One of the articles in WebProNews was discussing about paid blogging and blogosphere ethics.
The content in the blogosphere has a reputation of being personal opinions – true from the heart of the author of the blog. With the use of PayPerPost, ReviewMe and CreamAid, people will start to recommend products for the sake of money – its in a sense like doing affiliate marketing for products you have not even reviewed or heard before.
That’s quite disgusting. It totally destroys the integrity of the blog.
Of course, I feel that the whole situation could be made more ethical in two ways.
This is what Joe Lewis, the author of the WebProNews article said:
Disclosure seems to be a key aspect of the ethical stance on paid blogging. PayPerPost does not demand its bloggers to disclose that they are receiving monetary compensation for their blog posts… CreamAid and ReviewMe both require bloggers to give full disclosure concerning the sponsorship status of their blog entries…
In my personal opinion, the blogger must always let its readers know that he is doing sponsored blogging – of course, unless he has really tried the product and sincerely believes in it and really wants to recommend it to his visitors.
2. Honest Reviews
Much linked to disclosure, the blogger can also write the post to recommend a product based on his preception of the product, and not as if he already owns the product. For example, in one of my previous posts, I talked about the WordPress Adsense System and I linked to my clickbank URL for that, but I have told my readers that yes, I haven’t bought the thing myself, but I feel really inspired to buy after reading the copy, and I will invest in it when the time is right. This way of promoting may not be as effective for the advertiser, but at least you are not telling lies or saying things that are actually words from the advertiser’s mouth.
Please do not contaminate the blogosphere! Be honest and talk from your heart, not from your greed. 🙂 Sponsored posts are cool, only when done right.
Good thoughts. Many bloggers don’t like to follow traditional journalistic rules, but disclosure – hey, honesty – is an old-school value blogs should embrace, not dismiss.
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