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January 23, 2005

Bloggers, $$, and Ethics

{Edit: I fixed the link to the DHMO site.}

I've just finished reading this at USA Today. I have a few questions about the article, and the idea of a Blogger Code of Ethics.

First, why? The Blogosphere is self-policing. I can guarentee that if I write something stupid (as I have done in the past), or blatently wrong, someone will let me know about it (whether I actually admit I was wrong is another thing). Accuracy isn't really that big an issue, is it?

Second, is anyone really reading blogs looking for objectivity? Does anyone approach the news looking for objectivity? I would hope that we're intelligent enough to realize that we all bring bias into whatever we write, in varying degrees. Readers need to be made aware of what our biases could potentially be -- which is something the blogosphere is pretty good at uncovering and letting people know about.

The very definition of a weblog seems to include the idea that the author is writing about things he/she enjoys, or opinions that they hold, or things they do for a living. I think the problem is that many people don't want to have to think, or examine things they read. We just want to take things at face value, and that's what we do. The problem isn't blogger ethics -- the problem is general gullibility and a lack of critical thinking skills.

Third: HOW did those people get the gig with Marqui? $800 a month to talk about their products? I'd do that in a heartbeat -- but you all would know they were paying me (mainly because of the post that would say "I AM GETTING PAID $800 A MONTH TO BLOG!!!!! WHOOOO HOOOO ME!!!!!!!!!!!"). In fact, if Dell, HP, Sony, Titelist, Taylor Made, or anyone like that would like to drop some $$ or free products on me to post reviews of them at my other blog, I won't complain at all. I promise to be fair and impartial.

Posted by Warren Kelly at January 23, 2005 02:53 PM
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