Update June 27, 2005: Pete Caputa wrote a related blog entry titled “Bloggers vs Journalists: Agendas.”
A couple weeks ago Pete Caputa introduced me to a reporter who was working on a “getting paid to blog” story for the Boston Globe. Thanks, Pete! (That’s sincere despite my rant throughout the rest of this entry.)
Unfortunately the tidbits about me in the story weren’t accurate. Maybe they were honest mistakes. I’m not sure but I wish I would have had a chance to go over the information with the reporter.
For other bloggers, the compensation can be a windfall. Somerville resident Susan Kaup received $2,100 this winter for writing a dozen times about Marqui — a Portland, Ore., marketing software company — and linking to its website on her blog, www.sooz.com. Though Marqui disclosed it was paying bloggers, Kaup did not always mention the compensation on her site.
First: It was $2400. $800 times three months = $2400. Windfall?
And second, I did always mention the compensation on my website. I had this icon on my website throughout the program and several weeks afterwards. It said “I get paid to talk about Marqui.” The reason it’s not on my site anymore is because the program is over. At no point during our brief conversation did the reporter ask me if I disclosed my arrangement. She did ask if I ever wrote negative things about Marqui and I said I didn’t think so but searching for “Marqui” on my site would be an easy way to find out. As it turns out, I was critical at least once. I usually included a tidbit about the program in each entry. In hindsight, I think I should have placed that button inside every entry. But her indication that I did not always mention the compensation is misleading.
At least we have our blogs to set the record straight.
While expressing frustration about this to a friend who is excellent at being the voice of reason in curious times, he passed on this humorous link that somehow I had never seen before. For the record, I don’t think all reporters are bad or anything. Robert Weisman was awesome when he wrote the Sunday Boston Globe article about Meetup.com that included the Wi-Fi Meetup that I organize. He spent at least an hour with us in person at the Meetup and exchanged emails with me.