Why can Leo Laporte and Disney do it, but Mike Arrington and TechCrunch can’t?

Tonight I was driving home from a family party with Patrick. We were listening to KGO Radio. AM-810. It’s the best rated talk station in the San Francisco area (and is among the best rated station in the world). Its signal can be heard from Alaska to Mexico. The show we were listening to was Bill Wattenburg.

Two ads on KGO caught my ear. The first was an ad for Pat Vitucci and AIG, here’s a list of some of KGO’s advertisers. It was read live by Bill Wattenburg. He endorsed Pat’s seminar.

The second was by Leo Laporte, who came on and endorsed GoToMyPC in his own voice.

I’ve heard Leo endorse other products on KGO recently too in advertisements, including a security dongle (Kevin Mitnick also did such an endorsement).

KGO Radio is owned by Disney Corporation.

These two examples of advertisements are FAR further along the endorsement line than what was done by Federated Media. The ads that caused the TechMeme outcry were NOT endorsements at all, but were just bloggers talking about an advertising slogan and even then weren’t told what to say.

But the ads on KGO radio go FAR further. Most of the ads that hosts on KGO read are from a script. It’s pretty clear that the company is paying those ad readers to say specific things.

Now, I know Leo is pretty high integrity guy. I doubt he’d do an ad for a product he really hated, but would he really endorse GoToMyPC if he weren’t being paid? Might he endorse a different technique? Or teach people how to do such a thing without a commercial product? I’ve listened to Leo a lot (I used to help run his chat room back when he was a host himself on KGO radio back in the mid 1990s) and I could see him teaching people how to do it themselves without buying a third-party product to let you remotely access your files.

One thing, though, all these ads are totally disclosed. It’s very clear they are paid advertisements and are separate from the editorial copy. It’s very clear that Leo is getting paid to take these editorial stances.

But, still, why isn’t everyone yelling and screaming about these kinds of ads on professional media (this is one of the world’s top radio stations, owned by a huge multi-national corporation)?

Here’s why? Beating up on Disney won’t get you any links. Won’t get you on TechMeme. Won’t insert you into a conversation. Won’t build your traffic.

In fact, Leo is so popular and credible that beating up on him might cause a major blowback the way that beating up on Macs usually gets you hundreds of angry commenters (ask John Dvorak about that one).

Now you know why Valleywag is still pushing this story front and center (even Larry Page, cofounder of Google, arriving at FooCamp in a helicopter couldn’t push this story off of the front page over there).

Translation: there’s lots of professional endorsing that’s been going on for years (this isn’t new). As long as it’s disclosed I don’t see the problem with it.

On the other hand, Jeff Jarvis has a major problem with these kinds of advertisements. I respect Jeff’s stance but don’t think Jeff’s stance will be followed by everyone.

For me, I will disclose when I’m doing stuff for money. I’m not going to be as pure as Jeff Jarvis is, sorry, but when I’m not I’ll let you know so you can make up your own mind about what I’m saying.

UPDATE: Leo Laporte explained why he does radio endorsements in my comments and that he won’t endorse a product that he doesn’t already use (and has turned down requests for endorsements from other companies because of that). I believe him when he says this, too, because I’ve seen him turn down advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

Comments

  1. Ok — I’ll go first.

    You’re wondering why the ad with Leo Laporte’s different?

    1. I don’t think he is different — he should be brought to task when the situation calls for it (hey, I did it: http://www.deepjiveinterests.com/2007/04/07/why-is-leo-laporte-acting-like-a-petulant-child/)

    2. Its a function of the medium — there are different expectations on traditional media. People already have a certain amount of savvy, or jadedness if you will. When you hear an ad on TV or radio, most people have enough media literacy to know that … well, its an ad. It was paid for. And more importantly, celebrities “do” that kind of thing on TV and radio. Its accepted. In the blogosphere and amongst bloggers, its not. At least, not yet. The standards are different principally because of the *last* post you did. People view blogs as being a credible source of information — more credible than other media because, for some reason, people think that bloggers are honest. Go figure, huh! :)

    3. Its also a function of endorsement — Leo Laporte endorsing GoToMyPc is pretty benign stuff. GoToMyPC doesn’t have a terrible reputation. They’re not recalcitrant spammers. They don’t sell laptops that go on fire. They don’t have a history of being the company everyone loves to hate. More importantly, Leo Laporte hasn’t gone on record to previously say that he *doesn’t* like GoToMyPc. If Leo Laporte were to endorse a company that he obviously had railed against? If he was endorsing a company that *everyone* took an exception to (thereby, implicltly making him also taking an exception to it if he had never said anything prior) — that kind of endorsement would go over badly.

    And the latter point is *exactly* what is wrong with Federated Media and *exactly* why the ad you heard on the radio is *not* the same as the “conversational marketing” hubaloo.

    It has to do with the honest of the conversation or the sponsorship. Leo Laporte is being pretty plain and upfront about the commercial. And him doing it, given his track record about things like GoToMyPc is pretty bland. It doesn’t impugn his integrity (that much), or more than any other product all things being equal. Its pretty benign stuff.

    As for your assertion that bloggers are doing it to get links? Hey, I’m partly guilty as charged.

    Having said that, I’ll also say that it is an important conversation that I’dlike to chime in on — conversational marketing as it applies to bloggers is an important topic.

    And that’s one thing that John Batelle got right — its an evolving medium. And the level of discourse, if anything, should be more — not less.

    Cheers
    Tony @ DJI

  2. Ok — I’ll go first.

    You’re wondering why the ad with Leo Laporte’s different?

    1. I don’t think he is different — he should be brought to task when the situation calls for it (hey, I did it: http://www.deepjiveinterests.com/2007/04/07/why-is-leo-laporte-acting-like-a-petulant-child/)

    2. Its a function of the medium — there are different expectations on traditional media. People already have a certain amount of savvy, or jadedness if you will. When you hear an ad on TV or radio, most people have enough media literacy to know that … well, its an ad. It was paid for. And more importantly, celebrities “do” that kind of thing on TV and radio. Its accepted. In the blogosphere and amongst bloggers, its not. At least, not yet. The standards are different principally because of the *last* post you did. People view blogs as being a credible source of information — more credible than other media because, for some reason, people think that bloggers are honest. Go figure, huh! :)

    3. Its also a function of endorsement — Leo Laporte endorsing GoToMyPc is pretty benign stuff. GoToMyPC doesn’t have a terrible reputation. They’re not recalcitrant spammers. They don’t sell laptops that go on fire. They don’t have a history of being the company everyone loves to hate. More importantly, Leo Laporte hasn’t gone on record to previously say that he *doesn’t* like GoToMyPc. If Leo Laporte were to endorse a company that he obviously had railed against? If he was endorsing a company that *everyone* took an exception to (thereby, implicltly making him also taking an exception to it if he had never said anything prior) — that kind of endorsement would go over badly.

    And the latter point is *exactly* what is wrong with Federated Media and *exactly* why the ad you heard on the radio is *not* the same as the “conversational marketing” hubaloo.

    It has to do with the honest of the conversation or the sponsorship. Leo Laporte is being pretty plain and upfront about the commercial. And him doing it, given his track record about things like GoToMyPc is pretty bland. It doesn’t impugn his integrity (that much), or more than any other product all things being equal. Its pretty benign stuff.

    As for your assertion that bloggers are doing it to get links? Hey, I’m partly guilty as charged.

    Having said that, I’ll also say that it is an important conversation that I’dlike to chime in on — conversational marketing as it applies to bloggers is an important topic.

    And that’s one thing that John Batelle got right — its an evolving medium. And the level of discourse, if anything, should be more — not less.

    Cheers
    Tony @ DJI

  3. FYI, Dr. Bill actually does some of the live seminars with Pat Petuchi. I’m not sure why Dr. Bill is qualified to give financial advice, but I know he and Pat co-host a seminar in the east bay on personal finances.

  4. FYI, Dr. Bill actually does some of the live seminars with Pat Petuchi. I’m not sure why Dr. Bill is qualified to give financial advice, but I know he and Pat co-host a seminar in the east bay on personal finances.

  5. I think you already nailed the biggest difference between Mike and Leo and that is full disclosure.

    A minor difference is in how both guys are perceived. Leo is universally liked. Mike not so much. To make matters worse, Mike gave an arrogant argument in defense of the ads. No matter how many reasons he gave for taking the money, the one I’ll remember is that he had a payroll to meet. He assumed disclosure meant his entire audience understood those type of ads. Wrong. He came across as defensive with something to hide. Going forward, I will read TechCrunch in a different light.

  6. I think you already nailed the biggest difference between Mike and Leo and that is full disclosure.

    A minor difference is in how both guys are perceived. Leo is universally liked. Mike not so much. To make matters worse, Mike gave an arrogant argument in defense of the ads. No matter how many reasons he gave for taking the money, the one I’ll remember is that he had a payroll to meet. He assumed disclosure meant his entire audience understood those type of ads. Wrong. He came across as defensive with something to hide. Going forward, I will read TechCrunch in a different light.

  7. Brett: I’m not so sure that Mike didn’t disclose. I look at the Microsoft site and it’s pretty clearly an advertisement paid for by Microsoft. I don’t think anyone would stumble over there and not understand that’s an advertisement.

    And some of the stuff on KGO Radio stretches disclosure pretty darn far too. The hosts read commercials live. It’s sometimes hard to understand that the host is reading a commercial and not giving us his own thoughts.

  8. Brett: I’m not so sure that Mike didn’t disclose. I look at the Microsoft site and it’s pretty clearly an advertisement paid for by Microsoft. I don’t think anyone would stumble over there and not understand that’s an advertisement.

    And some of the stuff on KGO Radio stretches disclosure pretty darn far too. The hosts read commercials live. It’s sometimes hard to understand that the host is reading a commercial and not giving us his own thoughts.

  9. T. and other KGO hosts also do seminars, or endorse such by Pat. Also the Sleep Train commercials are legion and are always read by the hosts which implies endorsement.

  10. T. and other KGO hosts also do seminars, or endorse such by Pat. Also the Sleep Train commercials are legion and are always read by the hosts which implies endorsement.

  11. Come on Robert. You know people pick their battles and Mike’s abuse of Ted Murphy/PPP makes this an easy target for hypocrisy. Valleywag even put Arrington and PPP pictures at the header of this flip-flop post: http://valleywag.com/tech/flip-flop/michael-arrington-on-the-pollution-of-the-blogosphere-271646.php

    Throw in the fact that Mike doesn’t take it as well as Murphy (see “pound sand”, “I’m now pissed off” and even deleting comments about Battelle and Disclosure Policies here http://www.crunchnotes.com/?p=410 ) and you have an easy glass-house story.

    Mike will live and learn from this. Battelle’s agreement with you ( http://www.federatedmedia.net/blog/archives/2007/06/a_follow_up.php ) could yield a good outcome for all conversation marketing audiences:

    “But no matter what, I think the key, as Scoble says, is to disclose. Our draft principles say:

    Appearing in Ads: If you lend your voice or name to copy in an ad unit (for instance, “My dream search engine would operate on my spoken word,”) disclose that fact and your relationship with the advertiser, if any, in a post or on a disclosure page. ”

    You know PPP has championed a Disclosure Policy framework via http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/ for some time now because it’s so extensible for this changing/experimenting space.

    Arrington’s post for MS was on a site that encouraged user contributions, leaving organic and sponsored content unclear. For example, Mike’s post ends with “Posted by Mike Arrington at 03:35:30 PM”, looking very similar to Mike Watson’s “Posted by Mike Watson at 12:04:01 PM”.

    That ambiguity could have been covered with a linked Disclosure Policy on Mike’s site (as Battelle suggests) and a Disclosure Policy at the FM site. In fact, such DP detail is relevant for readers of the next Microsoft product review on TechCrunch.

    I’m still hoping to see a “Disclosure Policy” link from every page of your blog…readers will benefit from such transparency and standard linking on the blogs they read (like “Privacy Policy” on ecommerce sites).

