Bloggers have long used the power of blogosphere to share rants about poor customer service or even bad products.
But things are definitely getting worse now as blogs are virtually turning into an ugly battleground of hyped conflicts, accusations and issues that can be easily settled without involving the whole blogosphere in the conversation.
Powerful bloggers (who can potentially make or break companies) are increasingly using their "A-list" blogs (read and followed by hundreds and thousands of RSS junkies) to either settle personal scores or denounce 'corporate' rivals.
A quick recap of some recent events in the blogosphere:
Michael Arrington vs Dave Winer, Rafat Ali & Jeff Jarvis
Mike has never been a fan of The New York Times. No wonder, when NTY added some social bookmarking pixel icons to their news stories, TechCrunch labeled this a "begrudging move".
As Dave Winer came to the rescue of NYT, Mike went a step further accusing Dave, Jarvis and Rafat Ali of "..sucking up to them [NYT] to further your own agendas." Jeff recently replied to this "unprovoked comment" from Mike - "Bullies can be wusses, too"
Jason Calacanis vs Kevin Rose
Jason is leaving no stone unturned to prove that Digg, a site owned by Kevin Rose, is destined for failure. Jason, a blogging idol for many, is also indulging in sting operations to prove that Digg users are accepting money - reminds me of those cheap TV channels that can travel any length to boost their TRP ratings.
Though his latest effort to unearth a Digg Scam went burst, Jason is still offering $100 via PayPal to anyone who sends him the scoop. All these things don't gel with a famous personality who is also an ex-CEO of Netscape.
Matt Cutts vs Jeremy Zawodny
Jeremy of Yahoo! posted screenshots of a Google page that looks like a carbon copy of a Yahoo-designed webpage. Matt Cutts apologizes but also reveals past instances when Yahoo! had done the same with Google designs. Moral: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
If Jeremy didn't like the Google act, he could have resolved it via an e-mail or a simple telephone call to the Googleplex. Why involve the whole world in this issue just to prove that your rival is a copycat. Ultimately, Matt seems to be enjoying an upper hand in the whole "copyright violation" controversy.
Nick Denton vs Matt Craven
When Matt Craven sold The Blog Herald to another blog network, Nick Denton claimed that the site was sold at a price that was less than what it was acquired for from the previous owner, Duncan Riley.
What makes this sad it that an owner of a blog network is addressing another blog network, though not so large, as "an army of unpaid writers and breathless blog evangelists."
Matt didn't disclose the price though he did say that Valleywag "could have at least emailed me to ask" before writing about the rumoured sale price.
Amanda Congdon vs Andrew Baron
All love was lost when Amanda departed from Rocketboom making way for Joanne Colan. There has been lot of heartburn since then between these two trend-setters.
Amanda launched her own travel vlog and later joined HBO but her Rocketboom ex-producer isn't satisfied yet.
He cannot resist himself from commenting on Amanda's recent job - "After seeing what she has done with Amanda Across America (no spirit or production value) and now ABC News which is a carbon copy of what I hired her to do for Rocketboom, I give her an F for creativity and originality and a D- for effort."
Who's next ?
Am sure there are more such instances in the blogosphere but these are the ones that have hogged the limelight in recent days. But yes, there are exceptions as well like Brian Clark whose CSS was copied without permission but Brian never lost his cool and dealt with the whole issue very gracefully.
If we don't stop misusing the power of our blogs soon, we may be heading towards the dark age of blogging replete with feelings of jealousy, professional envy and hatred for others. The blogosphere will be an unpleasant place then.