Eric Kintz has a provocative post today about a blog slap fight that is breaking out between HP, IBM and Dell over data center cooling claims. What’s interesting is the involvement of ZDNET’s Dan Farber as referee.
This incident poses the question of how an organization can use its blog to bypass the traditional neutral role of the media to take its case to the public without Fourth Estate intervention. Does it? To an extent — the success of a corporate blog in such imbroglios depends on the reader’s appetite for the company line — a form of devalued media ruined over the years by the terrible reputation of public relations. But, if the blogger is working from a position of credibility in the professional and user communities, there is no reason why their claims wouldn’t carry the impact that a neutral observer’s would.
I can recall many a slap fight between two vendors waged — at snail pace — in the pages of PC Week. Without a medium to express themselves, organizations turned to the press. Now they can make their case or counter claims on their own.
As Sam Whitmore said, “We’re all media now.”