Our favorite business reporter, Daniel Lyons, he of the pre-emptory "head-in-the-sand" charges against those who dare to disagree with him, he of the irrational seven year anti-IBM and Lotus crusade, he of "Linux is for losers", has the cover story Attack of the Blogs in the latest Forbes. (Registration required, unless you use BugMeNot -- which I just did for the first time since I have no intention of giving Forbes the satisfaction of having me register on their site.) In the article you'll find an oblque mention of the Radicati/IBM escapade, but no actual mention of critical facts.
In addition to the main article, there are two sidebars. The first is where Lyons shows just how far off the deep end he is. In Fighting Back, he advises monitoring the blogosphere, starting your own blog, building up support with other bloggers... all good things, but he doesn't stop there. Next, he suggests digging up dirt on bloggers who say bad things about your company. Without any mention of the possibility of just sticking to the facts and letting the truth emerge, Lyons suggests discrediting your opponent with "dirt". Then he advocates complaining to their ISPs about copyright violations, subpoenaing the ISPs to get information about bloggers, and even threatening to sue the ISPs even though he points out that the host isn't liable for content posted on its systems. In other words, he's openly advocating threatening baseless legal action, which is harassment if you don't actually follow through or abuse of process if you do. And of course, he suggests filing lawsuits against bloggers, too. So now apart from what we know about his aversion to research and facts when they get in the way of expressing his fetish-like antipathy to IBM, Lotus Notes, Linux, and open source, we also know that Daniel Lyons is your basic neighborhood bully.
In the second sidebar, Who is Pamela Jones?, he takes on GrokLaw, which is a target for Lyons because it takes IBM's side in the SCO lawsuit. There's nothing particularly incendiary in this one other than a continuing demonstration of Lyons' opposition to anything IBM, but if you've not fallowed the GrokLaw - Jones - O'Gara - Sys-Con story you may find it interesting. Parts of that episode do show that some in the blogging (or at least blog-reading) community have serious ethical problems, IMHO, but the reporter (O'Gara) involved does as well. That, of course, doesn't stop Lyons from being entirely sympathetic to O'Gara. If you do read that sidebar, please bear in mind that there's a lot more to the story than Lyons tells you about. For example, Lyons doesn't mention that O'Gara and Jones had a history, an ongoing rivalry really, well before O'Gara decided to "out" Jones from her anonymity, nor does he mention the fact that O'Gara was essentially trying to follow Lyons' advice by digging up dirt on Jones to discredit her, and the result was that she didn't turn up anything at all that made Jones any less credible as a source.
I wonder what IBM did to Daniel Lyons in his youth to deserve his constant attacks? Or for that matter, what IBM did to Forbes?
1. Wild Bill10/28/2005 07:19:40 AM
I wonder if its worth making formal complaints about his attitude to Forbes.com management ? Use his techniques against him ?
Certain amount of irony there, methinks.
2. Alan Bell10/28/2005 11:01:07 AM
He has no ethics. He stirs up controversy by writing untrue, unbalanced, and unethical drivel, but then people visit his articles and Forbes gets advertising revenue. It would be great if advertisers such as IBM demand that their adverts are not placed on Lyons articles, or in fact just dump Forbes as an advertising channel.
3. Richard Schwartz10/28/2005 01:41:19 PM
Wow! I can't believe I missed the fact that the main article continued on to additional pages, and he got much more specific about the Radicati thing. I see that Ed has already commented on it. I'll have to wait until tonight to re-think my own comments.
4. mitmosnar10/28/2005 10:01:03 PM
Lyons, Rant for Rent Rob et al are merely emitting the mournful bray of the doomed as they unwittingly make their inexorable way to the tar pits. The traditional grip of PR agencies over the flow of information in the form of 'journalism' is putting flacks and hacks on the endangered species list. For a thumbsucking frat boy like Lyons, this must be terrifying. Hence his juvenile invective. Same goes for O'Gara's self immolating hate-on for PJ, who does an infinitely better job.
5. Whimsical Monkey10/29/2005 10:56:38 AM
I had forgotten about Lyons' past record. Thanks! I think Lyons realizes that blogs are beginning to have a bigger effect that he has ever had, and that scares him. Lyons is fighting for his his job, his profession, and his friend O'Gara. But it is a losing battle. I've written more about this story at http://woi.brynmawr.edu/whimsicalmonkey
6. Ben Poole10/29/2005 07:37:43 PM
Oh ignore him. The guy is a grade A loser. He's the sort of squirty little tit that everyone ignored in the playground right from the get-go.
He thinks he has this "in" with those in the know because of his trumped-up column with Forbes, a publication that used to be respected.
It's all rather sad.
7. Danny Lawrence10/31/2005 11:41:06 AM
It isn't that Forbes (or by extension Lyons) is anti-IBM, it is more the case that they are so in bed with MSFT that they think that anything that causes MSFT problems is somehow Anti-American (or maybe Anti-Capitalist).
They were a lot better when Malcom was running things, In fact I had a subscription for many years, but after Steve took over their MSFT bias became so overbearing that I let it lapse.
8. Erin11/14/2005 12:09:40 PM
I found this site only after reading the "article" in Forbes (that was passed on to me by a friend - I don't normally read the magazine at all) I thought the article was so transparent. It would be obvious even to a 3rd grader that lyons hates Linux, SCO, bloggers, and IBM. I then did my research, and saw more articles that supported my theory. I can't believe IBM even advertises with Forbes after that. I also can't believe how nice people are being (even on this site) about Lyons... surely nicer than Lyons was in *his* blog ... oops I mean "article" I can't believe he gets away with writing articles such as "Linux is For Losers" and calls it journalism?! Doesn't Forbes care? Don't they realize how sophomoric his "writing" is?
I think more people need to write Forbes and speak their mind! (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or even write Lyons (I'm sure he reads each one personally and takes is personally as well( email@example.com ) As someone else suggested - why not use Lyon's suggested tactics on .....him??!! I have a blog - kinda infamous, but I also have friends with some pretty "famous" blogs. I'm sure all of you know people too who could help. Why not have each one of us write a well thought out piece about this guy. Man, you barely have to get emotional - with him the facts alone speak volumes about how out of control this guy is. It almosts seems as if people are scared of him! So we each write our pieces and then have our friends write pieces. Soon, when doing a search on Mr. Lyons that's all anyone will find (instead of immediately discovering his poorly written one sided "articles" when they search) I'm not even a huge Linux fan, but I AM a firm believer in good journalism - not biased drivel in a major magazine that people will buy (literally and figuratively)
I also happen to do search engine optimization work for a living and have no doubt that , if we all put our heads to it, anyone who searches on Mr. Lyons won't be reading his crap anymore when they do their searches.... they'll read the truth about who he is though.
I think I want to write IBM and Forbes a letter now. Something has to be done about this.
I hope others will follow.
9. clicclic11/14/2005 02:44:05 PM
To the above poster (Erin): Why write to Forbes (what they want you to do) when you can just blog about it instead. No one reads magazines any more. THe only way to get people back to the newsrack is to write sensational crap like Lyons's piece on blogs. What's so funny about all of this is that it will just make blogging stronger and more important. The 'net is the future and magazines are the past. Just blog your thoughts and we'll all trackback to them.