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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why B2B Blogs Can Be Annonymous

There has been a bit of rather odd, imho, discussion about the annonymity of some blogs about business media. John Welsh, in particular has been harshly critical of the practice.

He argues that without a byline such blogs should not be approved of. He has even gone so far as to remove links to blogs without attribution. Conversly, a comment to his article notes that The Economist has always published without bylines and this has been viewed as a strength.

There are not many B2B media blogs. Me, Private Frazer, Businessmedia,all post without bylines. I can't speak for the others (unless we are all the same people of course ;-)) but I can defend my own view.

1) You knowing the author might play to my vanity but I do not believe it would improve your appreciation of the story. It is possible the reverse might be true. I want you to read these words for what they are. You should not judge them because of what you may think you know about me.

2) Knowing the identity of the author would satisfy your curiosity but it wouldn't make the writing any better or worse. So why is annonymity so objectionable?

3) It is not true that knowledge of the authors identity confers authority. Whilst not overtly annonymous, I bet almost no one knows the author of the news read on the BBC? Or the writer of the Leader in The Times?

In short, blogging is not one thing, or one way of doing a thing. Some blogs are excellent and bylined. Some are truly awful and I wish I didn't know who had written them. The same applies to those that are annonymous.

Your judgement of this blog and others in the B2B blogosphere should be based on their content. Most of the feedback I have had suggests that judgement on this blog at least, is broadly favourable. Not all of you agree with me all the time. Some of you get quite cross. That's all fine. I am not doing this to make money, or to fan my not insignificant ego. I am doing this because I care about the future of our industry and I want us to challenge how we think about it. I want us to take our heads out of the sand and recognise the scale of the challenges we face. I want us to debate what we are doing and how we are doing it. I want us to say the unthinkable, challenge the immutable and support the irrefutable.

As we and others have noted before, the mainstream media media pays almost no attention to the business media sector so the the independent writers are much needed - all of us, John Welsh, Peter Kirwan, Adam Tinworth, Paul Conley, Private Frazer,, Rory Brown ,even me.

And if you want to know who I am, I am the Business Media Blogger. I'll even change my name by deed poll if it makes you happy John!

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At 5:04 am, Blogger designercloth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:33 pm, Blogger Paul Conley said...

The only objection I have to you running your blog anonymously is that it will make it very difficult for me to walk up and say "hi" if we're ever in the same media conference, trade show or unemployment line.
So I'm declaring the following rule: All anonymous B2B bloggers are obliged to say hi to me if we're ever in the same room.
Everyone agree?
Thanks for the link.

At 8:51 am, Blogger Businessmediablogger said...


Happy to do that ;-)


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