Tim O’Reilly, the guy who created the term „Web 2.0″ says the basic strategy in the modern Internet World can be summarized as „Don’t fight the Internet“, a quote he attributes to Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google.
A battle is developing between Corporate America, represented by Disney and ABC on the, uh, right and a blogger, known as Spocko, supported by various corporate advertisers and an increasing number of other bloggers on the left.
KSFO is a „conservative“ talk-radio station, a format which has become quite popular in the US (they are a major motivator of Republican voters, and have helped drive the US shift to the right which lead to the election of the Bush administration in 2000).
Spocko, the liberal blogger, took offense at what he was hearing, which he considered racist, incitement to violence or worse. Noting that KSFO hosts had claimed to have put „a bull’s-eye“ on newly promoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (a Democrat from California), advocated hanging various New York Times editors, called for the murder of millions of Muslims, and so on, he recorded particularly hateful comments off the air, published the audio clips on his blog and wrote to the advertisers to question whether they should be supporting such content.
Several major advertisers, including Mastercard and the Bank of America found that this kind of rhetoric was not consistent with their corporate image and canceled their advertising contracts. 1:0 for the blogger.
KSFO struck back by targeting Spocko on the air for their special form of hostile commentary. Spocko is not revealing his true identity for fear of reprisals. 1:1
Disney, KSFO’s ultimate parent also struck back, issuing a cease and desist order to his provider, who promptly took the entire blog off-line. 1:2 for the KSFO and its corporate parents.
Spocko got back online, told his story, which was picked up by thousands of other bloggers, like this one.
The mainstream media has slept through this, up til now. As I write this, a google web search produces 134’000 results for „Spocko and KSFO„, a blog search finds 4,739 entries about KSFO or Spocko. The mainstream media is only beginning to pick up on this issue. Google’s news search reveal only 78 articles (both pro and contra KSFO).
It’s hard to guess how this is going to play out because so many powerful parties are involved (including the Democratic and Republican political parties) and have an interest in the outcome. But there are also thousands of bloggers out there, who are discovering their own power to get the truth out into the open. My money says you’ll hear about on CNN in a week or so, but when it comes out, it will be intense!
Moral of the story. Know what’s being blogged about you. These people can have real power, especially if what you do leave tracks electronically.
P.S. A friend of mine from the US recently contacted me about setting a blog in Switzerland. Seems he wants a blog which is not in easy reach of US courts. I wonder why…
P.P.S the search for Spocko at youtube produces quite a bit of interesting material.