I read an Associated Press article this morning on how the Federal Trade Commission is going to monitor bloggers.
The world of online blogs has become a very important piece of web 2.0. It is an opportunity to communicate your thoughts, knowledge, and opinion. It has the power to influence readers. This is where the problem lies.
Like anything in this world, there are always people who want to take advantage of a good thing. Some bloggers are getting perks for the words they write. Some are getting laptops, trips to Europe, free products, or even cash. Wow, sounds great sign me up (just kidding). Sometimes these words are really not the writer’s thoughts, knowledge, or opinion but some ad agency creative department. In the past I wrote a ghost post for another blog. But I got to write my opinion and I wasn’t selling anything.
The article states “journalists who work for newspapers and broadcasters are held accountable by their employers, and they generally cannot receive payments from marketers and must return products after they finish reviewing them”. Are you kidding me? Maybe the reporter didn’t get the perks but what about the employer? The writer should have thought twice before making that statement.
The most asked question I get from people today when I discuss this blog is “how do you make money from it”? The quick answer is: I don’t. I decided a year ago when I started that I want people to read my blog for the merit. I never expect everyone to agree with everything I write. What fun would that be? But I want my readers to respect my thoughts, knowledge, and opinion. I tell people that I hope to make money from the results of what I write. I use this blog as one of my marketing tools to market me. If these posts convince someone I am knowledgeable in marketing, then hopefully they will hire me to help them.
I receive requests from people all the time to write ”guest posts” for this blog site. They are usually from people who have something to sell or promote. I always explain to them that this blog is not intended for those purposes.
I am not a fan of the FTC getting into blog monitoring. I don’t want the Government telling me what I can say and not say on my blog. That goes against what this country was founded on. I agree the role of the FTC is to protect the consumer about false product statements. What about company websites? Are they monitoring them? A blog is designed to be someone’s opinion (good, bad or false). I think most people today understand the internet is too big to believe everything you read. When I research something, I don’t just believe the first thing I read on the net. What is great about web 2.0 is the two-way communication. If someone is spewing out crap, others will let it be known. Like anything, a reader will find a place they trust.