Comments on people-ready
Saturday, June 23, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Re the "people-ready" discussion.
First, Mike Arrington implies, in the title of his post, that everyone knows about this practice. Maybe it's disclosed, quite possibly he has written about it and I missed it. But to imply that everyone knows they're doing it is wrong. I didn't. I'm sure others didn't as well.
Second, and this is the really important one. It's one thing to let Microsoft buy space on your site (it's called advertising) and quite another to accept Microsoft money for words coming out of your mouth. Next month when we read something positive on these sites about Microsoft, how are we supposed to know if it's an opinion, or just another example of being paid to say something supportive of Microsoft.
The only one of the people involved who showed any interest in what others think is Om Malik, and even his interest was conditional. In public writing, what people think of your writing is very important. They may not agree with you, they may not like what you say, they may not like you, but you want to be sure they know where you're coming from. Any doubt about that removes value from your work. Do it often enough and it removes all value.
Mike says that this discussion cost him money that he needs to make payroll. I encourage him to look at a bigger picture. Any cloud over his integrity with readers will have a much bigger impact, imho.
Comprehensive roundup from Jeff Jarvis.
Doc Searls: "The question isn't whether advertisers are paying for text in a box. It's whether they're they're also buying kinder treatment in editorial postings. We need to hear that. Not to be told where to go."
Dan Blank brings some welcome comic relief to the drama.