The Washington Post, “Barging into the Blogger’s Circle,” activates the topic of Blogger ethics. Should Bloggers accept merchandise for review? Should Marketers engage in the Act of Blogger conversation?
Does finding out that a blogger accepts free merchandise shake that blogger’s i-cred?
Reviewers, whether Blogger or Old Media, receive merchandise from companies hoping to get a decent review. Key word is “hoping”. The reviewer is also hoping to keep a following , i.e. the “Circles”, “Conversations” or “Readers (Lurkers). If the blogger is a personality, just plain entertaining and likeable, how much will product-influenced content factor in before that blogger’s show is cancelled?
And what about the niche site blogger whose business mission is to market other’s relevant products? Their success is based on how well they do the sell. Is their mission wrong?
On a blog, I’d much rather experience dynamic dialogue from the marketer about their product, i.e. not through comments, rather as guest hosts, interviews, interactivity, etc.). The notion of conversation placement on the Blog is not different from Old Media’s marketing placement, where best placement is of major consideration. Comments sections on alot of blogs wind up cluttered (ala Times Square, en masse comments not recognizing others in the forum, digressing out of topic, not saying their point simply). Do these talkers have conversations like this in the First Life (where Old Media resides, Bloggers New Media, living the Second Life)?
see also. Wizbang, 2004, A Blogger Code of Ethics