Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Is A Test 

It looks as if the progenitor of the idea of "pay for post" blogging has gotten funding to try it out. It will be an interesting test of the credibility of blogging. If blog readers want impartiality, the idea will fail miserably. If they don't care, there is a chance the idea might work. It will depend of the willingness of each blogger to maintain a sense of credibility. Many won't: Human nature is too easily bent in the direction of mammon.

I wouldn't want to read posts full of publicity flacking for products and services. Others might. After all, informational TV programs that push miracle potato peelers and exercise machines manage to survive on cable -- and sell too.

Still, it seems to me educated readers will want some sense of credibility from a poster, even if a poster is raving about the latest political sins of Republicans or Democrats. My guess is this fellow, if he succeeds, will create a sub-genre of blogging like QVC that will appeal to some folks. The rest of us will continue as we are.

It will be an interesting experiment from a PR perspective because we make so much of independent third-party assessments of companies, products and services through the media. We need the journalist's credibility for much of the work we do. Should credibility be sacrificed in blogging and the power of the medium still work, it would be humbling for those of us who work to maintain credibility.

Right now, I'm not worried that will happen.


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