Monday, 9 January 2012

Dear Vole, would you like to become a whore?

I got this today, from

Blogger Request for Information:  Technorati Media is looking to partner and work with POLITICAL Bloggers for Paid Outreach Campaigns
Ooh, partner used as a verb! They must be cutting edge. And yes, I whinge about politics rather a lot. But what's this? 'Paid Outreach Campaigns'?
We are hiring political bloggers, freelance writers and journalists to create "complimentary and synergistic" content for our clients focused on Jobs and the Economy, Education, Energy and the Environment, Equal Rights, Health Care, National Security, Immigration, Reproductive Rights and Volunteerism.   We are looking to partner with liberal, conservative and non-partisan bloggers.
Do they really mean that they assume that some of my fellow bloggers, and even myself, are happy to whore ourselves out to make some chiselling politician look good? Or promote some evil corporate lobby scheme by making it look like they've got grass-roots support? I think they do.
Additional requirements:  strong writing skills, passionate about politics, engaged readership, site/blog is updated on a bi-weekly basis (or more), blogger is engaged on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
Hmm… it's up to you to determine whether I fit the first requirement. I'm certainly passionate about politics, my readership is definitely 'engaged', I update very frequently. I Tweet, though I don't touch Facebook, and like the entire rest of the planet, have left Google+ to its own devices.

But they've missed things off this list: the cheerful willingness to sacrifice all integrity, and the determination to lie to and mislead my readers by not letting on that I'm taking money to spout somebody else's opinions. There's no way to do this stuff honestly: if I tell you that I'm taking money to test people's policies or push their interests, I lose all credibility and readers. If I don't, I'm turning myself into a sewer pipe, showering you all with second-hand shit.

There are two ways to deal with this: ridicule, or going along with it to see what kind of thing they want me to mislead you with. If I had more time, I'd do the latter, but I'm lacking the energy to do a proper demolition job on these bastards. But be aware, people: PR companies have entire divisions dedicated to running blogs, leaving comments and tweeting about issues as though they're simply concerned citizens. If you find out that a company, politician, lobby group or similar is engaging in this kind of activity, you should immediately do the opposite of what they propose. If it was a good idea, they wouldn't need to pay people to pretend to believe in it.

Don't automatically trust the integrity of what you read on the web.

Except here, obviously. Tempting though it is do join this e-sweatshop, I'd be as bad an employee for Rick Santorum or whoever as I am for The Hegemon.  Jasper can have this post for free.

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