Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Internet Shadows are for the Weak

It’s no secret that the Internet has proven to be a wonderfully powerful medium to engage key audiences and stimulate debate. For public relations professionals, the movement of readers to social media outlets – such as blogs, wikis, communities, microblogs, etc. – has opened up new channels to promote high-quality content and thought leadership.

Transparency must serve as the foundation of Internet-based communications. We have to demand it. That’s because the lack of a formal peer review process in social media creates an environment in which rumor, innuendo and intimidation can easily gain the upper hand.

I find it disconcerting when a professional has to hide in the shadows when voicing an opinion on a topic. It just happened with an in-house attorney at Cisco who came clean about his authorship of a blog about patent trolling only when his identity was discovered.

Cisco Sued Because of Employee Blogging

It’s occurring with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with two Web sites that allow them to trash each other in anonymity. Aren’t they in the business of building innovation, wealth and value together?



If you have something to say in the blogosphere, on a message board or in a social network...then do it with a strong, well articulated position. Make yourself known. Encourage debate. And blackball those who fail to live up to that standard.

Hiding in the shadows is for the weak.

1 comment:

allison.tobin said...

Amen, Marc. The purpose of having a blog is to promote transparency and open discussion. the purpose of having a corporate blog is to open the curtains a bit and promote open, honest communication. how can that happen if the blogger is not even willing to identify himself?!