In Attack Mode, Tim Bray ponders using his blog for evil (or good, depending on your point of view, I guess):
Suppose I posted a piece here whose title was that person’s name, laying out in succinct but forceful detail the nature of the bad behavior, solidly illustrated by pointers to online examples. Suppose I offered a calmly-worded opinion that nobody in their right mind should consider hiring, or doing business with, or dating, this person. Suppose some other people who shared my opinions saw fit to point to the attack and perhaps chime in a bit. Given the way search engines work, I’d say that such an attack would be extremely damaging, and very hard to recover from. Would I do this? I don’t think so, unless it was a matter of life or death. But I sure do think about it sometimes.
Well, Tim... You're not alone. I've thought about it more than a few times. I suspect that many of us have. But there's a line there that's best not to cross. I can't say exactly where it is and how close I've come to it on occasion but it's there.
The few times I've used a person's name in my blog post titles, it ends up having an effect I didn't quite expect. Luckily Andy had a good sense of humor about it.
I usually save my blog lashings for companies rather than individuals. And looking back over my posting history, I do this quite often. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Audible.com, Santa Clara Municipal Utilities, Citibank, Atlas OnePoint, Sun, RedHat, etc.
I attack companies partly because I know how big companies tend to work--it's often hard to place the blame on any one person. However, and this is the weird part, when some attacks Yahoo on their blog I find myself taking it more personally than when someone attacks me. Personal attacks just don't bother me that much.
Posted by jzawodn at November 09, 2004 12:27 AM