I’ve been blogging since 2005 and a lot has changed since then.
- It used to be, blogging is like a voice in the wilderness. Not anymore
- It used to be, blogging is just an online journal. Not anymore.
- It used to be, blogging and journalism do not overlap. Not anymore
- It used to be, blogger events just come in trickles. Not anymore.
- It used to be, bloggers just write thoughts from his heart. Now most bloggers (with a few exception) blogs with the end in mind of earning, getting invited to events, grab a freebie here and there, receive review products, sponsored trips and alike.
- It used to be, bloggers blog to connect to people. Now, a blogger writes with SEO in mind to be search engine friendly.
Blogging was so simple back then, now it has become a little technical, thanks to Google. Blogging, likewise, has become a source of power and influence in politics, advertising and branding.
With this evolvement, blogging is no longer a play thing. Therefore, as content producers and publishers, we have to be careful with our behavior online and behind the scenes. On top of mind, since full disclosure in sponsored posts and possible conflict of interests to our my business and consulting interests has been and will continue to be a good practice, it’s wise to adopt this best practice for a start.
I heard horror stories from bloggers on how blogger middle-men (the one who invites other bloggers for PR agencies) who opted not to give to the invited bloggers what PR agencies allocated for them (GCs or money). This was done, even though the middle-man already earned from the gig.
I am not for a regulating body but hoping bloggers will subscribe to the universal principle of fairness, transparency and integrity.
update: when I wrote this post in 2010, paid trolls and fake news sites are not being used for black ops. Nowadays (2016), it has not only become normal, but paid trolls and fake news sites abound.
Since Social Web in general [blogging included] is here to stay, more money will be spent for social web marketing. Nowadays, bloggers receive compensation thru cash or in kind by acting as middle man, or attending an event, product reviews and even ghost writing.
Lack of integrity not only tarnish reputation but also limits income opportunities
I have entrepreneur friends who are reluctant to spend money for bloggers and social media influencers because of the horror stories they hear about these supposedly rockstars. Since I am a blogger too and
about to become an entrepreneur now an entrepreneur myself, I succeeded in placing their expectations to a realistic level.
I advised my friends to first set their objectives and budget to determine the need for bloggers, and be explicit with their expectations. And as a blogger myself and Asst. Vice President for a company at the same time, my behavior and character is important, not only for my sake but for the reputation of other bloggers too.
Do you agree that integrity and good character can be an ally of bloggers? What are the other repercussions for unethical behavior?