"A humbler Microsoft" is "reinventing itself," writes Advertising Age. "It is enlisting young executives ... in a marketing-leadership program to help it overcome hurdles such as competition from free software; the challenge of competing against itself with new products; and getting consumers to trust the company once blames for security breaches." Microsoft's chief marketing officer, Mitch Mathews, was elevated so that he reports directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.
A Forbes magazine article by Daniel Lyons, titled "Attack of the Blogs," characterizes weblogs as "the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. ...
"Since Sept. 11, 2001, members of Al Qaeda have released an audio- or videotape about once every six weeks," notes Faye Bowers. In addition, terrorists are using the internet with increasing frequency and skill to influence public opinion and recruit followers.
A veteran of the U.S. war in Iraq has created Operation Truth, a weblog for soldiers to share their stories from the front lines with people back home, including government officials. "I felt like the American public was really detached from the soldier's experience," says Paul Rieckhoff.
"Hardly a day goes by without someone sending me a link to a video, Flash animation, or MP3 file related to the U.S. political campaign," obsserves Steve Yelvington. "It's the first time that multimedia files have been so thoroughly woven through the national political conversation. JibJab's hilarious animations, "This Land" and "Good to Be in D.C.," have been widely covered, but there's much more.
Juan Cole reports that Omid Memarian, an Iranian writer, journalist, weblogger and social activist has been arrested, making him the fourth journalist to be arrested in an apparent Iranian crackdown on reformist journalists and webloggers who are seen as enemies of the regime. Cole urges people to complain to the Iranian government or their interests section in Washington, DC.
To market a new video game, Sega built a PR campaign around a hoax. It created a weblog whose host called himself "Beta-7" and claimed that the game caused him to suffer blackouts and uncontrollable fits of violence. In reality, "Beta-7" was a fictional character, invented by the Portland, Oregon advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy.