Apologies for the lack of updates, its been a busy week. Today’s tot came over me as I was walking Remzy, I was wondering about the blogosphere becoming a huge tabloid media.
Upton Sincliar, author of books such as the Jungle had another interesting read titled The Brass Check (which i have yet to read but i will). The synopsis can be found here. In essence its really about promoting business interests of various constituencies (Politicians, businesses, etc.) through the mass media.
Now consider during that time whereby journalism was skewed to political or business interests and the masses had little or no control over the information they received. Pretty shitty reading things that were so skewed huh… Centralized power at play…. Our initial perception of this information is vital and given the limited resources back then, how can we not help but be skewed towards the tots these greedy ppl wanted us to think of.
Now consider today’s world whereby, we the consumers, have total control of the information we receive. Yet we have businesses coming to PAY bloggers about adverting their products.
What’s wrong u say, consider this first. Social media is about interaction between users. There is a certain level of trust if this interaction is built on a day to day basis ( Reading a blogger’s post on a daily basis and have him respond accordingly builds a certain level of trust because of the similarities you 2 share.) Now extend this trust to thousands of ppl who read a blog and other blogs similar within a community. You begin to trust the opinions of the tot leaders within the community and the people who respond shape your perception.
Now these are the people getting PAID by companies to push a product to u. While I believe most bloggers work within an ethical set of rules about being truthful about the pros and cons of a product or service, there are some who would love to get their hands on more of that advertising fee. A positive review of the product or service with their readership will certainly influence some readers.
These bloggers don’t work with the ethical code of a journalist to be objective. They can act on their own free will. What is that similar to in today’s media? Here’s a hint. Think Hollywood gossip, scandals of footballers and politicians blown out of proportion. Half truths that are not reflective of the true story and form perceptions amongst its readers because it sensationalizes things. What is that similar to you ask? A tabloid media. They SENSATIONALIZE THINGS TO GET MORE READERS (MORE MONEY)
Now move to the digital space and think about blogs. It’s a people place after all. Would bloggers stoop to get a $3000 pay cheque to blog a positive review of a crappy product or service? Half truths that do not reflect the true story? Sensationalize the positives and not mention the negatives? Why not… People have been known to kill for less…
So here we are at a junction in social media, with marketers leveraging on bloggers as a medium to get a product or service out.
My question now is WILL THE BLOGOSPHERE BECOME THE NEXT SOCIAL TABLOID?
Will there be a set of guidelines to stop unethical bloggers from reacting this way and repeat the history that Sinclair mentioned about companies buying their message in the mass media?
With diary blogs more prominent in Asia, are we going to be the first to suffer from The Brass Check?