Jul 8, 2009

Citizen advertising reps

Should bloggers sell ads on their web pages, rather than rely on passive tools such as GoogleAdsense that throw up ads based on keyword searches? Drew Grant at ASSME asks a few people the question and gets a few answers. The best:
...our own boss Aaron Gell chimes in: What writer/bloggers will quickly find out if they begin selling their own ads is not simply how hard ad teams work it but how much shit they eat and (thankfully) protect editors from. While it’s probably true that bloggers without any scruples whatsoever are now in a position to cash in by pimping out their reputations to the highest bidders I can’t see how it doesn’t instantly pervert truth, honest discourse and all we hold dear.
In the blurry world of new media it might seem that all bloggers are alike, but the question requires a good deal more nuance given the relationships bloggers have - quasi-independent with a fellowship? on the Gawker payroll while freelance blogging for a startup nonprofit? - and the content they create.

Even in the case of news sites the lines are getting blurred - often intentionally - with opinion driving what is covered and how. Rachel Sklar, who works for Dan Abrams' Mediaite, says transparency is enough when it comes to ad sales. For a more traditional journalist, transparency is a cop out - negotiating an ad sale with an institution you cover is wrong even if you confess it all to your readers.

5 comments:

Edward Barrera said...

"Transparency is a cop out - negotiating an ad sale with an institution you cover is wrong even if you confess it all to your readers."

And yet nearly everyone I talk to says that will be one of the new models for small operations, like it or not.

Gary Scott said...

My guess is that syndicates will emerge to sell ads in bulk to small/individual publishers.

Also, transparency is fine if you're not expecting to gain readers' trust as an impartial source for information. If you are, I think you're gonna find it hard to find enough readers to make it worth the advertiser's money. I don't think newspapers chose to put walls between advertising and editorial simply because journalists wanted it - the readers wanted it, too.

Anonymous said...

yeah you are completely transparent right gary...interesting how you pull posts that expose the fraud behind this blog you POS

Edward said...

The syndicate online model is already there: ad networks, Google adsense, etc. That's fine until you gain some size but you have no control. TPM, Gawker, et al, used ad networks but now have ad sales teams because they can make more money and be profitable. But that wall is a thin divide now.

Impartial news, at least on the web, is now an archaic notion. You want to build an audience (outside of the big guys, CNN, NYTimes...) you need to pick sides. Hopefully seek the truth no matter where it goes, but it's not essential.

It's why many bloggers got up in arms about Dan Froomkin. Not because he's Ed Murrow, but he picked a side many agreed with.

Anonymous said...

ooh ... fraud! what's the story? is Gary in cahoots with Gannett so they can buy MediaNews SoCal papers at a reduced value? i need a reporter on that, stat!