  12. Come on Robert. You know people pick their battles and Mike’s abuse of Ted Murphy/PPP makes this an easy target for hypocrisy. Valleywag even put Arrington and PPP pictures at the header of this flip-flop post: http://valleywag.com/tech/flip-flop/michael-arrington-on-the-pollution-of-the-blogosphere-271646.php

    Throw in the fact that Mike doesn’t take it as well as Murphy (see “pound sand”, “I’m now pissed off” and even deleting comments about Battelle and Disclosure Policies here http://www.crunchnotes.com/?p=410 ) and you have an easy glass-house story.

    Mike will live and learn from this. Battelle’s agreement with you ( http://www.federatedmedia.net/blog/archives/2007/06/a_follow_up.php ) could yield a good outcome for all conversation marketing audiences:

    “But no matter what, I think the key, as Scoble says, is to disclose. Our draft principles say:

    Appearing in Ads: If you lend your voice or name to copy in an ad unit (for instance, “My dream search engine would operate on my spoken word,”) disclose that fact and your relationship with the advertiser, if any, in a post or on a disclosure page. ”

    You know PPP has championed a Disclosure Policy framework via http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/ for some time now because it’s so extensible for this changing/experimenting space.

    Arrington’s post for MS was on a site that encouraged user contributions, leaving organic and sponsored content unclear. For example, Mike’s post ends with “Posted by Mike Arrington at 03:35:30 PM”, looking very similar to Mike Watson’s “Posted by Mike Watson at 12:04:01 PM”.

    That ambiguity could have been covered with a linked Disclosure Policy on Mike’s site (as Battelle suggests) and a Disclosure Policy at the FM site. In fact, such DP detail is relevant for readers of the next Microsoft product review on TechCrunch.

    I’m still hoping to see a “Disclosure Policy” link from every page of your blog…readers will benefit from such transparency and standard linking on the blogs they read (like “Privacy Policy” on ecommerce sites).

  13. The ability to escape advertising is part of the reason why TiVo, iPods, TV shows on DVD and downloaded from iTunes, Firefox with its adblocker, and craigslist are so popular. Some of us aren’t openly yelling and screaming because we’re not receiving these ads anymore.

  14. The ability to escape advertising is part of the reason why TiVo, iPods, TV shows on DVD and downloaded from iTunes, Firefox with its adblocker, and craigslist are so popular. Some of us aren’t openly yelling and screaming because we’re not receiving these ads anymore.

  15. I’m not crazy about doing advertisments on radio, but I rationalize it in two ways.

    First, I only do ads for products I myself use and recommend. I’m pretty picky and reject many sponsors for that reason. My recommendations are sincere.

    Second, radio is a medium where hosts have always done endorsement spots going back to Arthur Godfrey and Paul Harvey (in the US anyway). It’s a significant form of income for radio announcers. If I weren’t to do them, radio wouldn’t pay well enough for me to do it. I consider podcasting a similar medium.

    I don’t do ads of any kind on TV or any other medium because it’s not as much a part of the culture.

    I’d prefer not to do ads – I understand the perception that it’s a conflict of interest – but it’s how I make my living on radio and netcasts. If there were another way to do it I would.

    I do continue to recommend other products on the editorial portion of the show (logmein.com for example).

  16. I’m not crazy about doing advertisments on radio, but I rationalize it in two ways.

    First, I only do ads for products I myself use and recommend. I’m pretty picky and reject many sponsors for that reason. My recommendations are sincere.

    Second, radio is a medium where hosts have always done endorsement spots going back to Arthur Godfrey and Paul Harvey (in the US anyway). It’s a significant form of income for radio announcers. If I weren’t to do them, radio wouldn’t pay well enough for me to do it. I consider podcasting a similar medium.

    I don’t do ads of any kind on TV or any other medium because it’s not as much a part of the culture.

    I’d prefer not to do ads – I understand the perception that it’s a conflict of interest – but it’s how I make my living on radio and netcasts. If there were another way to do it I would.

    I do continue to recommend other products on the editorial portion of the show (logmein.com for example).

  17. Leo: thanks, I actually agree with you. If we’re going to take content generation the next step we need to find ways to make a living with it and find ways to pay our employees.

    I think in a few years we’ll accept advertising on blogs just the same way we accept it on radio and this whole issue will be a distant memory.

    Me? I’ll disclose. If I don’t, I know I’ll end up on Valleywag.

  18. Leo: thanks, I actually agree with you. If we’re going to take content generation the next step we need to find ways to make a living with it and find ways to pay our employees.

    I think in a few years we’ll accept advertising on blogs just the same way we accept it on radio and this whole issue will be a distant memory.

    Me? I’ll disclose. If I don’t, I know I’ll end up on Valleywag.

  19. Keep in mind that the stuff that Federated Media did was NOT taking a stance on a Microsoft product. It was just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer. No one was asked to say anything in particular. No endorsement was implied.

    The way people are talking on blogs it sounds a lot worse than it was.

    Leo: thanks, I updated my post to include a link to your comment.

  20. Keep in mind that the stuff that Federated Media did was NOT taking a stance on a Microsoft product. It was just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer. No one was asked to say anything in particular. No endorsement was implied.

    The way people are talking on blogs it sounds a lot worse than it was.

    Leo: thanks, I updated my post to include a link to your comment.

  21. Robert, I think you are almost always spot on, but this time you are missing this main point; Michael A. is missing this too, neither of you acknowledge:

    The ads were presented in a way that made it seem like the text was from a product review that the bloggers wrote for the company on their blogs on their own will, but then were paid for later by the company. Kinda like Dave Winer has quotes on his blog from people who have written stuff about him that he likes and wants to feature.

    ** Its a problem of context **

  22. Robert, I think you are almost always spot on, but this time you are missing this main point; Michael A. is missing this too, neither of you acknowledge:

    The ads were presented in a way that made it seem like the text was from a product review that the bloggers wrote for the company on their blogs on their own will, but then were paid for later by the company. Kinda like Dave Winer has quotes on his blog from people who have written stuff about him that he likes and wants to feature.

    ** Its a problem of context **

  23. Infomercials on radio has been around since 1921 and the audience expects them so I really don’t see what Leo is doing is comparable to what FM did in the blogosphere.

    Perhaps just the hypocrisy of Mike railing against the likes of PPP now has him in a hissy fit about his own payola.

  24. Infomercials on radio has been around since 1921 and the audience expects them so I really don’t see what Leo is doing is comparable to what FM did in the blogosphere.

    Perhaps just the hypocrisy of Mike railing against the likes of PPP now has him in a hissy fit about his own payola.

  25. Drew: I agree with you on that it’s a problem of context.

    But you’re wrong when you say it was presented in a way that made it look like a product review that the bloggers wrote. Have you even looked at the site? It was clearly NOT a product review.

    The real problem was that this was marketing that didn’t treat us like smart human beings. People Ready? This campaign certainly wasn’t.

  26. Drew: I agree with you on that it’s a problem of context.

    But you’re wrong when you say it was presented in a way that made it look like a product review that the bloggers wrote. Have you even looked at the site? It was clearly NOT a product review.

    The real problem was that this was marketing that didn’t treat us like smart human beings. People Ready? This campaign certainly wasn’t.

  27. Garth: PPP is different. PPP puts the ads INTO the content stream and doesn’t disclose those ads in the content stream itself (the disclosure, last time I looked, was over on the side of the blog, not on each post).

    PPP is a totally different animal to what Federated Media was trying to do here.

  28. Garth: PPP is different. PPP puts the ads INTO the content stream and doesn’t disclose those ads in the content stream itself (the disclosure, last time I looked, was over on the side of the blog, not on each post).

    PPP is a totally different animal to what Federated Media was trying to do here.

  29. “It was clearly NOT a product review.”

    I disagree on this. Even though the words themselves did not say “I love and endorse People Ready” as they were just words about life in general, when I’m out surfing around and I see a quote like that from a blogger like that, I assume it’s a quote lifted from an article about the product. Its not the words in this case, its the context of the **kind** of ad it is. Just like I know Leo’s ads are paid ads even though he talks about it, because I am familiar with the tradition of this style.

    Just like I know Dave’s ad’s were not paid for.

    This FM case hijacked the traditional use and mislead people because it would be too easy to have the kind of experience I had, which is that ultimately, the blogger had something nice to say on their own will about the product, and the company was proud of it and that I should be too.

  30. “It was clearly NOT a product review.”

    I disagree on this. Even though the words themselves did not say “I love and endorse People Ready” as they were just words about life in general, when I’m out surfing around and I see a quote like that from a blogger like that, I assume it’s a quote lifted from an article about the product. Its not the words in this case, its the context of the **kind** of ad it is. Just like I know Leo’s ads are paid ads even though he talks about it, because I am familiar with the tradition of this style.

    Just like I know Dave’s ad’s were not paid for.

    This FM case hijacked the traditional use and mislead people because it would be too easy to have the kind of experience I had, which is that ultimately, the blogger had something nice to say on their own will about the product, and the company was proud of it and that I should be too.

  31. “just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer… No endorsement was implied.”

    Do you really think your audience is this naïve? You think MSFT whose monumentally stupid and ineffective “people ready” ad campaign (I think even you’d agree with me here) was about charity? It’s utter payola, just as campaign contributions are. Politicians say hundred of millions they get from interested parties don’t affect their decisions. Do you think those donors are just wasting their millions?

    The guy says he does this all the time, “Go pound sand.” It’s really not all that complicated. He wanted money, MSFT offered it, he did something that’s NOT part of his journalistic/blogging routine: he shilled for them and hid it. He’s proud of it. Are you?

  32. “just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer… No endorsement was implied.”

    Do you really think your audience is this naïve? You think MSFT whose monumentally stupid and ineffective “people ready” ad campaign (I think even you’d agree with me here) was about charity? It’s utter payola, just as campaign contributions are. Politicians say hundred of millions they get from interested parties don’t affect their decisions. Do you think those donors are just wasting their millions?

    The guy says he does this all the time, “Go pound sand.” It’s really not all that complicated. He wanted money, MSFT offered it, he did something that’s NOT part of his journalistic/blogging routine: he shilled for them and hid it. He’s proud of it. Are you?

  33. If Leo’s basically been paid to come on and say nice things about the product, then no, it’s no different. If, on the other hand, he’s simply repeating something that he already said in the regular run of his programme without being paid, then I think there’s a difference. That would be the equivalent of an advertiser using a quote from a legit review in an ad, which is fine.

    But what we’re talking about here is the difference between journalistic ethics and blogging ethics. Journalism ethics says “no endorsements, period” – and if you want to have as much credibility as journalists, that’s what you need to adopt. Otherwise, you’re saying that what’s OK for bloggers isn’t ok for journalists, which is hypocritical.

  34. If Leo’s basically been paid to come on and say nice things about the product, then no, it’s no different. If, on the other hand, he’s simply repeating something that he already said in the regular run of his programme without being paid, then I think there’s a difference. That would be the equivalent of an advertiser using a quote from a legit review in an ad, which is fine.

    But what we’re talking about here is the difference between journalistic ethics and blogging ethics. Journalism ethics says “no endorsements, period” – and if you want to have as much credibility as journalists, that’s what you need to adopt. Otherwise, you’re saying that what’s OK for bloggers isn’t ok for journalists, which is hypocritical.

  35. Robert: ” No endorsement was implied.”

    That’s the thing, Robert: it’s incredibly naive to think that even if they didn’t endorse a product, Microsoft wasn’t using their good names to enhance their message and make people think better about Microsoft. Otherwise, why choose “A-list” bloggers for the campaign, rather than unknowns?

  36. Robert: ” No endorsement was implied.”

    That’s the thing, Robert: it’s incredibly naive to think that even if they didn’t endorse a product, Microsoft wasn’t using their good names to enhance their message and make people think better about Microsoft. Otherwise, why choose “A-list” bloggers for the campaign, rather than unknowns?

  37. The irony is that people may end up thinking it’s just a Mike Arrington thing.

    It’s not. Techmeme and its seed of Microsoft bloggers is worse, as it gives exposure to Microsoft people breeding ZERO discussion every day.

    Scoble guilty in every possible ways.

  38. The irony is that people may end up thinking it’s just a Mike Arrington thing.

    It’s not. Techmeme and its seed of Microsoft bloggers is worse, as it gives exposure to Microsoft people breeding ZERO discussion every day.

    Scoble guilty in every possible ways.

