You Shall Know Our Velocity

How things have changed.

I mentioned that bloody awful Raging Cow (La vache qui rage) fake bloggery in a post earlier today, which set me to pondering how far things have come in the blogosphere in a relatively short few years.

In case you missed it, Raging Cow was, AFAIK, the first fake blog initiative to be launched by a marketing firm, way back in early 2003. It inspired a veritable deluge of invective and blogger backlash, including a boycott (organized by the bloody wonderful Tim Ireland) and even a sort-lived parody blog (organized by Kevin Marks and yours truly). The product, incidentally, was some kind of trendified milkshake thing. Try finding it in your corner store today. Exactly.

We're still seeing utterly contemptible fake blogs, alas (although perhaps no more udderly contemptible ones - it's a long way from the ridiculous Raging Cow episode to the sublime and totally non-bogus Christine Halvorson's Stonyfield Farms blogs).

But in perusing my own archives, looking for earlier posts on the topic of fake blogs, I happened across a post from April 23, 2002 that stopped me in my tracks. Forgive me for recycling my old dust bunnies here...

Way back then, I was moved to comment: "I can't believe I’m the only PR guy in blogdom. There must be other flackbloggers in the world."

Yikes. I don't know if I was actually the only flack blogging in 2002 - surely not. I mean, I know Jeremy Pepper was posting from as early as 1990 :-)

This is not some conceited attempt to plant a "first flack on the blog" flag, btw (I'm sure there were others out there too) - it's more a moment of personal revelation. I'm just tickled at how far things have come from the days when I had to explain to my boss at the gigantic PR firm I used to work for that it wasn't pronounced "B-Log".

Sitting here in late 2006, you can barely fire up a feed-reader without hitting a flack blogger. In Canada, we even have a splendid little Firefox plugin, the Canuck PR Toolbar to help us track all of our favourite bloggers in the Canadian troposphere (and there are many).

I think the closest thing we have to a canonical list of global PR blogs is probably Constantin Basturea's Bloglines catalogue, featuring over 500 individual entries, from Argentina through Latvia and beyond.

My, how we've grown.