Further to my earlier posting about marketing masquerading as blogs, here’s some mail from Brooklyn reader Sam Bailey:
it’s an interesting phenomenon – I wondered when this would happen. but is this any different than the steady flow of promotional catalogs designed to look like magazines? or for that matter the companies that are paid to post positive messages about a product on bulletin boards/usenet/chatrooms/etc? your point that integrity of view and individualism are both key components of blogs is a good one; that said the same freedom of expression allowed by not having an editor will eventually mean less scrupulous folk will insert their own commercial agenda just as happened in the past…it’s a little tough to determine integrity of view without an external vote of confidence – say, for instance, the fact that the blogger writes for a major magazine? or else someone else you trust vouching for the blogger.as I’m sure you know even before web browsers came into existence the commercialization of the internet was an issue. at least we can look forward to spoof sites of these blogs just as there are spoof sites for nearly every other internet phenomenon (my favorite is YETI@Home – http://www.phobe.com/yeti/ ). and I’m sure that if the blogs get too commercial a new form will develop.
Good points. I believe that in most cases blogs have risen or fallen based on their inherent credibility or lack of it. Anyone can spot a fake over time, and blogs, if nothing else, exist in the dimension of time. (Whatever that means!) This also raises an issue that’s concerning me at the moment: the boundaries and limits for journalists and company employees in their blogs. Recent dismissals of a Bloomberg journalist apparently for blogging raise some troubling questions about the rights of individual expression outside the office. Anyone got anything on this?