Monday, September 12, 2011

If Michael Arrington ran Izea

Over the weekend, Loren Feldman shared a link to a Monday Note post by Frédéric Filloux. The note started by talking about the ethical implications of the Arrington/CrunchFund dustup:

Even the most twisted ethicist would have detected a looming conflict of interest. Not Arrington. Because he is one of most arrogant pricks in this business.

But then he went on:

And because he lives elsewhere. He resides in the blogosphere, where the simplest ethical issues are distorted like space-time at the edge of the universe.

Later, Filloux again implies that Arrington's view is universal in the blogosphere:

Anyway: I do find the revolving door is a good thing. As long as the previous door has been properly locked.
Enter the blogosphere and its tolerance for conflicts of interest and — let’s use the word – soft corruption.

There is a caveat toward the end of the post, but the damage had been done:

I’m not going to denigrate the blogosphere as a whole or TechCrunch itself, which harbors good reporters. Blogs are part of my daily media routine and, for the record, I’ll say many bloggers do a better job than presumed professional writers. Still, by construction, bloggers are more prone to serve third party agendas: many are penniless, young, untrained, unsupervised and their writing is unedited. A target of choice for manipulation.

Since it was Feldman who shared the post, I immediately thought of Feldman's (and Julia Roy's) participate in an Izea campaign in 2008. As I noted, both Feldman and Roy fully disclosed that they were compensated for their posts. I subsequently noted that Stowe Boyd still objected to the practice, but I replied as follows:

In my view, there's no difference between a blogger talking about K Mart and Lucy & Desi talking about cigarettes.

Subsequently, I provided an example of how "pay per post" practices are tolerated, and even encouraged, in other media such as talk radio. I concluded my example by citing a particular company several years before it had Arrington or Huffington as employees.

Listen, buster, let me do my commercial, and why don't you just relax? Go watch a movie or something. I hear "You've Got Mail" is playing.

So whatever happened to Izea, the company that was controversial a few years back? They're still around - here's their CrunchBase profile - but CNET has not bothered to run an article on Izea in over two years. In fact, the big news about Izea lately is that it is now a publicly traded company.

So Izea is now associated with Wall Street. Talk about ethics...
blog comments powered by Disqus