Now Bloggers Really Can Be Journalists

1 Jul ’06

No doubt I’m going to hear from Mathew and Mark about this title. But it was the first thing to jump into head after I read of the blogging brouhaha du jour (if this is Saturday, there must be a controversy brewing somewhere in the ‘sphere) over PayPerPost, a new service that proposes to automate the paid placement of (presumably favourable) reviews in blogs.

Techmeme reads like a who’s who of outrage over the notion (with Techcrunch holding the pitchfork and Business Week the torch), but I can’t bring myself to care much more than the minimum needed to jot down some thoughts here about the idea. And basically, my reaction is, who cares? Mainstream media shills for adverdollars all the time, always has. The corner of the media reserved for the entirely ethically pure now probably consists of Seymour Hersh, and, well … hmmmm… And bloggers routinely shill for visibility through all manner of contrivance and connivance. The ‘sphere’s explosive growth has diluted its much vaunted authenticity, and the proportion of bloggers who reliably speak with unblemished candour is diminishing exponentially (and with it, the number of feeds I follow).

Tempest, meet teapot.

Final note: I’m hoping that noted controversialist Nick Carr blogs this today (though I wouldn’t be surprised if its flies below his radar, and judging from his recent posting infrequency he may be out tending the crops) – he will certainly have something interesting to say. Which is really my main point. PayPerPost is merely selling bloggers the rope they will use to hang themselves – but it’s their choice. At the end of the day, I’ll be drawn to what’s worth reading, and I can tell the difference between what is and what isn’t.

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