Please file this under: Be careful what you wish for.
In an earlier DC forum topic
there is some discussion about the problem with online advertisements.
A recent article
by Dan Lyons over at The Daily Beast
shows, however, that there may be far worse things than online ads when it comes to so-called tech "news" sites.
(With thanks to Shell Extension City
for this find)
Ethical or Not, Silicon Valley Bloggers Hit Up VCs for Angel Funds
Feb 22, 2012 4:00 PM EST
It’s a win-win game: Bloggers write favorably about both sides’ portfolios, and everyone exits with 100x returns. Even social media maven Robert Scoble is getting in on the game. But whatever happened to journalistic integrity?
Trend alert: In Silicon Valley, popular bloggers are realizing that instead of trying to make a living by selling ads, they can instead hit up venture capitalists for money. As I described last week in a post on my personal blog, these savvy bloggers will use the money to create “angel funds,” which they in turn will use to make investments in small startup companies—which bloggers often hear about before the rest of the world. Those investments, if bloggers are smart and/or lucky, could end up being worth millions.
I can't quite see how such an arrangement could possibly get around several US securities laws. But I'm not an attorney. And any VC worthy of the name has top notch legal talent on their payroll. So I'm guessing there's ways to do this without violating "insider trading" regulations, and rules governing IPOs.
Of course that leaves out the problem with where this practice will lead as far as online journalism is concerned. Especially now that so much of the sub-30 age bracket prefers blogs and other non-traditional 'news' sources over their mainstream counterparts.
(from the article)
Traditional journalists cringe at this kind of “hacks for hire” business model, but from an utterly cynical perspective, it’s kind of brilliant—as long as you can get over the whole “ethics” thing.
Remember, these guys are bloggers, not journalists. Why shouldn’t they use their blogs to get rich? It sure beats trying to make money selling those crappy little ads in the side column.
Either way, it shouldn't come as any surprise something like this is in the works - or that somebody like blogger Robert Scoble is interested in it.