  39. Robt:

    It has long been the case that radio people voiced commercials. I don’t like it. But the conventions make it clear in most cases that this is not an endorsement; it’s a read. When the copy makes it seem like a persona endorsement, I don’t like it; I do think it’s unfcomfortable albeit traditional.

    Note that TV people used to do the same thing. Go watch 60 Minutes guys telling you to smoke a cigarette, or live reads on Today. That ended. Why? Because it reduced the credibility of the journalists and hosts reading the ads. That was an improvement. Sadly, radio never caught up. Especially when radio ended up with one person in the studio — because it was suddenly less profitable thanks to TV and because technology allowed this — that person had to do everything.

    I have to say I think it’s a cheap shot to dismiss this entire discussion as link bait: cheap and unproductive. This is an important discussion. We need to establish whether we are at least as good as TV — let that notion sink in — or as bad as crappy local radio — let that sink in, too. We need to decide what our individual standards are and what our relationship with our publics must be.

    This is a complex discussion. So it does no good to dismiss it as if it were just a stunt. I didn’t spend all day Saturday researching and writing my book-length post to get links. I did it because I believe this is important and I hope we all think through the implications of our decisions.

    That, after all, is the real lesson of the Federated case, as acknowledged by everything from Malik to Battelle: They wish they’d had their standards in place and thought it through.

    So I wish you’d encourage this discussion rather than try to snuff it. I think your analogy to radio is very helpful and the further analogy to TV is also helpful. so I’m glad you contributed to the discussion. I hope more join in.

    jeff

  40. Robt:

    It has long been the case that radio people voiced commercials. I don’t like it. But the conventions make it clear in most cases that this is not an endorsement; it’s a read. When the copy makes it seem like a persona endorsement, I don’t like it; I do think it’s unfcomfortable albeit traditional.

    Note that TV people used to do the same thing. Go watch 60 Minutes guys telling you to smoke a cigarette, or live reads on Today. That ended. Why? Because it reduced the credibility of the journalists and hosts reading the ads. That was an improvement. Sadly, radio never caught up. Especially when radio ended up with one person in the studio — because it was suddenly less profitable thanks to TV and because technology allowed this — that person had to do everything.

    I have to say I think it’s a cheap shot to dismiss this entire discussion as link bait: cheap and unproductive. This is an important discussion. We need to establish whether we are at least as good as TV — let that notion sink in — or as bad as crappy local radio — let that sink in, too. We need to decide what our individual standards are and what our relationship with our publics must be.

    This is a complex discussion. So it does no good to dismiss it as if it were just a stunt. I didn’t spend all day Saturday researching and writing my book-length post to get links. I did it because I believe this is important and I hope we all think through the implications of our decisions.

    That, after all, is the real lesson of the Federated case, as acknowledged by everything from Malik to Battelle: They wish they’d had their standards in place and thought it through.

    So I wish you’d encourage this discussion rather than try to snuff it. I think your analogy to radio is very helpful and the further analogy to TV is also helpful. so I’m glad you contributed to the discussion. I hope more join in.

    jeff

  41. Here’s my response to your response:

    Jeff: good point. You’re right, of course, that I shouldn’t have tainted your more serious conversation with the snuff that I aimed elsewhere. There were more than 40 blog posts on this topic and very few got close to the kind of consideration you gave it here.

    I won’t elevate TV to that high a position or use it as some sort of moral “credibility bar” that bloggers need to ascend to. Last time I watched the national news channels CNN and Fox they were showing Paris Hilton being transported to jail in full five-helicopter wall-to-wall coverage. Almost around the clock it was Paris, Paris, Paris. Before that it was some other blonde bimbo who died and the TV stations spent an entire week talking about that.

    Given a choice between superficial pop-culture coverage of Paris and a little incredulity due to blogs doing lame advertisements, I’ll take the blogs every day of the week. Especially given that TV is a one-way medium where normal everyday people can’t get regular access to the medium the way that people can get access to my comment area. Not to mention that blogs don’t force a complex issue to be discussed in two to five minutes the way most TV does (60 Minutes being one exception, but even there you’re limited to, what, 45 minutes a week split up into several topics?).

    I guess I took the conversation down the path I did because most of the commentary seemed to have some axe to grind. Your piece being an excellent exception.

    And if you think KGO Radio is “crappy local radio” I think you really need to come and listen again. KGO is one of the best talk show stations in the world and has had high ratings for at least 30 years.

  42. Here’s my response to your response:

    Jeff: good point. You’re right, of course, that I shouldn’t have tainted your more serious conversation with the snuff that I aimed elsewhere. There were more than 40 blog posts on this topic and very few got close to the kind of consideration you gave it here.

    I won’t elevate TV to that high a position or use it as some sort of moral “credibility bar” that bloggers need to ascend to. Last time I watched the national news channels CNN and Fox they were showing Paris Hilton being transported to jail in full five-helicopter wall-to-wall coverage. Almost around the clock it was Paris, Paris, Paris. Before that it was some other blonde bimbo who died and the TV stations spent an entire week talking about that.

    Given a choice between superficial pop-culture coverage of Paris and a little incredulity due to blogs doing lame advertisements, I’ll take the blogs every day of the week. Especially given that TV is a one-way medium where normal everyday people can’t get regular access to the medium the way that people can get access to my comment area. Not to mention that blogs don’t force a complex issue to be discussed in two to five minutes the way most TV does (60 Minutes being one exception, but even there you’re limited to, what, 45 minutes a week split up into several topics?).

    I guess I took the conversation down the path I did because most of the commentary seemed to have some axe to grind. Your piece being an excellent exception.

    And if you think KGO Radio is “crappy local radio” I think you really need to come and listen again. KGO is one of the best talk show stations in the world and has had high ratings for at least 30 years.

  43. Dislosure is essential, as is a clear and obvious distinction between an ad and editorial content. I think the PeopleReady ads met the second, but, in the eyes of some readers, perhaps not the first criterion.

    That said, I suspect what has really ticked off many people is the embrace of advertising. Nothing wrong with that, but I want to suggest that we should really apply two standards here. The first should apply to bloggers who motive for publishing is personal. The second should apply to those who use blogging software to run a publishing business. There is a difference.

    Many people distrust the MSM because of the perceived influence of advertising on editorial content. Why should we expect someone who happens to use a blog in the same way to keep their trust?

    Finally, if it is true that people trust personalities like LaPorte enough to assume that he only endorses products he really likes, then the PeopleReady flap tells us that people do not trust those personalities in equal measure.

  44. Dislosure is essential, as is a clear and obvious distinction between an ad and editorial content. I think the PeopleReady ads met the second, but, in the eyes of some readers, perhaps not the first criterion.

    That said, I suspect what has really ticked off many people is the embrace of advertising. Nothing wrong with that, but I want to suggest that we should really apply two standards here. The first should apply to bloggers who motive for publishing is personal. The second should apply to those who use blogging software to run a publishing business. There is a difference.

    Many people distrust the MSM because of the perceived influence of advertising on editorial content. Why should we expect someone who happens to use a blog in the same way to keep their trust?

    Finally, if it is true that people trust personalities like LaPorte enough to assume that he only endorses products he really likes, then the PeopleReady flap tells us that people do not trust those personalities in equal measure.

  45. Robert, stop being right, I’m finding it difficult to agree with you on an ongoing basis :-)

    On some of the other comments though: WTF? what product endorsements? The accused did nothing more then lend their names to a vague motherhood statements revolving around a word or phrase: an endorsement usually involves ENDORSING a product, these are nothing of the sort and if Microsoft thought they were getting endorsements they should ask Battelle for their money back.

  46. Robert, stop being right, I’m finding it difficult to agree with you on an ongoing basis :-)

    On some of the other comments though: WTF? what product endorsements? The accused did nothing more then lend their names to a vague motherhood statements revolving around a word or phrase: an endorsement usually involves ENDORSING a product, these are nothing of the sort and if Microsoft thought they were getting endorsements they should ask Battelle for their money back.

  47. The difference is that when you challenged Leo Laporte, he explained what’s going on in human terms that anyone could understand. The reactions of the bloggers ranged from qualified contrition to accusing the accusers and defiance.

    We’re left no more clued in as to when Arrington et al will take money for their words, he hadn’t told us before this that he was doing it, so what else is he doing that we don’t know about, and how will he react when questioned about it?

    Laporte built trust in his response. Arrington is throwing trust under the bus (to use his own overly dramatic metaphor).

    THe problem is that trust is the only product these guys have.

    Now why are *you* saying these things? Since you questioned everyone else’s ethics (you say its for links and flow). When you do that you lower the discussion down to a very low level, and you’re not going to escape it. Where is your line Scoble?

    I’ll tell you where mine is — I don’t run ads, I don’t do endorsements, when I say something it’s because I believe it. Period. You may rationalize it that I can afford it, but I would do that even if I were broke. I wouldn’t hitch a business model to my beliefs.

    I don’t think that’s the only valid position, I respect what Leo said, and Om. And Jeff Jarvis, and Doc Searls (why isn’t anyone quoting Doc, he drilled into a key point in very few words). There have been a lot of elegant things said in this discussion. To try to reduce all down to conflicts of interest is wrong, and makes YOU look bad Scoble.

  48. The difference is that when you challenged Leo Laporte, he explained what’s going on in human terms that anyone could understand. The reactions of the bloggers ranged from qualified contrition to accusing the accusers and defiance.

    We’re left no more clued in as to when Arrington et al will take money for their words, he hadn’t told us before this that he was doing it, so what else is he doing that we don’t know about, and how will he react when questioned about it?

    Laporte built trust in his response. Arrington is throwing trust under the bus (to use his own overly dramatic metaphor).

    THe problem is that trust is the only product these guys have.

    Now why are *you* saying these things? Since you questioned everyone else’s ethics (you say its for links and flow). When you do that you lower the discussion down to a very low level, and you’re not going to escape it. Where is your line Scoble?

    I’ll tell you where mine is — I don’t run ads, I don’t do endorsements, when I say something it’s because I believe it. Period. You may rationalize it that I can afford it, but I would do that even if I were broke. I wouldn’t hitch a business model to my beliefs.

    I don’t think that’s the only valid position, I respect what Leo said, and Om. And Jeff Jarvis, and Doc Searls (why isn’t anyone quoting Doc, he drilled into a key point in very few words). There have been a lot of elegant things said in this discussion. To try to reduce all down to conflicts of interest is wrong, and makes YOU look bad Scoble.

  49. A common (and not necessarily true) perception is that bloggers are journalists and have the requisite responsibilities. Sure, they can be considered ‘media professionals’ but the reality for professional bloggers is the need to generate revenue to survive.

    More appropriately many should be considered entertainment personalities rather than pundits or subject matter experts where they have potential credibility issues. In the end make no mistake; the product is advertising and the radio business is a very close model.

  50. A common (and not necessarily true) perception is that bloggers are journalists and have the requisite responsibilities. Sure, they can be considered ‘media professionals’ but the reality for professional bloggers is the need to generate revenue to survive.

    More appropriately many should be considered entertainment personalities rather than pundits or subject matter experts where they have potential credibility issues. In the end make no mistake; the product is advertising and the radio business is a very close model.

  51. Really, I think the entire issue is a drive-by. Fred and Paul and Om and Mike and etc.’s credibility is theirs to sell, and it’s for no one else to tell them what to do with it.

    If there were 3 media outlets providing us with all our news or infotainment or whatever, things might be different. But there aren’t, and there is now room for an infinite number of combinations of trust and credibility and news and entertainment and shilling and advertising and so on. Where anyone sits on that spectrum is for them to decide, and media consumers can decide what’s right for them. If the market thinks Mike and Om aren’t credible, it will tell them. What’s right for any particular form of media – any particular publisher – any particular audience – will depend. What Leo does works for him because I know Leo – not personally, because he will no longer return my calls – at least not since the *incident* (g) – and because I know him, I trust the endorsements he makes. I don’t expect him to be Walter Bleeding Cronkite – I expect him to be Leo.

    What Paul and Fred and Om and Mike want us to expect them to be is up to them, whether they hit that mark is up to us. And listening to bloggers tell me whether these guys have tainted their credibility (sometimes under the guise of asserting that the ‘sphere’s ‘culture’ or ‘standards’ disapprove of this kind of thing) is more than just a little annoying – I, and any other media consumer, can decide that for myself, and we don’t really need anyone else’s input on it. Which is precisely why, IMO, so many of these ads escaped everyone’s attention when they were first published – the outrage-sphere hadn’t noticed them yet.

