Sunday, May 24, 2009

“Blogola” – FTC to go after paid blogs

Defining a new Social Media Contract
[More on story reported in BusinessWeek]

It’s about time that we got real with the Social Media world. If you have an audience and you want to pay off your rent/mortgage/student loan/Tesla Roadster, you’re going to have to confront the issue of getting paid for your blogs.

Companies will offer them to you – generally in the form of goods – but sometimes cash. So why shouldn’t you take it. I don’t have a problem with it although most Social Media orgs do.

My only issue is transparency – if you’re getting paid, let me know. Not only that, but what is the level of sponsorship? Are they giving you stuff or money and is it your unfettered, if perhaps biased impression? Or do they have the final word or feeding you the talking points? There’s quite a difference and an industry symbol cold clear that up in a heartbeat.

Like advertising, once the public realized that ads underwrote their newspapers and TV, they accepted it – it was a social contract. We clearly need the same thing here – and business will take off.

Since the Social Media community couldn’t develop its own Social Contract, it appears that the FTC will take a crack at it. Hope it works……

[iBreakfast’s March Social Media Report Anticipated FTC Action on Blogola]

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