An open post to Steve Rubel

October 16, 2006 — 13 Comments

Rather than send this by email, I’ve decided to post this.

Dear Steve,

Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’ve got a poor history when it comes to rubbing people the wrong way, and I’ll admit that. You’re someone who I respect deeply. I can remember when you first started blogging (does that make me old?), your publicity stunt at only taking news from online sources was brilliant, and in years to come it will be written about in text books. Like many people I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since, indeed it was one of the first blogs I added to Bloglines when I first setup an account, and it’s still there. You were also kind enough to link to the b5media announcement in relation to us taking VC funding, when some of your A-List friends didn’t.

Your employee, Edelman is embroiled in a pretty shady astroturfing scandal. A fake blog promoting Walmart. I can only imagine that you’re totally stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. Certainly, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes given what’s happened. Having said this however, I’d really like to read your take on this. As precedent I can only look to when Scoble was blogging for Microsoft, and although at times I’d suggest there was some self censorship there a little bit, certainly Robert never ran away from the big issues of the day regarding his employer. As a reader and fan I’d like to see something similar from you. Certainly, if you don’t post about it, I’m personally not going to not respect you for not doing so, however others may. For many, you’re now the direct link between the Edelman and the blogosphere. As much as silence is golden, you’re a guy/ blogger with one of the best reputations of anyone I know in the blogosphere, but unfortunately you also run the risk of some of the tar from the whole Walmart fake blog scandal sticking to you, even though I’ve got no doubt what so ever that you didn’t have anything to do with this. If you don’t respond, I totally understand as to why, but others might not be as understanding. Again, I’m happy I’m not in your shoes.