Speaking Of Ads On Blogs…

Jane_the_Great writes “In an article in the Wall Street Journal it is “revealed” that during the 2004 primaries, the Howard Dean campaign hired bloggers hoping that positive things would be said of Dean in the blogs. The news is from the horse’s mouth.” It’s hard to believe that the WSJ is equating prominently disclosed campaign consulting with secret payments from the U.S. Government treasury to TV personalities in order to promote Republican policies, but they are. (Obeying media rule #1, “Both sides are equally bad”, even if they aren’t.) Nevertheless, there’s an interesting, deeper issue: how transparent should blogging (and all media) be? How could transparency possibly be enforced?
Read the whole article at SlashDot: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/14/206223&from=rss
Nevermind plastic widgets, what about the corrupting of the easy, smooth and free flow of information, personality and simple honest truth that blogging represents? Clearly, no frontier is so sacred it does not warrant co-opting by the dominant paradigm.
I date myself perchance, but still can remember a day when the internet was relatively ad-free. I remember Yahoo’s first egregiously tacky advertisements in the 90’s and how they wholly disgusted serious users of the internet community. A nine nights wonder was born to die a storm in a teapot – ads are as much of a part of our daily internet life as political punditry.
But surely, there is a time and a place. And celebrity bloggers on payrolls of political figures just doesn’t make it in my universe.
I’m middle-aged and opinionated but I at least have the right to declare: NOT ON MY BLOG. Not in this lifetime. I will hold my own space as sacred even if none else do so.
Why do you agree or disagree with this viewpoint? What makes a celebrity blogger’s political blogging different from a movie star celebrity hired to do endorsements at the Republican or Democratic convention? What ethics are involved here? In the Blogosphere, You are the judge…

4 thoughts on “Speaking Of Ads On Blogs…

  1. Andy

    It’s pretty much a non-story. Kos and MyDD completely disclosed their connections to the Dean campaign. This story is attempting to be spun into the Armstrong Williams mess.
    If I was hired to consult on the online activities of a political figure I would definitely disclose as such (as Kos and MyDD both did). I think journalists are too lazy or too busy to do the full research on topics anymore and turn to blogs as a quick ‘man on the street’ perspective as well as a juicy story (often investigating the history of said juicy story).

  2. Yvonne DiVita

    Don’t getcher knickers all knotted up about blogs showing ads. I have ads on my blog. Why not? They’re relevant to my audience, they’re well done, and I get to say yay or nay to them. Rosa Say says she never looks at them…you say it’s selling out (if I’m reading you right) but… the Grameen Foundation, which supports poor women in third world countries, and the ad from Interpret-Her, which ran recently and supports a similar cause, are for raising money. I receive a pitance, true…although I often give away ad space for free to causes such as these…which helps pay for my blog and the time I take to write it. I look forward to the day that bloggers advertise on each other’s blogs. I know where my first ad is going…on a blog that serves my target market. It will be tasteful and not intrusive, as all blog as should be. IMHO…good ads are interesting and thought provoking. What’s not to like about that?

  3. Maryam Webster

    Quoth Andy: I think journalists are too lazy or too busy to do the full research on topics anymore and turn to blogs as a quick ‘man on the street’ perspective as well as a juicy story…
    Good pick-up Andy. (who obviously reads more political blogs than I do) Thanks for the pointer to dailykos.com (adding to rss feed…) where I was happy to read local boy Dan Gillmour’s opinion:
    “The WSJ fell into what I call the “lazy equivalence” trap in this story today about two bloggers who got paid as consultants by the Dean presidential campaign. The article seeks to connect these payments with the vastly more serious Armstrong Williams payola scandal… There’s are differences, big ones. Such as: One of the bloggers shut down postings when he moved to Vermont to join the campaign, and the other prominently (on his homepage) disclosed that he was consulting.”
    What was interesting to me was the questions this story (true or not) posed to me about what is and isn’t perceived as “okay” in the blogosphere. And where my own boundaries about such things lie. I’m always interested in other people’s take on such things. And I find myself wondering as we’re all so different…where do we agree?
    BTW Yvonne, I was objecting to the buying of the blogosphere to promote a political agenda. I’ve gotten used to ads and am cautiously thinking about Google adwords myself though I still don’t like the very idea. Business is business, but heartfelt convictions are important to me too.

  4. Yvonne DiVita

    Maryam, I have long disliked politicians…although politics, in and of itself, is a fascinating topic. The fact that the blogosphere is embracing politics, or vice-versa, is a fact of life I guess we all need to accept. My beef is with the good citizens who send money to political campaigns…thinking it’s for the good of the country, or something. Maybe I’m being naive, but…I think the politicians should pay for their own *#@ campaigns! Only rich people run for office, anyway. You can see that I’m jaded. You should give Google adwords a try…see what you think. They don’t return much for me, but I know blogs that get a nice chunk of change from them. I rely on blogads…because I can control what’s there. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t do it. Cheers!


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