Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Peter Silva, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Linux Containers

Agile Computing: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Attack of the Blogs

Jeremy Geelan Takes A Brief Sideways Look at Daniel Lyons' Much-Discussed Forbes Article About "Attack Blogs"

Attack of the Blogs: But “Blogs Don't Kill People, Idiots Do”

What’s the key issue underlying Daniel Lyons’s controversial “Attack of the Blogs” article in this month’s Forbes? In my view his piece, with its knowingly provocative title, has provoked much heat…but so far very little light.

So let’s try and redress that, however slightly! ;-)

Blogging is a hot topic in the professional news-gathering community right now and one of the simplest ways to understand all the fuss (on both sides) is to think for a moment of why Microsoft feels so threatened by Linux. The professional journalist community, if you accept this analogy, is like Microsoft, and the blogging community is like Linux, it holds out the promise of providing a product for free that is at least equal to and very possibly superior to the commercial version.

If you hold with this interpretation, then it becomes at once easier to understand why a professional writer (Dan Lyons) writing for a commercial publication (Forbes magazine) might have a vested interest in publishing an article turning the spotlight on what he terms “attack blogs” – that’s to say, blogs used by for example rival companies “as a weapon, unleashing swarms of critics on their rivals.”

But Lyons himself writes in Forbes that attack blogs “are but a sliver of the rapidly expanding blogosphere,” so let’s concentrate instead on the fact that 100,000 new blogs are said to be created every day – that’s more than one new blog per second. (These stats are derived from the San Francisco firm Technorati, which tracks the content of 20 million active blogs.) Does the blogosphere, viewed from this perspective, amount to a threat to paid-for journalism?

Personally, I think that’s the wrong question. To my mind, it’s a little like asking, does the availability of free drinking water threaten the existence of Perrier? The answer is no; they are two separate things. People will always want journalism as well as blogalism, for the simple reason that, while from a paid-for news product one has the right to demand standards of accuracy, decency and compliance with ethical standards; from a blog one can demand none of the above.

Which is not to claim that the vast majority of blogs aren’t both accurate and ethical; they are. Nor that there is no such thing as rogue journalism; there is. But blogalism isn’t predicated in any way on professional accreditation, so there really is no form of sanction for breaches of any sort, whether of accuracy, decency, or even privacy. The rule is simply, “If you don’t like what you’re reading here, just stop opening this site in your browser or receiving this RSS feed.” First Amendment rights are a wondrous thing; but they are no great guarantee of unblemished reporting.

As the world continues to spin ever-faster, with issues like globalization, outsourcing, and disintermediation all intertwining in a sometimes almost bewildering variety of ways, and with consequences both foreseen and unforeseen, I would go so far as to say not only that journalism will continue to be both valued and purchased by readers worldwide, but that the thirst for “mediated” reporting will increase as a function of the expansion of the blogosphere. When you can find ten thousand views on anything, it becomes more important and valuable, not less, to consult the view of a single trusted source. Or, more likely, a small group of different trusted sources, just to be on the safe side.

So it is not, in my opinion, a fear of pending redundancy that motivated Daniel Lyons and/or his publisher Steve Forbes to highlight the pernicious nature of “attack blogging,” so much as an inevitable curiosity about a phenomenon that technology has inadvertently enabled.

Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences in operation. Just as the inventor of the automobile doubtless had no intention of facilitating the one-night stand, neither did Dave Winer set out to foment Reckless, Stupid Syndication. It isn’t blogs that “attack,” it’s people. Or rather a sub-section of people: idiots.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Chris Hill 10/30/05 11:06:31 PM EST

If you go to you will note that it is used as a vehicle to attack Pamela Jones of Groklaw.

It also says that your owner said the following: "What are my options?We have criminal people who were taking us hostage, trying to destroy my business,"says Sys-Con Chief Fuat Kircaali.

If Lyons is quoting correctly, and the whole editors walk out - which was rather well reported - did not happen, then I expect that your paper will be receiving comments soon. I also expect this to blow up in Sys-con's face.

When this happens, please thank Mr. Lyons for misreporting the facts. Again.

davidR 10/30/05 04:11:10 PM EST

||| How about the whole issue of anonymous blogging, you don't mention that...? |||

Anonymous dissent is a long and noble tradition, just as insult and invective were the stock-in-trade of the English political essayists of the 18th century

nam golb 10/30/05 03:24:40 PM EST

How about the whole issue of anonymous blogging, you don't mention that...?

@ThingsExpo Stories
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.