  52. Really, I think the entire issue is a drive-by. Fred and Paul and Om and Mike and etc.’s credibility is theirs to sell, and it’s for no one else to tell them what to do with it.

    If there were 3 media outlets providing us with all our news or infotainment or whatever, things might be different. But there aren’t, and there is now room for an infinite number of combinations of trust and credibility and news and entertainment and shilling and advertising and so on. Where anyone sits on that spectrum is for them to decide, and media consumers can decide what’s right for them. If the market thinks Mike and Om aren’t credible, it will tell them. What’s right for any particular form of media – any particular publisher – any particular audience – will depend. What Leo does works for him because I know Leo – not personally, because he will no longer return my calls – at least not since the *incident* (g) – and because I know him, I trust the endorsements he makes. I don’t expect him to be Walter Bleeding Cronkite – I expect him to be Leo.

    What Paul and Fred and Om and Mike want us to expect them to be is up to them, whether they hit that mark is up to us. And listening to bloggers tell me whether these guys have tainted their credibility (sometimes under the guise of asserting that the ‘sphere’s ‘culture’ or ‘standards’ disapprove of this kind of thing) is more than just a little annoying – I, and any other media consumer, can decide that for myself, and we don’t really need anyone else’s input on it. Which is precisely why, IMO, so many of these ads escaped everyone’s attention when they were first published – the outrage-sphere hadn’t noticed them yet.

  53. Dave: I should have quoted Doc. I figured since I linked to three sources (you, Jeff, and TechMeme) that do link to Doc that people would have found him, but I should have linked.

    As to where my line is. I already have worked for a company as a blogger (five, in fact, including Fawcette, UserLand, NEC, Microsoft, and now PodTech).

    I already have taken advertisements. Seagate sponsors my show and I’m sure I’ll have other advertisements in the future.

    Where I put the line? I will always disclose when I’m taking money and what that money is for.

    It’s not as clean as your stance, to be certain, but then I want to do my video blog professionally and that’s my sole source of income. You make software so you can make money elsewhere to fund your blogging and content producing ventures. I don’t have that luxury.

    As to endorsements I haven’t said anything I didn’t already believe anyway and won’t change my stance in the future (which was Doc’s point, he wasn’t sure whether Microsoft is getting better treatment in return for their money). Why did my words at Microsoft have some weight? I was a Tablet PC evangelist and a Microsoft cheerleader far before I ever got a paycheck from Microsoft. Even when I worked at Microsoft I told people when I saw Microsoft screwing up and when I saw competitors doing better. I won’t take money to say something I don’t already believe anyway. For instance, if Sprint offers me a million dollars to say its phone is better than an iPhone then I’ll turn that down because I can’t say that and keep any credibility. My credibility is worth more than the money.

    I learned that on the camera store counter. If I sell something that isn’t the best thing for the customer (say to make a bigger commission) then that customer was far less likely to recommend me to his/her friends and far more likely to return the purchase and bring increased transaction costs to me anyway. Not to mention that next time they wouldn’t listen to me and, if I really was a jerk, would actively avoid dealing with me.

  54. Dave: I should have quoted Doc. I figured since I linked to three sources (you, Jeff, and TechMeme) that do link to Doc that people would have found him, but I should have linked.

    As to where my line is. I already have worked for a company as a blogger (five, in fact, including Fawcette, UserLand, NEC, Microsoft, and now PodTech).

    I already have taken advertisements. Seagate sponsors my show and I’m sure I’ll have other advertisements in the future.

    Where I put the line? I will always disclose when I’m taking money and what that money is for.

    It’s not as clean as your stance, to be certain, but then I want to do my video blog professionally and that’s my sole source of income. You make software so you can make money elsewhere to fund your blogging and content producing ventures. I don’t have that luxury.

    As to endorsements I haven’t said anything I didn’t already believe anyway and won’t change my stance in the future (which was Doc’s point, he wasn’t sure whether Microsoft is getting better treatment in return for their money). Why did my words at Microsoft have some weight? I was a Tablet PC evangelist and a Microsoft cheerleader far before I ever got a paycheck from Microsoft. Even when I worked at Microsoft I told people when I saw Microsoft screwing up and when I saw competitors doing better. I won’t take money to say something I don’t already believe anyway. For instance, if Sprint offers me a million dollars to say its phone is better than an iPhone then I’ll turn that down because I can’t say that and keep any credibility. My credibility is worth more than the money.

    I learned that on the camera store counter. If I sell something that isn’t the best thing for the customer (say to make a bigger commission) then that customer was far less likely to recommend me to his/her friends and far more likely to return the purchase and bring increased transaction costs to me anyway. Not to mention that next time they wouldn’t listen to me and, if I really was a jerk, would actively avoid dealing with me.

  55. Anyone that listens to actual talk radio, not NPR or any other government subsidized programming, knows this is a practice that goes back at least 10 years.

    The great majority of talk radio hosts have the integrity to only endorse the products they use. I don’t understand why this is suddenly news to you.

  56. Anyone that listens to actual talk radio, not NPR or any other government subsidized programming, knows this is a practice that goes back at least 10 years.

    The great majority of talk radio hosts have the integrity to only endorse the products they use. I don’t understand why this is suddenly news to you.

  57. Robert:
    I’d better make clear I wasn’t thinking specifically of KGO or I’ll piss off my old friend Ronn Owens. I was thinking crappy New Jersey radio stations — and, boy, do we have a crappy one.

  58. Robert:
    I’d better make clear I wasn’t thinking specifically of KGO or I’ll piss off my old friend Ronn Owens. I was thinking crappy New Jersey radio stations — and, boy, do we have a crappy one.

  59. Keep in mind that the stuff that Federated Media did was NOT taking a stance on a Microsoft product. It was just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer. No one was asked to say anything in particular. No endorsement was implied.

    Not exactly. First off, you probably should capitalize the phrase, as in “People Ready”. I mean, that’s how FM and Microsoft does it. Once you do that you can see things for exactly what they were. Endorsements.

    FM initiated, framed, and controlled this so-called “conversation”. Bot back to your topic Robert:

    The guy says he does this all the time, “Go pound sand.” It’s really not all that complicated. He wanted money, MSFT offered it, he did something that’s NOT part of his journalistic/blogging routine: he shilled for them and hid it. He’s proud of it. Are you?

    Anona has it right. You see, it’s about the expectations and perceptions of the radio listener or blog reader. Listening to Leo read from a prepared script doesn’t change anything for me as a listener. Reading Om realizing the mistake he made doesn’t change anything for me as a reader of his blog.

    But reading the tone and abrasive defensiveness of Mike – that not only changes my expectations of his motivations, it makes me feel belittled. Does he actually think I can’t grasp what is going on here? Wow.

  60. Keep in mind that the stuff that Federated Media did was NOT taking a stance on a Microsoft product. It was just asking for writing a few paragraphs on what “people ready” meant to the writer. No one was asked to say anything in particular. No endorsement was implied.

    Not exactly. First off, you probably should capitalize the phrase, as in “People Ready”. I mean, that’s how FM and Microsoft does it. Once you do that you can see things for exactly what they were. Endorsements.

    FM initiated, framed, and controlled this so-called “conversation”. Bot back to your topic Robert:

    The guy says he does this all the time, “Go pound sand.” It’s really not all that complicated. He wanted money, MSFT offered it, he did something that’s NOT part of his journalistic/blogging routine: he shilled for them and hid it. He’s proud of it. Are you?

    Anona has it right. You see, it’s about the expectations and perceptions of the radio listener or blog reader. Listening to Leo read from a prepared script doesn’t change anything for me as a listener. Reading Om realizing the mistake he made doesn’t change anything for me as a reader of his blog.

    But reading the tone and abrasive defensiveness of Mike – that not only changes my expectations of his motivations, it makes me feel belittled. Does he actually think I can’t grasp what is going on here? Wow.

  61. Claude: it’s not suddenly news to me that radio does this. I just thought it was interesting that radio does what everyone’s up in arms about and has done it openly, without derision, for, as you said, more than a decade.

  62. Claude: it’s not suddenly news to me that radio does this. I just thought it was interesting that radio does what everyone’s up in arms about and has done it openly, without derision, for, as you said, more than a decade.

  63. I think it comes down to how one is perceived (or wants to be perceived).
    I perceive Leo as a “personality”. A radio personality. It’s very common for personalities to endorse or participate in advertising and we all know exactly what it is. Even so, I would be surprised if Leo had participated in this type of thing.
    I perceive Om and McManus as “journalists”. Journalists generally don’t endorse as they need extreme credibility. I was really surprised they participated.
    I perceive Mike and TechCrunch more as an extension of the PR machine. I’ve never really considered Mike a journalist, more of a “shill”. So, I wasn’t surprised at all that he participated.
    One has to pick the perception they want and fit their actions to that. Om realized his action didn’t fit. McManus seemed confused. Mike fit my perception exactly, not sure what his perception of himself is.

  64. I think it comes down to how one is perceived (or wants to be perceived).
    I perceive Leo as a “personality”. A radio personality. It’s very common for personalities to endorse or participate in advertising and we all know exactly what it is. Even so, I would be surprised if Leo had participated in this type of thing.
    I perceive Om and McManus as “journalists”. Journalists generally don’t endorse as they need extreme credibility. I was really surprised they participated.
    I perceive Mike and TechCrunch more as an extension of the PR machine. I’ve never really considered Mike a journalist, more of a “shill”. So, I wasn’t surprised at all that he participated.
    One has to pick the perception they want and fit their actions to that. Om realized his action didn’t fit. McManus seemed confused. Mike fit my perception exactly, not sure what his perception of himself is.

  65. NOBODY I know tuned into call for help for Leo. We all tuned in to see cutie Amber MacArthur. And I know I speak for most of the people I know that watched the show. When she left, I stopped watching.

    How did you justify using Canadian subsidized tax money and our Canadian laws on Canadian content on cable channels like G4 to replace Amber with some unknown lady from an obscure podcast in Texas. Reducing the local headcount to ZERO. SHAME ON YOU LAPORTE. SHAME ON YOU! I hope they cancel the Lab too.

    In other news:
    http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9734030-7.html

    Social network clones == yesterday
    Turn on your WoW fansite copy machines VC and Silicon Valley. It’s time to ruuuuuuumble.

  66. NOBODY I know tuned into call for help for Leo. We all tuned in to see cutie Amber MacArthur. And I know I speak for most of the people I know that watched the show. When she left, I stopped watching.

    How did you justify using Canadian subsidized tax money and our Canadian laws on Canadian content on cable channels like G4 to replace Amber with some unknown lady from an obscure podcast in Texas. Reducing the local headcount to ZERO. SHAME ON YOU LAPORTE. SHAME ON YOU! I hope they cancel the Lab too.

    In other news:
    http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9734030-7.html

    Social network clones == yesterday
    Turn on your WoW fansite copy machines VC and Silicon Valley. It’s time to ruuuuuuumble.

  67. Duncan, If swapping “endorsement” with “being paid to say nice things about Microsoft in an ad” works for you, that’s fine with me, too. But, I think the difference is invisible.

    If a publisher — blogger, radio talker, newspaper, etc. — runs ads, then that publisher must understand some people will see in those ads reasons to question his or her editorial integrity. Whether or not the accusations have merit is immaterial. To believe that you are exempt from that because your publishing tool of choice is a blog is naive, perhaps deliberately so.

    And… people who run their blogs primarily as commercial enterprises should expect to be judged by the same standards as any other commerical publishing enterprise. It’s a bit disingenuous to claim cover under the “We’re all just a bunch of conversing bloggers here” umbrella.

    Cluade: A nitpick — NPR is not government subsidized, at least in my neck of the woods, where federal support is a miniscule percentage of the local stations’ budgets.

  68. Duncan, If swapping “endorsement” with “being paid to say nice things about Microsoft in an ad” works for you, that’s fine with me, too. But, I think the difference is invisible.

    If a publisher — blogger, radio talker, newspaper, etc. — runs ads, then that publisher must understand some people will see in those ads reasons to question his or her editorial integrity. Whether or not the accusations have merit is immaterial. To believe that you are exempt from that because your publishing tool of choice is a blog is naive, perhaps deliberately so.

