"As they are wont to say back where I grew up, Chas Edwards is a stand-up guy. Full disclosure: Chas is a former CNET colleague who left the company more than a year ago to become the publisher of Federated Media, which has become ground zero in the storm over 'conversational media.'Well, this brief excerpt should make it clear that this is not really about the First Amendment. But is is a good metaphor for the somewhat cozy relationship between the computer companies and the writers and users who evangelize for them. Of course it has nothing to do with the extended loans of equipment that keep appearing on their front porches. ...
So it is that Chas has now published his thoughts on the affair under the heading 'Does relevant advertising mean selling out?'
But first a brief recap: On Friday, Valleywag reported about a site tied to a Microsoft ad campaign where several online publishers and venture capitalists lent their support to Microsoft's 'People-Ready' advertising slogan...."
I have been a reader of computer trade and hobbyist magazines for nearly 30 years, and this is something that has been known for most of that time. Jerry Pournelle, who wrote for Byte Magazine, occasionally found it advisable to remind his readers that he did get the use of a lot of cutting edge merchandise (like those new-fangled 5 megabyte hard drives, and 5 1/4 inch floppies that were starting to supplant the 8 inch floppies).
Bloggers need to be scrupulous about disclosure, especially when it may call their objectivity into question.
For the record, no computer or software company has ever offered me hardware or software. Darn it.