This post is bound to get me sent to the Blogger version of the misfit toys from x-mas island. It is just a personal observation and snapshot of my views of social media life.
I am new to blogging but I have been a avid web browser / lurker since Mosaic was still a browser and all you could find were animated gifs and gopher sites (cira 1993) which in web years might as well be before the baby jebus.... I have seen so much bad internet it is sick. I was even a subscriber of AOL for 2 years til it almost drove me to kill. I am also a working journalist / producer. I do not write about it because it is my life so much of the time i need a break once and awhile.
So when is a Blog a Blog? When does it cross from social media to social marketing? And should bloggers get paid to advertise products or services in the guise of reviews when by the fact of receiving payment of money or goods and services still be considered blogs. I do not have a problem with people making a living blogging, if you have a service or product go market it. If that product is you even better I support that fully. Social Media is a great place to market in and around. I have plenty of friends who do this and do it very well.
The difference is when the line is blurred. Blogging about that wonderful resort or restaurant you went to is great, But if you got your hotel stay for free for the blog post or your diner free to pimp for the eatery. I start to have issues. Some will say that I am jealous, but i am not. I cannot take payment or service for a piece I do not because I am a a professional Journalist and that would be intellectually dishonest, and professionally immoral. I do think that people who pimp for businesses and services should state that they were paid for the article in the post. Or they run the same line as infomercials that pretend to be news shows.... which is very intellectually dishonest.
Please understand fellow bloggers, I do not have a problem with people "Self Marketing" or "Marketing for friends". But some blogs and bloggers are not friends with every biz in town (especially the really trendy and hip ones)
These forms of HTML Infomercial, tricks the reader into thinking it is a honest review, a real experience, one persons interaction with some thing they paid for. It is nothing else but dishonest. I have read some of these blogs and i find it easy to figure out quick. there are never any medicore reviews, everything, at everyplace they visit or product they use is Fabulous and not to be missed.
Are these bloggers parasites? yes to a degree, it is that they feed their wallets off of businesses who are willing to pay, feed, cloth, and house these tape worm bloggers. By no means should we run them out of town with pitch forks and torches, we should just call them what they are. social media infomercials. Bloggers who are just like Shlomo the Sham-wow guy, minus the hooker beating. or the late billy Mays. They just do it in a slick, internet based way. And we do not even have to pay shipping & and handling.
There are also blogs written by big Biz as well. Disguised as consumer information blogs when again they are just shills.
I will continue to support bloggers who write because they like to, or write because their minds make them. I will also support anyone who markets themselves and their product in social media. But for me soon it will be open season on blogger infomercials, just like so many of us bag on their television equivalents. I hope I still have some online social media friends after this......