Product & Startup Builder

Scoble sells out - Accepts invitation by PayPerPost

Added on by Chris Saad.
The issue of content authenticity is very important to us here at Touchstone. When you are delivering news and information to users you want to feel assured that you're giving them authentic voices saying authentic things so it's in our best interest that the blogosphere is a place of trusted content (or at least a place where content trust can be measured).

So when the issue of PayPerPost (getting paid to post stuff about a company) pops up it piques our interest.

Robert is getting a lot of flack today for his announcement that he will be speaking at a PayPerPost event. Even Shel seems to be disavowing his writing partner!

The fact is though I think Robert is once again doing the brave thing. He is the most visible content producer in our little revolution. He is on the bleeding edge when it comes to facing all the real and emerging issues.

Issues that most bloggers don't have to worry about like balancing content creation, revenue and disclosure or reading AND responding to hundreds and hundreds of emails a day in an effort to maintain the social part of his social media. Or issues like remembering his responsibility to link to us z-listers.

The fact is though - Robert has been most transparent about his struggle with these issues. In many ways though, I think it's that transparency that has been attracting so much criticism lately. People expect more from him than Boing Boing! or Engadget exactly because he makes it clear that there is money involved and that money can and does change the game.

So that makes him the perfect person to go into the lions den and find out what these PayPerPost people have to say. To champion full disclosure and face the reality that where there's an audience - there is money. And where there is money there will always be scammers. We need to face this fact.

With great power comes great responsibility. And today, the barrier to gaining power is lower and lower. First we had Spam, then we had SEO tricks and now we have Splogs and paid posts. Someone has to find a way to define and declare our moral standard - and someone (or a group of someones) should document our best practices.

Maybe that's a job for a good wiki and the Media 2.0 Workgroup. But it is definitely a job for the Scoblizer on the front lines - demonstrating how it can be done by doing it. Stumbling, and doing it better.

Good luck Robert!