November 14, 2005
You Can't stop bloggers from launching an allout attack on you or your business
if that's what they decide to do--but you can defend yourself. Here's how.
MONITOR THE BLOGOSPHERE. Put your own people on this or hire a watchdog (Cymfony, Intelliseek or Biz360, among others). Spot blog smears early, before they can spread, and stamp them out by publishing the truth.
START YOUR OWN BLOG. Hire a blogger to do a company blog or encourage your employees to write their own, adding your voice to the mix.
BUILD A BLOG SWARM. Reach out to key bloggers and get them on your side. Lavish them with attention. Or cash. Earlier this year Marqui, a tiny Portland, Ore. software shop, began paying 21 bloggers $800 per month to post items about Marqui, while requiring them to disclose the payments. Marqui's listings soared on Google from 2,000 to 250,000 results. Never mind that one blogger took the money and bashed a Marqui marketing strategy anyway.
BASH BACK. If you get attacked, dig up dirt on your assailant and feed it to sympathetic bloggers. Discredit him.
ATTACK THE HOST. Find some copyrighted text that a blogger has lifted from your Web site and threaten to sue his Internet service provider under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That may prompt the ISP to shut him down. Or threaten to drag the host into a defamation suit against the blogger. The host isn't liable but may skip the hassle and cut off the blogger's access anyway. Also: Subpoena the host company, demanding the blogger's name or Internet address.
SUE THE BLOGGER. If all else fails, you can sue your attacker for defamation, at the risk of getting mocked. You will have to chase him for years to collect damages. Settle for a court order forcing him to take down his material.