- The Truth about Magpie [Google It]
- How to Buy Your Way Into the Conversation
- Other Thoughts on Sponsored Posts and Magpie [Buying Conversation]
But Sarah Lacy over at Techcrunch couldn’t resist (on what I suspect was a day of blogger writer’s blog) bagging on Ted Murphy at Izea today:
In the last few months I have gotten the same pitch from PayPerPost (now called Izea) all sent from different names. My favorite part is this:
“…while compensating bloggers was considered taboo a few years ago, there has been a paradigm shift in thinking over the last year…”
Really? Yeah, I guess that whole Google resetting the page rank of PayPerPost bloggers was all the way back in November 2007. I must have slipped into a coma and missed the “paradigm shift” since.
She goes on to act as if she’s asking an innocuous question even though someone less observant than Forest Gump could tell you she’s trying to start a fight:
Each time I’ve gotten this email, I have written back something like, “I’m sorry, I still consider paying for coverage incredibly controversial and, for a reporter, unethical. Can you explain to me what has changed about this issue?” No response. Month or so passes, then I get the same email. I honestly don’t know if the emails are being sent to me for press consideration or as a nudge that I should sign up, because it’s just obliquely titled “suggestion” in the subject line.
And then, as predictable as Kavis Alpha, comes the self-righteous knee-jerking:
So, let me address this publicly, to save the time of future Izea employees cutting and pasting the email and sending it to me again: There is no time during my life on planet earth or beyond that I will *ever* consider accepting payment for coverage. There is no circumstance or situation where I will respect a journalist who does, especially if the details of that conflict aren’t clearly disclosed. P.E.R.I.O.D.
She then constructs a series of straw-men arguments and subsequently knock them down. What doesn’t happen? A well reasoned set of circumstances where this business model could work and stay within the narrow bounds of what’s ethical for those that consider themselves simply bloggers and those that hold themselves to the standards of journalism.
What isn’t mentioned at all? Techcrunch’s company policy of monthly paid blog posts for their sponsors. Let me refresh your memory – I covered this a week or two ago:
Michael Arrington at Techcrunch has remained fairly silent recently about sponsored posting recently. The last time he really broached the topic specifically was back in November of last year when he talked about Magpierather objectively for his personal style. When it comes to sponsored posting, though, Mike Arrington is much less vitriolic about the topic, though no less fervent, calling it shilling.
This, of course, doesn’t stop him from running posts showcasing the many sponsors of his various get-togethers, demos and conferences. I haven’t noticed many specifically sponsored posts in several months, but I know they exist in Techcrunch’s history in one form or another. No disrespect to Mike, but I think he calls it “doing business” when he does it, rather than shilling.
Last time I broached this topic on the blog, we had a great discussion about what should and shouldn’t be in-bounds. It’s too bad the A-List is more concerned with muckraking for pageviews rather than talking about this topic with intellectual honesty.