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« Blogging for Beginners | Main | If You Spotted a Mistake in My Book... »

February 23, 2005



Interesting commentary on the state of your new industry; have the rules for this new medium been set, or are things still in an evolutionary state? Didn't you leave a well-respected daily because you weren't convinced its business model would sustain itself?

I don't think what Tom did was over the top at all. A syndicated blog only shows one 'page' at a time, so maybe the newspaper analogy doesn't quite work here. Besides, Tom did label the posting as advertising when he introduced Tibco as SVW's first sponsor. I don't think anyone could have confused what was written as anything but an ad. Just one opinion; I'm interested to see the dialogue around this.


If a seasoned journalist would stoop this low without shame, just imagine what a blogger without schooling in "ethics" would do for a buck.

Esme Vos

Not surprising at all but traditional print publications are pretty bad too. Look at the average women's fashion magazine. I have never seen a negative review of any Estee Lauder products because EL is a big advertiser. You never trust any of the editors' recommendations (spring lipsticks, new eye creams, etc.) because you just feel that they're pushing certain brands. Finally, a makeup artist friend of mine told me that it is common practice to lie about what the cover models (and the models on the succeeding pages) have on their faces. A magazine will often state the makeup they are wearing, but my friend says it's rarely what he put on them. The editors just invent things and list products from their most lucrative advertisers.

DV Henkel-Wallace

For blogs in general is this really so different from what the newspapers do? Megacorps all take out anodyne advertisments in the daily newspapers, but that doesn't mean an article on the front page about Microsoft or Exxon receives the same disclaimer that a financial analyst gives (and for that matter, the analysts in Fortune add disclaimers for the stocks they own and mention but the articles themselves are silent on advertisers).

In the SVW case his article was _about_ getting them as an advertiser, so I see no ambiguity there either.

Newspapers, and blogs, have a different problem (the dual of the problem Esme Vos mentioned) which is the temptation to spike bad news about an advertiser. Big papers have a chinese wall, but small-town papers (often the size of an ordinary blog, i.e. one person) face this temptation all the time. Just look at the Palo Alto Daily News!

dan tanna

if you thought THAT was bad.... wait til you read the SVW rebuttal!! it's far more damning of itself than the actual piece.


Here's my small and perhaps meaningless prediction, over the next 5 years bloggers will become the next form (as a group) of big media and their practices will be just as untrustworthy and predictable as what's happening w/big media. We once believed that the large news channels were full of integrity, you've heard the stories you know the names, Walter Kronkite, David Brinkley, of integrity and hard core news journalists.

Then we began seeing that big media was not as unbiased as it professed and carefully chose what to talk about and when, even if the public good could be served by releasing information sooner than planned. The 5 o'clock news was playing the advertiser game quickly thereafter, "foods that can kill you...more on this after these messages from our sponsors...".

Now we're in a place where people are not getting paid, they're investigating news because of their passions, and not because their beholden to the almighty dollar (nothing wrong w/liking the buck btw ;-). But would it have been possible for Tom Foremski to follow-up his announcement by saying anything bad about Tibco? Is there any way in which he could have made that happen, even where he might have believed that they had been a less than stellar company?

Nothing wrong w/blogging for cash, but don't expect some holier than though attitude and integrity coming from this type of reporting, any more than we expect it from the current big media establishment. Money talks, like it or not, and the integrity factor will continue to drop as more and more newbies see a goldrush opportunity since they will have less bureaucracy to stop them from doing so.

Keep on smilin' 'cause it's still the wild west out there :-)

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