    And… people who run their blogs primarily as commercial enterprises should expect to be judged by the same standards as any other commerical publishing enterprise. It’s a bit disingenuous to claim cover under the “We’re all just a bunch of conversing bloggers here” umbrella.

    Cluade: A nitpick — NPR is not government subsidized, at least in my neck of the woods, where federal support is a miniscule percentage of the local stations’ budgets.

  69. Hey Leo,

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/b306.htm

    Canadian Quotas for G4 and other cable channels does NOT mean Canadians exclusively BEHIND the cameras and in the editing room. You wonder why people stopped watching?

    Screw you Leo, and your show. Canadian produced does not mean hog all the air time with Americans and shove the indigenous crew under a bridge. Amber and Mike had way more talent than you ever will anyway. I wish the CRTC would step in on your case in particular.

  70. Hey Leo,

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/b306.htm

    Canadian Quotas for G4 and other cable channels does NOT mean Canadians exclusively BEHIND the cameras and in the editing room. You wonder why people stopped watching?

    Screw you Leo, and your show. Canadian produced does not mean hog all the air time with Americans and shove the indigenous crew under a bridge. Amber and Mike had way more talent than you ever will anyway. I wish the CRTC would step in on your case in particular.

  71. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because KGO and others (have you ever seen one of those Car and Driver issues devoted to a single model? And remember the Motorola cellphone on the cover of Omni?) do the wrong thing, it doesn’t make it ok for everyone else to.

    Sponsorship and advertising money is like oxygen. It’s the lifeblood of media. But it’s also explosive and highly corrosive. Too much, and Boom.

  72. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because KGO and others (have you ever seen one of those Car and Driver issues devoted to a single model? And remember the Motorola cellphone on the cover of Omni?) do the wrong thing, it doesn’t make it ok for everyone else to.

    Sponsorship and advertising money is like oxygen. It’s the lifeblood of media. But it’s also explosive and highly corrosive. Too much, and Boom.

  73. Where’s the line, Robert?

    If you come to Indianapolis and I buy you a beer or coffee – and you make mention on it on any of your sites, should you disclose that? This is such a preposterous situation and it doesn’t deserve any of the attention it’s getting.

    I read in a post a long time ago where a conference invited you and then flamed you because you asked them to cover travel expenses. So, I’m going to conclude that when you are invited to travel to most of the conferences you attend that travel is paid by the company who invited you. Do I expect you to disclose that if you blog about the conference? Hell no.

    Should you? I absolutely don’t think you should have to. Do you? I don’t remember seeing disclaimers on your conference posts on who paid for your airfare, hotel, food, etc.

  74. Where’s the line, Robert?

    If you come to Indianapolis and I buy you a beer or coffee – and you make mention on it on any of your sites, should you disclose that? This is such a preposterous situation and it doesn’t deserve any of the attention it’s getting.

    I read in a post a long time ago where a conference invited you and then flamed you because you asked them to cover travel expenses. So, I’m going to conclude that when you are invited to travel to most of the conferences you attend that travel is paid by the company who invited you. Do I expect you to disclose that if you blog about the conference? Hell no.

    Should you? I absolutely don’t think you should have to. Do you? I don’t remember seeing disclaimers on your conference posts on who paid for your airfare, hotel, food, etc.

  75. Look at the end of the day we’re capitalist. As badly as many of you want to be pure journalist you all want to make some loot. Disclose when your getting paid and let it be the end of it.

    The blogosphere will evolve just like tv, radio, and films as a viable marketing tool. However, I think we’re already there. This pure info utopia is pure nonsense in the age of vc money in silicone alley, so don’t get your panties in bunch.

    Now if you don’t mind I’m going to go out and buy myself a seagate hard drive. Later beyotches.

  76. Look at the end of the day we’re capitalist. As badly as many of you want to be pure journalist you all want to make some loot. Disclose when your getting paid and let it be the end of it.

    The blogosphere will evolve just like tv, radio, and films as a viable marketing tool. However, I think we’re already there. This pure info utopia is pure nonsense in the age of vc money in silicone alley, so don’t get your panties in bunch.

    Now if you don’t mind I’m going to go out and buy myself a seagate hard drive. Later beyotches.

  77. Several differences seem pretty clear, and other points need made:

    1. Leo is more a “reviewer” who is less likely to make judgements/editorialize at the higher levels of Om, Kedrovsky, and Arrington where integrity is more an issue.

    2. Leo actually endores the products whereas everyone involved in the “people ready” scandal admits they do NOT endores the product (i.e. they were just getting money).

    3. Suggesting they were just contributing to a “conversation” rather than lending their brand and their name to a campaign (nobody is going to click on a stupid catchphrase, people will follow links with Om’s, Paul’s, Fred’s, Mike’s name…) is absurd.

    4. The notion that the issue arose to attack Arrington seems silly. That’s too easy. The issue arose because Nick Denton respects Om Malik, Paul Kedrovsky, and Fred Wilson and was shocked that they did something that he expects of Arrington.

    5. Denton doesn’t seem to have a problem with advertising, endorsements, etc… He has a problem with Arrignton’s hypocrisy and is concerned for Om’s and Paul’s credibility and integrity. Integrity is not an old school thing. It’s valuable in many media forms. For me, disclosure, or lack of “real” endorsement, or maintained integrity does nothing to stall these types of incidents decreasing my respect for the authors in question (whether they were naive, greedy, not thinking, experimenting, whatever…)

  78. Several differences seem pretty clear, and other points need made:

    1. Leo is more a “reviewer” who is less likely to make judgements/editorialize at the higher levels of Om, Kedrovsky, and Arrington where integrity is more an issue.

    2. Leo actually endores the products whereas everyone involved in the “people ready” scandal admits they do NOT endores the product (i.e. they were just getting money).

    3. Suggesting they were just contributing to a “conversation” rather than lending their brand and their name to a campaign (nobody is going to click on a stupid catchphrase, people will follow links with Om’s, Paul’s, Fred’s, Mike’s name…) is absurd.

    4. The notion that the issue arose to attack Arrington seems silly. That’s too easy. The issue arose because Nick Denton respects Om Malik, Paul Kedrovsky, and Fred Wilson and was shocked that they did something that he expects of Arrington.

    5. Denton doesn’t seem to have a problem with advertising, endorsements, etc… He has a problem with Arrignton’s hypocrisy and is concerned for Om’s and Paul’s credibility and integrity. Integrity is not an old school thing. It’s valuable in many media forms. For me, disclosure, or lack of “real” endorsement, or maintained integrity does nothing to stall these types of incidents decreasing my respect for the authors in question (whether they were naive, greedy, not thinking, experimenting, whatever…)

  79. Some of the funniest parts of the Daily Giz Wiz are when Leo and Debartolo complain that they don’t have any sponsors and try desperately to get Tostinos pizza rolls on board. I trust Leo and I know a commercial when I hear it. On his KFI show when someone asks about antivirus he always gives lots of opinions besides Nod32, which is a sponsor.

  80. Some of the funniest parts of the Daily Giz Wiz are when Leo and Debartolo complain that they don’t have any sponsors and try desperately to get Tostinos pizza rolls on board. I trust Leo and I know a commercial when I hear it. On his KFI show when someone asks about antivirus he always gives lots of opinions besides Nod32, which is a sponsor.

  81. “It was clearly NOT a product review.”

    I disagree with this too. Leo’s spots are clearly paid endorsements for the products being advertised. The Microsoft ads imply a product endorsement even though everyone involved didn’t intend that.

    “TechCrunch became People Ready.”

    If you ask 100 regular people what it means when Arrington writes that in an ad for Microsoft, 90% of them are going to say it is an endorsement for how Microsoft helped TechCrunch get to where it is. From Scott Rosenberg: “When advertisers ask for an advertorial, they typically want to confuse readers; ” – which is exactly what is going on here.

  82. “It was clearly NOT a product review.”

    I disagree with this too. Leo’s spots are clearly paid endorsements for the products being advertised. The Microsoft ads imply a product endorsement even though everyone involved didn’t intend that.

    “TechCrunch became People Ready.”

    If you ask 100 regular people what it means when Arrington writes that in an ad for Microsoft, 90% of them are going to say it is an endorsement for how Microsoft helped TechCrunch get to where it is. From Scott Rosenberg: “When advertisers ask for an advertorial, they typically want to confuse readers; ” – which is exactly what is going on here.

  83. Well, first of all, Goebbels, you should say that you write as Tim Faulkner on Valleywag, so you’re an interested party in this discussion. Second, I was not “shocked” by the sight of Arrington et al putting their names to Microsoft’s “people-ready” campaign: I laughed out loud, and thought, on a slow news day, that this was an easy post that would help me meet quota. (I actually had no idea that the story would become so big. The self-obsession of the blogosophere continues to astound me.) Third, I’m not concerned for Om Malik’s moral well-being: I highlighted his participation and Fred Wilson’s, because they’re both friends, and it would have been a bit too cosy to give them a pass, and only throw Michael Arrington, in his words, under the bus.

  84. Well, first of all, Goebbels, you should say that you write as Tim Faulkner on Valleywag, so you’re an interested party in this discussion. Second, I was not “shocked” by the sight of Arrington et al putting their names to Microsoft’s “people-ready” campaign: I laughed out loud, and thought, on a slow news day, that this was an easy post that would help me meet quota. (I actually had no idea that the story would become so big. The self-obsession of the blogosophere continues to astound me.) Third, I’m not concerned for Om Malik’s moral well-being: I highlighted his participation and Fred Wilson’s, because they’re both friends, and it would have been a bit too cosy to give them a pass, and only throw Michael Arrington, in his words, under the bus.

  85. Yes, traditional media endorsements are a similar animal to “Conversational Marketing” and to PPP, as Tony Hung thoughtfully notes over at his blog. (this point is lost on almost everybody which is very odd to me).

    So why are people so disappointed here? Because blogging has been reaching beyond traditional media to start *real* conversations with passionate, powerful, unpaid, uncensored, unedited dialog. That is a fantastic thing. Money will create conflicts for everybody and that is unavoidable, but complaining about those conflicts is very important as well which is why this is such an important discussion and is attracting so much attention.

  86. Yes, traditional media endorsements are a similar animal to “Conversational Marketing” and to PPP, as Tony Hung thoughtfully notes over at his blog. (this point is lost on almost everybody which is very odd to me).

    So why are people so disappointed here? Because blogging has been reaching beyond traditional media to start *real* conversations with passionate, powerful, unpaid, uncensored, unedited dialog. That is a fantastic thing. Money will create conflicts for everybody and that is unavoidable, but complaining about those conflicts is very important as well which is why this is such an important discussion and is attracting so much attention.

  87. It’s funny, it’s like we shouldn’t even blog anymore because someone can piecemeal together our views on anything and everything from all the opinions and documenting of our lives we put forth.

    Of course, all this is assuming a ‘blogger’ means something. I’m a loudmouth dude with a web site. As I wrote in one of my recent posts, I was told NOT to talk to a certain sales team, and yet, it’s pretty damn clear where I stand on certain advertisers, my view on advertising, who I want and don’t want for a sponsor.

    So yeah, I *didn’t* talk to the sales team anymore. But guess what? They are part of my readership.

    Kinda stupid really.

  88. It’s funny, it’s like we shouldn’t even blog anymore because someone can piecemeal together our views on anything and everything from all the opinions and documenting of our lives we put forth.

    Of course, all this is assuming a ‘blogger’ means something. I’m a loudmouth dude with a web site. As I wrote in one of my recent posts, I was told NOT to talk to a certain sales team, and yet, it’s pretty damn clear where I stand on certain advertisers, my view on advertising, who I want and don’t want for a sponsor.

    So yeah, I *didn’t* talk to the sales team anymore. But guess what? They are part of my readership.

    Kinda stupid really.

  89. Looks like we’ve stumbled upon a very gray area here. I don’t see much wrong with the campaign. Even though it was obviously a microsoft campaign, disclosure should have been done up front.

    Arrington rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Again I wonder how much this would have been an issue, if Arrington was not involved, and perhaps the campaign had been done by a non-FM company?

    I wonder where this will all end up.

