The Righteous Web

preacher man It’s “social media means this and not that” time again. The comments from Marshall Kirkpatrick’s piece speaking out about Forrester Research’s report about sponsored posts are interesting. People are back to applying sweeping generalizations and/or responding to the post and not the details. Ah, it feels like December all over again.

First, as a quick primer, read: You’re Doing It Wrong!

There. Back?

What the social web gives us are tools. How we choose to use these tools is up to us. Are people trustworthy? Does a blog decide that? Are people sell-outs? Does a blog suggest they are not?

We demonstrate by our actions and by whatever trails we’ve left across the web whether we should be considered trustworthy. We attempt to discern trust and belief in people by how they appear and act in context. We do our homework (some of us). We look beyond the immediate. We observe.

Bloggers aren’t journalists. Bloggers are people who use blogging software. There are journalists who blog. There are bloggers who aspire to journalistic standards.

Shoemoney and John Chow and the entire “make money online” tribe aren’t evil. They’re using the tools the way they want to use them. They’re up front about it. In fact, they’re a lot more straightforward about their intentions than lots of people I come across in a given day. At least I know where they’re coming from.

The business side of blogging and social media isn’t evil or bad or wrong. It’s just a different take.

This whole thing is a spectrum. There’s Scarborough Dude, who is the furthest thing from commercial that you could ever experience. There’s Dave Winer, who writes from passion and his gut. Hell, Marshall, author of the post I’m talking about, is a really thoughtful and passionate guy.

Only, that big fat stripe of ads along the sidebar and the sponsored posts on the site make me get a little bit of “pot/kettle” feeling.

I will always be clear about where I’m coming from. I’ve worked long and hard to build this blog and the reputation that precedes me. You’re welcome to cry righteous all you want, and I’ll respect your opinion. But I’m over here doing what I’ve been doing all along, and I’ll make sure you always see where I’m coming from and how everything relates to me.

Fair?

Awesome photo credit, altemark

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