Impact of anonymous blogs cannot be hidden

Try as we might, we have been unable to avoid last week's topic du jour: a supposed PR-oriented, anonymous blog, Strumpette.com, that appeared out of nowhere and generated a riot of chatter.

Try as we might, we have been unable to avoid last week's topic du jour: a supposed PR-oriented, anonymous blog, Strumpette.com, that appeared out of nowhere and generated a riot of chatter.

By the time this reaches print, it may have morphed or even disappeared forever from the Web.

The site took swipes at Steve Rubel, a new Edelman staffer and blogger, and a clatch of recognizable PR names joined in the melee. The real value of the blog is that it is a gaudy reminder of how the medium can bring out pettiness, even among professionals who should know better.

Employees representing major agencies were among those speculating about Rubel's move, and Edelman staffers jumped in to support their colleague. Let's just spell this out: Multiple agencies have gone on the record speculating about whether a colleague at another agency will get booted or leave.

Imagine how thrilled clients will be when they learn that the firms they hired - in part because they pitched themselves as thoughtful, discriminating, and sophisticated magi of new media - have been blogging during company time about a competitor on a possibly fake Web site.

The result here is particularly ironic considering these people are also the folks instructing their clients on just how ugly blogs can make companies look if they're poorly done or executed by agitated employees. Watch out corporate America, blogs can make you look like a fool if you're not careful!

Corporations increasingly point to blog work as a key tool for the firm they select. Agency employees participating in these online dialogues might be damaging their firm's reputation by engaging in the very activities that corporations fear most.

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