  90. Looks like we’ve stumbled upon a very gray area here. I don’t see much wrong with the campaign. Even though it was obviously a microsoft campaign, disclosure should have been done up front.

    Arrington rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Again I wonder how much this would have been an issue, if Arrington was not involved, and perhaps the campaign had been done by a non-FM company?

    I wonder where this will all end up.

  91. “Cluade: A nitpick — NPR is not government subsidized, at least in my neck of the woods, where federal support is a miniscule percentage of the local stations’ budgets.”

    I believe the subsidies are tax breaks and equipment money for cultural programming. I can’t do the research right this minute, but I think that’s it.

    A little background Shaw and Comcast owned G4TechTV Canada, now it’s Rogers and Comcast and Greedy Productions.

    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2003/11/07/crtc_031107.html

    The only reason the CRTC let them import such channels is because they PROMISED to produce a certain ratio of Canadian content.

    “In June of this year, the cable industry asked for permission to bring in the American channels, on the condition they would be packaged with Canadian digital pay and specialty services.”

    Flying Leo in from the US and his unknown Texas podcast co-host is not only needlessly and foolishly expensive, it defies what the CRTC agreed to and the spirit of the agreement.

    I will be honest. I have not yet filed a complaint to the CRTC, but will shortly. Flying Americans into Toronto or BC and calling it a Canadian show because the Americans are simply on Canadian soil is hardly Culturally Canadian. They are cheaters and losers and if the CRTC can shut down CHOIFM for making a bad joke, they can sure as heck give Leo some serious trouble for being a cheating tax leeching loser.

    Why doesn’t Leo get a show in the US where the American tax payers suffer? Think about it. Why the hell does he have to come all the way up here to play Canadian?

  92. “Cluade: A nitpick — NPR is not government subsidized, at least in my neck of the woods, where federal support is a miniscule percentage of the local stations’ budgets.”

    I believe the subsidies are tax breaks and equipment money for cultural programming. I can’t do the research right this minute, but I think that’s it.

    A little background Shaw and Comcast owned G4TechTV Canada, now it’s Rogers and Comcast and Greedy Productions.

    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2003/11/07/crtc_031107.html

    The only reason the CRTC let them import such channels is because they PROMISED to produce a certain ratio of Canadian content.

    “In June of this year, the cable industry asked for permission to bring in the American channels, on the condition they would be packaged with Canadian digital pay and specialty services.”

    Flying Leo in from the US and his unknown Texas podcast co-host is not only needlessly and foolishly expensive, it defies what the CRTC agreed to and the spirit of the agreement.

    I will be honest. I have not yet filed a complaint to the CRTC, but will shortly. Flying Americans into Toronto or BC and calling it a Canadian show because the Americans are simply on Canadian soil is hardly Culturally Canadian. They are cheaters and losers and if the CRTC can shut down CHOIFM for making a bad joke, they can sure as heck give Leo some serious trouble for being a cheating tax leeching loser.

    Why doesn’t Leo get a show in the US where the American tax payers suffer? Think about it. Why the hell does he have to come all the way up here to play Canadian?

  93. Of course, Nick, that was lazy and stupid of me. And I didn’t mean to put any words into your mouth. I’m still fond of my Scobleizer identity as “Goebbels” and will miss it, but I guess it’s time to shed the cloak. So… Scoble, Tim Faulkner is “Goebbels.” (And Nick Denton gets credit for another outing.)

    Goebbels is no more. Lower the flag.

  94. Of course, Nick, that was lazy and stupid of me. And I didn’t mean to put any words into your mouth. I’m still fond of my Scobleizer identity as “Goebbels” and will miss it, but I guess it’s time to shed the cloak. So… Scoble, Tim Faulkner is “Goebbels.” (And Nick Denton gets credit for another outing.)

    Goebbels is no more. Lower the flag.

  95. Denton: “(I actually had no idea that the story would become so big. The self-obsession of the blogosophere continues to astound me.) ”

    Im here laughing too. You hit the nail on the head here.

  96. Denton: “(I actually had no idea that the story would become so big. The self-obsession of the blogosophere continues to astound me.) ”

    Im here laughing too. You hit the nail on the head here.

  97. Robert,

    I have no problem in people endorsing products in their conversations as long as they make it clear that it is a paid endorsement. I do agree that marketing can be conversations but all conversations cannot be marketing. If this thin line is crossed, people will run away from bloggers just like how they run away from people involved with companies like Amway. Unless there is an explicit notification regarding the paid endorsement, there is no way we can understand if it is their sincere opinion or paid endorsement. When I listen to Leo’s show, I can make out from his tone that it is not part of the conversation he is having. But you cannot do that in blogs. They have to be explicit. Dave Winer has got it right.

  98. Robert,

    I have no problem in people endorsing products in their conversations as long as they make it clear that it is a paid endorsement. I do agree that marketing can be conversations but all conversations cannot be marketing. If this thin line is crossed, people will run away from bloggers just like how they run away from people involved with companies like Amway. Unless there is an explicit notification regarding the paid endorsement, there is no way we can understand if it is their sincere opinion or paid endorsement. When I listen to Leo’s show, I can make out from his tone that it is not part of the conversation he is having. But you cannot do that in blogs. They have to be explicit. Dave Winer has got it right.

  99. @Chris, why are you cluttering this important thread with your meaningless rant against Leo Laporte? Take it elsewhere please.

  100. @Chris, why are you cluttering this important thread with your meaningless rant against Leo Laporte? Take it elsewhere please.

  101. @48,

    Because I’m sick of it. He’s abusing the system, and nobody calls him up on it.
    The original topic is pointless. Radio talkshow personalities have their own rate to do advertisements. I should know I actually advertised on a major radio station. If you pay them X amount of dollars more, they do the advert clip for you, with their well known radio voice.

    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=613447541&size=o
    Yes, I’ve really dealt with Radio and other advertisers. Yes, I know what they will do, and any radio personality talk will pretty much do any advert if the price is right. Laporte is no exception and neither is Scoble. And yes this is the norm and not the exception.

    Money talks, bullsh*t walks. Sorry to burst anybody’s bubble. We live in Captilism here.
    I thought it was so obvious it wasn’t worth debating. Oh, …and drink your ovaltine!

  102. @48,

    Because I’m sick of it. He’s abusing the system, and nobody calls him up on it.
    The original topic is pointless. Radio talkshow personalities have their own rate to do advertisements. I should know I actually advertised on a major radio station. If you pay them X amount of dollars more, they do the advert clip for you, with their well known radio voice.

    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=613447541&size=o
    Yes, I’ve really dealt with Radio and other advertisers. Yes, I know what they will do, and any radio personality talk will pretty much do any advert if the price is right. Laporte is no exception and neither is Scoble. And yes this is the norm and not the exception.

    Money talks, bullsh*t walks. Sorry to burst anybody’s bubble. We live in Captilism here.
    I thought it was so obvious it wasn’t worth debating. Oh, …and drink your ovaltine!

  103. The term “conversational marketing” really strikes me as bunch of crap. If what took place in the FM campaign was really a conversation, then where are the countervailing and skeptical voices? Would FM/Microsoft have run an ad by an A-list blogger that said something like:

    ‘People Powered sounds like a manufactured marketing term. I had never heard of such a thing until I was asked to comment on it.’

    No, they wouldn’t. By being selective in what shows up in the “conversation” makes the whole idea of this as one-sided and disingenuous.

  104. The term “conversational marketing” really strikes me as bunch of crap. If what took place in the FM campaign was really a conversation, then where are the countervailing and skeptical voices? Would FM/Microsoft have run an ad by an A-list blogger that said something like:

    ‘People Powered sounds like a manufactured marketing term. I had never heard of such a thing until I was asked to comment on it.’

    No, they wouldn’t. By being selective in what shows up in the “conversation” makes the whole idea of this as one-sided and disingenuous.

  105. This IS on topic. The only 1 person I ever met with incorruptible squeaky clean reputation is Richard Stallman. I know for a fact that most of you here would not want to read his blog or deal with him.

    The same thing that makes people like him immune against paid opinions is the same reason a lot of people dislike him and try to discredit him.

    If Leo was the same as Stallman, he wouldn’t have his own TV show, he wouldn’t be highly regarded by the same audience, and he wouldn’t even have the opportunity to sell his opinion. Fact.

  106. This IS on topic. The only 1 person I ever met with incorruptible squeaky clean reputation is Richard Stallman. I know for a fact that most of you here would not want to read his blog or deal with him.

    The same thing that makes people like him immune against paid opinions is the same reason a lot of people dislike him and try to discredit him.

    If Leo was the same as Stallman, he wouldn’t have his own TV show, he wouldn’t be highly regarded by the same audience, and he wouldn’t even have the opportunity to sell his opinion. Fact.

  107. from a uk (non usa perspective) the use of presenters to do the adds realy sounds cheazy. Maybe we are spoiled by the BBC.

    It also sounds so old skool a bit like the 40’s raido soap operas you almost expect a musical interlude by say “Chico Marx and his Ravellis” live from the Palace Hotel sponsored by colgate.

    Using presenters to do ads might be a negative for a non usa audience certainly jared for me on TWIT

  108. from a uk (non usa perspective) the use of presenters to do the adds realy sounds cheazy. Maybe we are spoiled by the BBC.

    It also sounds so old skool a bit like the 40’s raido soap operas you almost expect a musical interlude by say “Chico Marx and his Ravellis” live from the Palace Hotel sponsored by colgate.

    Using presenters to do ads might be a negative for a non usa audience certainly jared for me on TWIT

  109. I think that for Arrington the cummulative effect of the FM debacle and his reactions are the real story. It seems as if a tipping point has been reached. He has been gambling with his reputation which he has effective thrown under the bus. I hope some good comes out of this sordid episode.

  110. I think that for Arrington the cummulative effect of the FM debacle and his reactions are the real story. It seems as if a tipping point has been reached. He has been gambling with his reputation which he has effective thrown under the bus. I hope some good comes out of this sordid episode.

  111. “Because I’m sick of it.”

    Each of us are sick of bazillion other things… That doesn’t mean we barge in to some one else’s blog post and hijack it.

    Seriously, you should really see if you are adding any value to the original blog post before talking about your-next-big-sql-server/your-social-networking-idea-that-google-stole/How-you-offer-services-at-lower-rate/

  112. “Because I’m sick of it.”

    Each of us are sick of bazillion other things… That doesn’t mean we barge in to some one else’s blog post and hijack it.

    Seriously, you should really see if you are adding any value to the original blog post before talking about your-next-big-sql-server/your-social-networking-idea-that-google-stole/How-you-offer-services-at-lower-rate/

  113. @63

    I’m sure if there was something you were really sick of and the source posted here, I’m sure you would have a few choice words for them. BTW, who’s talking about a SQL server?

    I was blasting Leo for stacking our Canadian cultural cable content which the CRTC mandated for us with people who are
    A. not from Canada
    B. do not live in Canada
    C. have no idea what Canadian culture is about

    I wish Canada would strike back and send the Trailer Park Boys to take over American PBS(set aside for US content). That would be just as fair.

  114. @63

    I’m sure if there was something you were really sick of and the source posted here, I’m sure you would have a few choice words for them. BTW, who’s talking about a SQL server?

    I was blasting Leo for stacking our Canadian cultural cable content which the CRTC mandated for us with people who are
    A. not from Canada
    B. do not live in Canada
    C. have no idea what Canadian culture is about

    I wish Canada would strike back and send the Trailer Park Boys to take over American PBS(set aside for US content). That would be just as fair.

  115. @5 “The hosts read commercials live. It’s sometimes hard to understand that the host is reading a commercial and not giving us his own thoughts.”

    Seriously? Man! you need to listen to more radio.

    @29 “For instance, if Sprint offers me a million dollars to say its phone is better than an iPhone then I’ll turn that down because I can’t say that and keep any credibility. My credibility is worth more than the money.”

    That all sounds very noble, because you are talking in theory. I find it VERY HARD to believe that if Sprint sat across the table from you with an actual check made to Robert Scoble for $1,000,000 you would feel the same. Maybe you would. Me? I’d quickly find SOMETHING better about is Sprint phone than an iPhone. BEcause I could find A LOT of good things to do for society with a “free” $1,000,000.

