Saturday, December 23, 2006

This blog not for hire (unless…)

The mainstream media has suddenly discovered that some blogs are actually just ads. Surprise!

Commercial blogs (also known as “flogs”) are sometimes set up by companies to promote their businesses. Other times, a regular blogger will publish a favourable review of a product or service without disclosing they were paid to do so.

Anyone who’s spent any time looking at blogs has encountered flogs. In Blogspot, for example, if you keep clicking “next blog,” sooner or later you’ll find a commercial site.

Apparently, not all flogs are upfront about it (gee, my surprise about all this is becoming too much to handle). An AFP story (via Yahoo! News) reports that companies such as Wal-Mart and the American division of Sony have recently been caught out with flogs that weren’t disclosed as such (at first, anyway).

The article also reports that Technorati is tracking 63 suspicious blogs. One major problem with flogs in America is that if they don’t disclose their commercial connections, the “blogger” could be violating rules of America’s Federal Trade Commission.

For the record, I’ve never accepted any money for anything I’ve ever said for or against any person, place or thing. In fact, I generally don’t mention product names specifically so I can avoid any promotion. Generally, the name doesn’t matter in what I’m saying, anyway.

Still, if someone really wants to pay me for a promotion, I’m negotiable. Easy finance terms are available.

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