Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bang Your Head Slowly 

The SonyBMG disaster gets worse. Here is a good summary of where things stand. Brian Krebs, a reporter for the Washington Post, has been following developments, and he told me he is going to write a summary of the case in the newspaper.

If I were a SonyBMG PR person, I would bang my head against a wall to relieve tension. This is a classic case of EVERYTHING going wrong. Even the fix was bad. Then, the news that the company's software had apparently reached 560,000 servers on the internet created a nightmare scenario of an infection that was silently radiating through the online universe.

Brian called to ask what I thought of the situation. (I had e-mailed him on another matter.) I told him my thoughts had been blogged for a week, and he is welcome to use them. Curiously, he thought the crisis had been created by PR people. I told him it was highly unlikely because most PR people have never heard of a "root kit." It almost certainly was an engineering decision coordinated with the legal department in defense of the company's copyrights. When the crisis broke, it appears to me that PR was nowhere to be found in the first few days. Otherwise, the bumbling decisions and statements might well have been moderated. Of course, this is opinion because I don't know anyone at SonyBMG, but it would be interesting to know how involved the PR department was from the outset.

At some point the bad news has to end. It can't continue forever. But right now...

Jim, it is really amazing (and something to think over)how a single post, in one blog has evolved in few days into a global crisis and the Washingyon Post is writing about. Those who think the blogsphere is just teenagers diaries with no business relevance, can reflect on it...

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