Blogging Bullies


I may be late to the dialogue on this story, but blogger and media pundit Jeff Jarvis’s viral campaign against Dell Computer raises some very important questions for our industry. In fact, Business Week blogger Stephen Baker wonders today whether the tumult Jarvis has caused Dell falls in the domain of the customer service or media relations department at the world’s largest seller of PCs.

Already, the PR pundits have looked at this every which way but up. Personally, I am more interested in the power the loudest voices in the blogosphere now find themselves with. On Sunday, another highly linked-to, i.e., influential, blogger Mark Cuban turned the tables on a journalist he didn’t like by posting the raw content of his interview with that journalist.

Granted, Jeff Jarvis had some very legitimate complaints about Dell. But who’s to say that other newly empowered bloggers won’t abuse their lofty position in the blogosphere or use it for their own aggrandizement?

Whatever the personal or professional motivations of the few but growing number of online “influencers,” PR practitioners need to be cognizant of the biggest bloggers’ ability to impact reputations — both online and off.