another person. First of all, it is nearly impossible to be truly anonymous on the internet for long. Second, how could an anonymous person, with no credibility, no factual basis for their allegations, “destroy” another person with mere rhetoric? (Unsubstantiated rhetoric at that!)

    They complained long and loud that Google and Yahoo will protect the anonymity of their users, making it impossible to track down the villainous cur who bespoke the evilness. They claimed it is impossible to bring charges of libel against the “protected” blog-writer. Please. The ability to destroy someone’s reputation and career by rumor, gossip and innuendo has always been there.

    Blaming bloggers for this (if it has actually occurred, something I find a tad doubtful – I think most readers are savvy enough to double check serious allegations) is to paint all bloggers with the same brush, (which I find offensive) and to say that this new medium has some magical power over logic and reason.

    It is the growl of a wounded tiger, still trying to sound powerful.

  • Hi Darren,

    Thanks for the link. I combined my response to this Forbes article with another piece I’ve been working on about the benefits of corporate blogging titled Why Is Corporate America So Afraid of Bloggers and Where the Hell are all the Corporate Bloggers?.

    I plugged your site in the article because it’s awesome and I’ve learned a ton of great stuff from you.

    Thanks again.

  • Pingback: Attack of the Blogs at

  • Chances are, Forbes was pulling a stunt here – but I think their fear of the blogging community combined with all of the talk about “web 2.0” is very real.

  • It gets worse. I was approached to be on CNBC last Wednesday night for a show called “On the Money.” The other guests were Daniel Lyons from Forbes, Steve Rubel Micro Persuasion,and Neil Hunt of Netflix (I’m Mike from HackingNetflix).

    I think they picked me because I was in a NY Times story last Monday.

    I asked in advance what the segment was about, but they didn’t tell me that it was called “Attack of the Blogs.” They did say it was supposed to run for 8 minutes.

    I got there and was really upset about the title when I found out. Needless to say, when Steve and Neil said I wasn’t one the “attack” bloggers, they cut the segment short.

    You can read a transcript of the show here:

    Once again I’m seriously disappointed by MSM. This time I’m glad it backfired on them.

    – Mike

  • Hooked by the movie-like title, unhooked by the content.

  • AC

    Blogging ROCKS!!