author’s note: this is a repost cause I accidentally deleted my blog! Thank goodness for backups!
I personally believe in all writing, decision making, and expression, there is an inherent bias. As impartial as we all claim to be, our experiences, environment, nurturing all affect our expressions. As such, we enjoy reading our blogs and other irreverent commentary, because we can pick and choose what bias best calls to our own.
I believe that this is also the major reason for the decline in print media. Every newspaper is pretty much a blue-chip commodity anyway (ask yourself what can you buy for $0.50 these days). But I feel the decline is because print media it is not speaking to its core audience. (Which by the way, I also believe if you do start losing your audience, it’s helpful to look at yourself to figure out what you are doing to lose them, rather than blaming the competition) Traditional print media I also feel has lost some credibility, in the face of other available opinions and media. This says nothing about the quality of the work that Print media produces; however, it calls to human nature. Which is ‘perception is reality’
Then there is the ethics debate, which gets really messy. I actually enjoy this debate, because the line between a ‘journalist’ and a ‘blogger’ is blurring. Not to mention, there seems to be one thing separating the two, and that is an ‘ethics’ code voluntarily in place by journalists. There is also a call for ‘ethics’ for bloggers, if nothing else, more disclosure in reviews and opinions.
Ethics you say? I thought that was the benefit of being a blogger. The kind of arm-chair quarterback talk, the unfiltered opinion. Ethics? Who needs them! Why would you trust a journalist over Michael Moore, for example? Over any other blogger turned subject matter expert?
I think some rules, generically need to be applied to any kind of print medium. I believe these rules become even more important when compensation is involved. I believe people would care less about the opinions of others, but if someone is being paid to present an opinion and touted as an expert, people feel as if they are owed some kind of justification. I’ve read plenty of articles and blogs where I don’t see any kind of standard or ethics involved. Not to mention, some are riddled with affiliate marketing links, so I feel the person isn’t writing for the audience, but for the revenue.
When would marketing and advertising be okay for a blog? (That’s a whole other article) When would it be okay, say for myself, to ask for compensation for the content of my blog? And what type? The answer seems muddy for many of my blogger friends. Me personally? I’d prefer to build my audience and provide as much value as possible. I want that audience to eventually hire me and my firm to do work for them. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind some of my articles being re-used on other sites. I also toyed with the idea of doing review postings (i.e. Product Reviews) and pointing to an Amazon Affiliate link, saying clearly that it’s my Affiliate link. (I believe this is the Chris Brogan approach, but I could be wrong). But the idea would be it would be clear it’s a promotional (or ‘puff’ piece) on a product or service, and it would be used sparingly.
Part 2 continues in the next post