    There has to be some point where you would take the money. Otherwise your would be being foolish and irrational. What if they paid you $1MM a word? $10MM a word? Are you seriously saying there is NO amount of money that would get you to say ONE nice thing about a Sprint phone over an iPhone? Like they say, everyone has a price. I’m sure someone will eventually find yours.

  116. @5 “The hosts read commercials live. It’s sometimes hard to understand that the host is reading a commercial and not giving us his own thoughts.”

    Seriously? Man! you need to listen to more radio.

    @29 “For instance, if Sprint offers me a million dollars to say its phone is better than an iPhone then I’ll turn that down because I can’t say that and keep any credibility. My credibility is worth more than the money.”

    That all sounds very noble, because you are talking in theory. I find it VERY HARD to believe that if Sprint sat across the table from you with an actual check made to Robert Scoble for $1,000,000 you would feel the same. Maybe you would. Me? I’d quickly find SOMETHING better about is Sprint phone than an iPhone. BEcause I could find A LOT of good things to do for society with a “free” $1,000,000.

    There has to be some point where you would take the money. Otherwise your would be being foolish and irrational. What if they paid you $1MM a word? $10MM a word? Are you seriously saying there is NO amount of money that would get you to say ONE nice thing about a Sprint phone over an iPhone? Like they say, everyone has a price. I’m sure someone will eventually find yours.

  117. LayZ: well, I have a Sprint phone already and if I ever say something nice about it you’ll know they either came out with a new phone that’s a lot better or they put so much money in front of me that I sold my soul. Of course I’ll disclose selling my soul, so I seriously doubt they’ll put any amount of money in front of me.

  118. LayZ: well, I have a Sprint phone already and if I ever say something nice about it you’ll know they either came out with a new phone that’s a lot better or they put so much money in front of me that I sold my soul. Of course I’ll disclose selling my soul, so I seriously doubt they’ll put any amount of money in front of me.

  119. I hear Glenn Beck pimping GoToMyPC.com and other talk radio hosts on the Premiere Radio Network doing spoken ads for the product. Leo’s show is part of that network.
    If GoToMyPC buys network-wide advertising, then why wouldn’t Leo go along, unless he had some major malfunction with GoToMyPC.

  120. I hear Glenn Beck pimping GoToMyPC.com and other talk radio hosts on the Premiere Radio Network doing spoken ads for the product. Leo’s show is part of that network.
    If GoToMyPC buys network-wide advertising, then why wouldn’t Leo go along, unless he had some major malfunction with GoToMyPC.

  121. Of course, Nick, that was lazy and stupid of me. And I didn’t mean to put any words into your mouth. I’m still fond of my Scobleizer identity as “Goebbels” and will miss it, but I guess it’s time to shed the cloak. So… Scoble, Tim Faulkner is “Goebbels.”

    Ouch. The gloves seem to be coming off big time – especially if Mr. Faulkner needs to apoligize ONLY to Robert, who – since he worked with the man – knew who he was anyways.

    That has to hurt. But hey, I’ve been wondering why you left PodTech or whatever you worked with Robert on. It seems _THAT_ piece of openness wasn’t anywhere to be found too.

    This IS on topic. The only 1 person I ever met with incorruptible squeaky clean reputation is Richard Stallman. I know for a fact that most of you here would not want to read his blog or deal with him.

    Only because YOU believe it to be. You contribute more noise than anyone around here anymore. And I mean “noise” in a very very bad way sir. Anymore, I’m forced to gloss over posts by you.

    If you know “for a fact” then simply post it on your blog and trackback – ONCE – here. But no, somehow you must control the “conversation” in the comments almost as bad as FM has to.

    Hey Chris, at least we all can figure out their agenda for that. What’s YOUR’S? To wit:

    I’m sure if there was something you were really sick of and the source posted here, I’m sure you would have a few choice words for them.

    So, since you posted NOTHING in the first 37 posts you figure you can post 6 times in the next 37? All about Leo’s something-or-another in Canada? (I believe, truth is, you bored the hell outta me with post #1.)

    That sir, is hijacking. Like it or not. One things’ for sure – it ain’t “a few choice words”.

    If you can’t get enough traffic for your blog – them’s be your problem. Say it once here – anything more is NOISE.

    Sorry Robert. I know, his entire comment only aggravates the noise here. Looks like your blog – with my help and several others too – is getting bak to those mudpit days of yore.

    But that’s what happens anymore in the stampede mentality of the blogosphere anymore, eh?

  122. Of course, Nick, that was lazy and stupid of me. And I didn’t mean to put any words into your mouth. I’m still fond of my Scobleizer identity as “Goebbels” and will miss it, but I guess it’s time to shed the cloak. So… Scoble, Tim Faulkner is “Goebbels.”

    Ouch. The gloves seem to be coming off big time – especially if Mr. Faulkner needs to apoligize ONLY to Robert, who – since he worked with the man – knew who he was anyways.

    That has to hurt. But hey, I’ve been wondering why you left PodTech or whatever you worked with Robert on. It seems _THAT_ piece of openness wasn’t anywhere to be found too.

    This IS on topic. The only 1 person I ever met with incorruptible squeaky clean reputation is Richard Stallman. I know for a fact that most of you here would not want to read his blog or deal with him.

    Only because YOU believe it to be. You contribute more noise than anyone around here anymore. And I mean “noise” in a very very bad way sir. Anymore, I’m forced to gloss over posts by you.

    If you know “for a fact” then simply post it on your blog and trackback – ONCE – here. But no, somehow you must control the “conversation” in the comments almost as bad as FM has to.

    Hey Chris, at least we all can figure out their agenda for that. What’s YOUR’S? To wit:

    I’m sure if there was something you were really sick of and the source posted here, I’m sure you would have a few choice words for them.

    So, since you posted NOTHING in the first 37 posts you figure you can post 6 times in the next 37? All about Leo’s something-or-another in Canada? (I believe, truth is, you bored the hell outta me with post #1.)

    That sir, is hijacking. Like it or not. One things’ for sure – it ain’t “a few choice words”.

    If you can’t get enough traffic for your blog – them’s be your problem. Say it once here – anything more is NOISE.

    Sorry Robert. I know, his entire comment only aggravates the noise here. Looks like your blog – with my help and several others too – is getting bak to those mudpit days of yore.

    But that’s what happens anymore in the stampede mentality of the blogosphere anymore, eh?

  123. I think it’s lame of Leo to do that too. Maybe even worse when it gets down to it because Arrington et all weren’t specifically endorsing a particular product saying how great it was and you should buy it. Leo supposedly holds himself to long-held, accepted journalistic standards. The new bloggers say the rules are still being formed, we’re not sure about the blurry lines yet, bloggers are opinionists and not journalists, etc etc.

    Doesn’t Laporte get paid enough now that TechTV is off the air?

  124. I think it’s lame of Leo to do that too. Maybe even worse when it gets down to it because Arrington et all weren’t specifically endorsing a particular product saying how great it was and you should buy it. Leo supposedly holds himself to long-held, accepted journalistic standards. The new bloggers say the rules are still being formed, we’re not sure about the blurry lines yet, bloggers are opinionists and not journalists, etc etc.

    Doesn’t Laporte get paid enough now that TechTV is off the air?

  125. DaveD,

    Fine, This Leo issue has been making me angry for years now.
    Most of you Americans do not know what happened to TechTV when it went off the air in the US. The truth is it came to Canada, and it took it’s American people with it. The CRTC set up rules to prevent non-Canadian networks from overrunning our TVs, and they largely ignored that by flying people over here for tapings instead of getting local people like they were supposed to.

    I won’t mention it anymore. At any rate, even if most of you do not understand I know 1000% Leo will know exactly what I’m talking about.

  126. DaveD,

    Fine, This Leo issue has been making me angry for years now.
    Most of you Americans do not know what happened to TechTV when it went off the air in the US. The truth is it came to Canada, and it took it’s American people with it. The CRTC set up rules to prevent non-Canadian networks from overrunning our TVs, and they largely ignored that by flying people over here for tapings instead of getting local people like they were supposed to.

    I won’t mention it anymore. At any rate, even if most of you do not understand I know 1000% Leo will know exactly what I’m talking about.

  127. This post is such obvious linkbait. Trash Leo Laporte and throw in Mike Arrington and Disney. Of course once you get the traffic, from the post, you’ll back peddle. “Oh, I didn’t mean to implicate Leo. I love Leo.”

    It’s ok for Leo because he has a rare combination or integrity and authenticity.

    Now that you have your traffic, you should delete this post, or at least apologize to Leo for dragging his name through the mud so you could get a few extra clicks.

  128. This post is such obvious linkbait. Trash Leo Laporte and throw in Mike Arrington and Disney. Of course once you get the traffic, from the post, you’ll back peddle. “Oh, I didn’t mean to implicate Leo. I love Leo.”

    It’s ok for Leo because he has a rare combination or integrity and authenticity.

    Now that you have your traffic, you should delete this post, or at least apologize to Leo for dragging his name through the mud so you could get a few extra clicks.

  129. I had to respond to this from Jeff Jarvis:

    “Note that TV people used to do the same thing. Go watch 60 Minutes guys telling you to smoke a cigarette, or live reads on Today. That ended. Why? Because it reduced the credibility of the journalists and hosts reading the ads.”

    Jeff if you think journalists in any medium are not pressured by the guys who bring in the advertising dollars you are naive.

    Don’t kid yourself. Radio does it, TV does it, Newspapers do it and as soon as the first blogger ran an ad on his site blogs started doing it.

    The line between editorial and advertising is grey at best in any form of media. The journalists who are not affected by ad dollars are the exception not the rule.

    That is exactly what happened here right? I’m sure this wasn’t Mike Arrington or Om Malik’s idea. MS approached FM with an idea, or the FM sales guy pitched it to MS and then they went to the talent. No one complained and the ads were created and run. Happens all the time every day bit of media you read, listen to or view.

    As for Mike Arrington trying to hide the fact that he was paid for his quote; if that was the case he really did a poor job of it.

    Mike seems like a pretty outspoken and up front guy. He says he thought people would realize it was an ad and I believe him.

    I also realize as Leo says that talent makes its living partly by doing this and I do not begrudge them. I just take that into account when anyone endorses anything.

  130. I had to respond to this from Jeff Jarvis:

    “Note that TV people used to do the same thing. Go watch 60 Minutes guys telling you to smoke a cigarette, or live reads on Today. That ended. Why? Because it reduced the credibility of the journalists and hosts reading the ads.”

    Jeff if you think journalists in any medium are not pressured by the guys who bring in the advertising dollars you are naive.

    Don’t kid yourself. Radio does it, TV does it, Newspapers do it and as soon as the first blogger ran an ad on his site blogs started doing it.

    The line between editorial and advertising is grey at best in any form of media. The journalists who are not affected by ad dollars are the exception not the rule.

    That is exactly what happened here right? I’m sure this wasn’t Mike Arrington or Om Malik’s idea. MS approached FM with an idea, or the FM sales guy pitched it to MS and then they went to the talent. No one complained and the ads were created and run. Happens all the time every day bit of media you read, listen to or view.

    As for Mike Arrington trying to hide the fact that he was paid for his quote; if that was the case he really did a poor job of it.

    Mike seems like a pretty outspoken and up front guy. He says he thought people would realize it was an ad and I believe him.

    I also realize as Leo says that talent makes its living partly by doing this and I do not begrudge them. I just take that into account when anyone endorses anything.

  131. @66 Again you are missing the point. The issue is not specifically the Sprint vs iPhone example. The point is to summarily say you would turn down $1MM to endorse something you may not use is easy to say in the theoretical world. It’s much different when the offer is actually on the table. Again, as noble as you sound, everyone has a price. Moreover, you don’t have to keep the money. Maybe you can’t but I certainly could find A LOT of good things to do for a million dollars in exchange for endorsing a product at least one time. By a show of hands, how many think Tiger Woods really drives a Buick as his preferred automobile?

  132. @66 Again you are missing the point. The issue is not specifically the Sprint vs iPhone example. The point is to summarily say you would turn down $1MM to endorse something you may not use is easy to say in the theoretical world. It’s much different when the offer is actually on the table. Again, as noble as you sound, everyone has a price. Moreover, you don’t have to keep the money. Maybe you can’t but I certainly could find A LOT of good things to do for a million dollars in exchange for endorsing a product at least one time. By a show of hands, how many think Tiger Woods really drives a Buick as his preferred automobile?

