This past week I was on a panel with Leticia of Tech Savvy Mama and Ananda of Digital Sisterhood at the Black Public Relations Society‘s Fall Meeting of the D.C. Chapter. We were there to talk about how public relations professionals can effectively work with bloggers and to share some of our experiences doing campaigns with brands. One of the questions we were asked was something along this lines of (and I’m paraphrasing): “With so many bloggers being approached to do paid campaigns, do you think that the blogosphere will become completely commercialized and a pay-to-play environment?”
My reaction was sincere and immediate – I said that I truly believed that the blogosphere is an ecosystem based on integrity and transparency and those values will always permeate most everything that we do. Of course there are bound to be some ‘bad actors’ and those who slip up with a faux pas here and there but, for the most part, I believe that the community will deal with those folks in its own way. And then I asked myself: “was that a naive way of thinking?”
I still don’t think so. There are so many instances of when something smells suspicious or just reeks of flat out wrong and the blogging community immediately steps up and calls the person, website, company or brand out on it. We are a tough bunch, and one with morals and values; that, combined with the ability to make our voices heard far and wide with the click of a button makes us a powerful community.
What with all of the double-crossing, truth bending and, well, shady goings-on that we see daily in the news or even in our IRL communities, I have to say that I am glad to be a member of an online community that almost always responsibly self-polices. So I’m willing to bet that if the blogosphere ever becomes a place riddled with bought opinions and rampant disingenuous advertising, it won’t last for long because the majority us started out blogging as a personal outlet and value our blogging space more than we do a check.