Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 05, 2016, 06:58:45 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Bribing Bloggers - Joel, and Others, Weigh In  (Read 3416 times)

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,406
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Bribing Bloggers - Joel, and Others, Weigh In
« on: December 28, 2006, 07:38:56 PM »
You've probably heard about the recently thing where Microsoft and AMD gave away Vista-loaded tricked out laptops to top bloggers in an effort to get some good publicity.  There has been a lot of talk on the web recently about the ethics/morality of the move, and some thoughtfull discussion pieces are emerging.

Quote
There's an interesting debate going on about whether bloggers should accept gifts from vendors.
Lately Microsoft, working through their PR agency, Edelman, has been getting rather aggressive about trying to buy good coverage from bloggers. A few months ago they invited bloggers out to Seattle to meet Bill Gates, with all expenses paid (hotel, airfare, etc). Last week they send out a round of expensive laptops with Vista preinstalled. These are not loans, by the way: they're completely free laptops ("yours to keep!"). Here's the offer I received from a Microsoft employee:
...
Sounds nice, huh? What could be wrong with that?
Robert Scoble says "it's an awesome idea." He says that as long as the bloggers disclose that they got the laptops free, they're acting ethically. And he says that Edelman is just "doing their job," which is therefore by definition ethical: On Edelman’s side? Is sending out laptops ethical? Of course! That’s their job.
Scoble is wrong.
...
've been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini's book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.
These gifts reduce the public trust in blogs.
...
This is the most frustrating thing about the practice of giving bloggers free stuff: it pisses in the well, reducing the credibility of all blogs. I'm upset that people trust me less because of the behavior of other bloggers. Don't even get me started about PayPerPost.
...


Read more essays on the subject at TechMeme: http://www.techmeme....61228/p68#a061228p68
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 07:41:26 PM by mouser »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,406
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Bribing Bloggers - Joel, and Others, Weigh In
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2006, 07:48:38 PM »
My thoughts: I generally agree with what Joel is saying I think.  Of course it's easy for people so high up in the food chain like Joel to turn down a free $5000 laptop, or for someone as annoying as Robert Scoble to just wallow in the free gifts that get sent to him in the hopes of getting a mention on a top blog (no one gifts a rat's a** what we write here so no gifts for us).  So it's easy to say accepting such things are morally questionable, but it would be very hard to turn down such a gift if you really could use a laptop and didn't have the money to spend on one.


app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Bribing Bloggers - Joel, and Others, Weigh In
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 03:42:38 PM »
I want to see a post by a blogger that accepted the offer for the free Vista preinstalled laptop, formatted it, and installed Linux.  ;D