  133. I’m still rather amazed that some vacuous people are still insisting that mouthing advertising copy for money without disclosure is a ‘gray area.’ I think what they mean is ‘any behavior that will make money for me is fine.’ Surely, that is what Mike Arrington meant in his defense of his sleazy conduct. T’aint so. Not knowing that ‘anything for a buck’ is not acceptable is in itself is a failure of a test of basic integrity.

    Robert, other people have brought this problem to your attention, but I’m going to add my voice. ‘Chris’ has become a burden to Scobelizer. On any thread, many, sometimes as much as half of the comments, are his. They are either promotion of his business, inane rambling or attacks on someone (most recently, Leo LaPorte). I find myself reluctant to read the blog as a result and suspect scores of other people do, too. You are running a blog here, not a mental health service. It is time to do something about ‘Chris.’

  134. I’m still rather amazed that some vacuous people are still insisting that mouthing advertising copy for money without disclosure is a ‘gray area.’ I think what they mean is ‘any behavior that will make money for me is fine.’ Surely, that is what Mike Arrington meant in his defense of his sleazy conduct. T’aint so. Not knowing that ‘anything for a buck’ is not acceptable is in itself is a failure of a test of basic integrity.

    Robert, other people have brought this problem to your attention, but I’m going to add my voice. ‘Chris’ has become a burden to Scobelizer. On any thread, many, sometimes as much as half of the comments, are his. They are either promotion of his business, inane rambling or attacks on someone (most recently, Leo LaPorte). I find myself reluctant to read the blog as a result and suspect scores of other people do, too. You are running a blog here, not a mental health service. It is time to do something about ‘Chris.’

  135. My point was Podesta that this is not something new, and any journalistic enterprise that claims there is a hard line between advertiser dollars and editorial copy is lying to you.

    I am not condoning it I just know it to be the truth.

    What FM and its talent did was much less deceptive than any number of common practices of the MSM.

  136. My point was Podesta that this is not something new, and any journalistic enterprise that claims there is a hard line between advertiser dollars and editorial copy is lying to you.

    I am not condoning it I just know it to be the truth.

    What FM and its talent did was much less deceptive than any number of common practices of the MSM.

  137. The big difference between old media and new media?

    Old media is important. New media just thinks it is.

    Seriously, every time the concepts of “business” and “blogs” join in the same conversation, we see the demagogues rise out to denounce revenue models.

    2c.

  138. The big difference between old media and new media?

    Old media is important. New media just thinks it is.

    Seriously, every time the concepts of “business” and “blogs” join in the same conversation, we see the demagogues rise out to denounce revenue models.

    2c.

  139. @81. you mean like talk radio in the “old media”. I would submit that is MORE of a “conversation” than this “discussion” How is this type commenting any different than newsgroups? Which have been around since…well, the internet. Seriously, when you get down to it, blogging the context of creating “conversations” is not all that effective.

  140. @81. you mean like talk radio in the “old media”. I would submit that is MORE of a “conversation” than this “discussion” How is this type commenting any different than newsgroups? Which have been around since…well, the internet. Seriously, when you get down to it, blogging the context of creating “conversations” is not all that effective.

  141. @79 “I think what they mean is ‘any behavior that will make money for me is fine.’ Surely, that is what Mike Arrington meant in his defense of his sleazy conduct. T’aint so. Not knowing that ‘anything for a buck’ is not acceptable is in itself is a failure of a test of basic integrity.”

    Seriously? Look, it’s not like these people are taking money to promote anything unsavory (let the MS bashing begin!). If someone wants to take money to promote a product, hey, good for them! And this is not “any behavior”, it is someone capitalizing on his “reputation”, credible or not. Nothing wrong with that, IMHO. Most bloggers sense of their credibility is self imposed so the only thing many of them are risking is not fomenting their narcissism. The general public is pretty smart and able to distinguish the difference. If bloggers think they can’t, perhaps the bloggers “credibility” is not what they think it is.

  142. @79 “I think what they mean is ‘any behavior that will make money for me is fine.’ Surely, that is what Mike Arrington meant in his defense of his sleazy conduct. T’aint so. Not knowing that ‘anything for a buck’ is not acceptable is in itself is a failure of a test of basic integrity.”

    Seriously? Look, it’s not like these people are taking money to promote anything unsavory (let the MS bashing begin!). If someone wants to take money to promote a product, hey, good for them! And this is not “any behavior”, it is someone capitalizing on his “reputation”, credible or not. Nothing wrong with that, IMHO. Most bloggers sense of their credibility is self imposed so the only thing many of them are risking is not fomenting their narcissism. The general public is pretty smart and able to distinguish the difference. If bloggers think they can’t, perhaps the bloggers “credibility” is not what they think it is.

  143. “most recently, Leo LaPorte”

    If Leo doesn’t want people ranting against him, maybe he shouldn’t have abused the system in Canada.

    You can use whatever colourful adjectives you like and I know you probably have a thesaurus sitting right next to you, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that what Leo is doing here is essentially illegal. It certainly goes against the spirit of the laws put in place to protect Canadian programming.

    You want adjectives?

    Podesta is an insane lunatic whos name is irrelevant and who is such a p*ssy he has to post anonymously and can’t back himself up. How did I do?

    Can I host Fox News now? I am Canadian after all.

    Talk is real cheap on the Scoble blog. My complaint against Leo is going out for real. I am also going to lodge a complaint at ITAC.

  144. “most recently, Leo LaPorte”

    If Leo doesn’t want people ranting against him, maybe he shouldn’t have abused the system in Canada.

    You can use whatever colourful adjectives you like and I know you probably have a thesaurus sitting right next to you, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that what Leo is doing here is essentially illegal. It certainly goes against the spirit of the laws put in place to protect Canadian programming.

    You want adjectives?

    Podesta is an insane lunatic whos name is irrelevant and who is such a p*ssy he has to post anonymously and can’t back himself up. How did I do?

    Can I host Fox News now? I am Canadian after all.

    Talk is real cheap on the Scoble blog. My complaint against Leo is going out for real. I am also going to lodge a complaint at ITAC.

  145. You can only defend somebody mindlessly up to a certain point. And that threshold has broken for Mr. Laporte and Greedy Productions.

  146. You can only defend somebody mindlessly up to a certain point. And that threshold has broken for Mr. Laporte and Greedy Productions.

  147. @83 and 84.Brian old media’s for the masses new media is for those connected and looking for more. Sadly that may always be the case. I applaud these geeks for advancing the web 2.0 space.Yes disclosure is important that seems obvious. But old media’s advertising model does also seem to be the most viable for web 2.0 sites.. that is…traffic + advertising = viability.

  148. @83 and 84.Brian old media’s for the masses new media is for those connected and looking for more. Sadly that may always be the case. I applaud these geeks for advancing the web 2.0 space.Yes disclosure is important that seems obvious. But old media’s advertising model does also seem to be the most viable for web 2.0 sites.. that is…traffic + advertising = viability.

  149. Chris –

    How is Leo personally responsible for abusing Canadian content laws? Shouldn’t Rogers Cable be the one that you hold responsible for the abuse? I really don’t see how Leo is the one doing anything wrong. His show in the US got canceled. Rogers called him up and said, “Hey, you want to come up here and do it?” so he did.

    If anyone is doing anything wrong it is Rogers cable. However, they are trying to abide by the laws by having Canadian co-hosts like Andy Walker, Monica Latonwa (sp?), and Amber MacArthur. They also had a lot of Canadian guests on the show.

    On the new show there are numerous Canadians in front of the camera and I’m sure that everyone behind the camera is Canadian as well.

    I’m sure that if Leo could get a show on in the US he would much rather do it in the US than having to fly away from his family for a week at a time once a month and film 20 shows in that week.

    Leo is just trying to earn a living. If you want to complain about someone complain about the Canadian companies hiring Americans.

    And on PBS there is tons of stuff that is from the UK and some from Canada. There isn’t any programming on PBS that is reserved for US-produced content.

  150. Chris –

    How is Leo personally responsible for abusing Canadian content laws? Shouldn’t Rogers Cable be the one that you hold responsible for the abuse? I really don’t see how Leo is the one doing anything wrong. His show in the US got canceled. Rogers called him up and said, “Hey, you want to come up here and do it?” so he did.

    If anyone is doing anything wrong it is Rogers cable. However, they are trying to abide by the laws by having Canadian co-hosts like Andy Walker, Monica Latonwa (sp?), and Amber MacArthur. They also had a lot of Canadian guests on the show.

    On the new show there are numerous Canadians in front of the camera and I’m sure that everyone behind the camera is Canadian as well.

    I’m sure that if Leo could get a show on in the US he would much rather do it in the US than having to fly away from his family for a week at a time once a month and film 20 shows in that week.

    Leo is just trying to earn a living. If you want to complain about someone complain about the Canadian companies hiring Americans.

    And on PBS there is tons of stuff that is from the UK and some from Canada. There isn’t any programming on PBS that is reserved for US-produced content.

  151. jccalhoun,

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E
    If anybody else wants to file, you can do so online here.

    Here is my specific complaint. I strongly suspect Leo chose Amber’s replacement knowing the CRTC regulations on Canadian programming.

    Here is a copy of my complaint as plain text.
    http://www.nordikel.com/complaint.txt

    It is simple and straight forward. If it can not be understood, then I fear for the competence of our Govt.
    The cable broadcasting license they were given was a privilege and not a right, and they were given it on condition that they would respect our norms and interests. I honestly feel they betrayed the public trust.

  152. jccalhoun,

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E
    If anybody else wants to file, you can do so online here.

    Here is my specific complaint. I strongly suspect Leo chose Amber’s replacement knowing the CRTC regulations on Canadian programming.

    Here is a copy of my complaint as plain text.
    http://www.nordikel.com/complaint.txt

    It is simple and straight forward. If it can not be understood, then I fear for the competence of our Govt.
    The cable broadcasting license they were given was a privilege and not a right, and they were given it on condition that they would respect our norms and interests. I honestly feel they betrayed the public trust.

  153. [...] Scoble ads his perpective, wondering why endoresment is OK for some people and not for others These two examples of advertisements are FAR further along the endorsement line than what was done by Federated Media. The ads that caused the TechMeme outcry were NOT endorsements at all, but were just bloggers talking about an advertising slogan and even then weren’t told what to say. [...]

  154. It’s simply a case of tradition in different mediums. People are accustomed to ads read by people in radio, it’s just been going on for decades. Double standard rears its ugly head whenever a new medium is introduced and weened during its infancy.

  155. It’s simply a case of tradition in different mediums. People are accustomed to ads read by people in radio, it’s just been going on for decades. Double standard rears its ugly head whenever a new medium is introduced and weened during its infancy.

  156. This wouldn’t have happened if the phrase “People Ready” weren’t so frickin’ lame. It’s a failed meme, and TechCrunch is now paying the price for supporting something so utterly lame.

  157. This wouldn’t have happened if the phrase “People Ready” weren’t so frickin’ lame. It’s a failed meme, and TechCrunch is now paying the price for supporting something so utterly lame.

  158. Robert,

    I think it’s simply down to the stupidity and immaturity of the medium and the detractors of this campaign.

    I figured these were ads, I assumed most normal people would.

    What federated media done was actually quite innovative for the medium of blogging, and moved it on.

    But bloggers do often have a high opinion of themselves, and their utopianism.

    As long as all campaigns/writers have a disclosure page, like a privacy policy page; and the campaigns themseligns themselves have something like “brought to you by, in partnership with…, etc. then most people following the same conventions as other established media won’t have a problem.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak,

  159. Robert,

    I think it’s simply down to the stupidity and immaturity of the medium and the detractors of this campaign.

    I figured these were ads, I assumed most normal people would.

    What federated media done was actually quite innovative for the medium of blogging, and moved it on.

    But bloggers do often have a high opinion of themselves, and their utopianism.

    As long as all campaigns/writers have a disclosure page, like a privacy policy page; and the campaigns themseligns themselves have something like “brought to you by, in partnership with…, etc. then most people following the same conventions as other established media won’t have a problem.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak,