It all stems from a series of e-mails she sent soliciting/asking for/encouraging comments on one of her client's blogs. The client? GlaxoSmithKline and their weight-loss drug, Alli (perhaps I should try it?)
The blog in question was the AlliConnect blog and according to Weil, she was trying to encourage conversation/participation amongst shy readers...which makes sense if you think about it (the shy part)
So what's the story here and should we just move along and get on with our day...
There is no doubt a bit of blogger-on-blogger violence, which seems to be part of the blogger snarky DNA. There is also no doubt a pinch of heat associated with the pharma category in general.
Weil has a great reputation and if you follow the comment threads, most of the sentiment is in her favor.
I'm not quite sure I would have gone about it the same way, but I do think there is merit in the ability to break the ice and get the ball rolling. When I give presentations, it's always soliciting the first question that is the hardest. After that point, the floodgates open up.
One final point...Debbie was 100% transparent about her intentions, but I wonder if there is still a component missing i.e. is it necessary for the commentors to disclose the fact they had been asked to participate in order to start the conversation?