‘Bloggers as saleman’

Interesting observation at Baratillo.net about the increasing number of bloggers being invited to cover events. It goes:

I do not know if you notice it but in the past few months there has been an increase in the number of events bloggers have been invited to. There have been more than a baker’s dozen of food tours. And there have been more tech events than Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs. And a lot of bloggers have been invited to these events.

They happen one way or the other, most of the time. And it is a good thing bloggers are invited. But are there times when a blogger abandon his role as a blogger and starts to be the defacto spokesperson or salesman of a product the event launches? Is this a good or bad thing? Are the principles of the blogger compromised? Does it seem that the blogger has sold his soul for a shiny new product because it was given away for free or he/she is part of the viral campaign?

In essence by doing such things does the blogger depart from his original role and thus become just a mouthpiece of the product? He ceases to become a blogger and starts being the Goebbels – the online propaganda Czar of the product.

As you would read along, you’ll be encountering words like “objectivity,” which is an idea familiar among journalists. What is objectivity? The answer to that question will likely lead you to endless debates. I would rather use responsibility. But that’s another issue. Anyway, let’s go back to the article.

Has the blogger by doing this sold his or her soul to the Devil? A devil that comes in the form of a free meal, a shiny new camera or even a new phone?

These are questions that have been from time to time in my thoughts as I see things shaping in the community. It is a concern. It is a similar concern to that mania of hits, page impressions and ranking mania one sees among blogs … but let us leave that alone for awhile.

A few things to consider or thoughts that come to my mind:The blogger has the option to write a post or not and f the blogger then decides to write a post, a series of posts or even publicly state that he or she believes in the product is this wrong?

Only if he does not believe in the product or he is doing this without giving the product a critical eye.

If a blogger does not believes in a product and then endorses it or even promotes it then I think he or she or I (if that were case) would be selling out – dropped the role of the blogger and become the salesperson of the product.

Here comes the dilemma. One way out of this is not to write about the product or whatever is being promoted. Why don’t they write about something that is not related to the event. Or probably they can focus on certain issues? I remember writing a product review in the past. When it came out, I was branded a “pro-this,” and “anti-that.” The review narrated my personal experience with that certain product, which meant it highlighted the pros and cons, and general observations compared with other existing rival products. Mind you, it’s really hard to do reviews because it takes time and keen observation to point out what’s hot and what’s not.

People have their biases. Perhaps the best way of approaching the dilemma cited in the article is to become more responsible about what you write. Just my two cents’ worth.

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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time