Tuesday, July 28
Full disclosure! Full disclosure! Liberty Mutual did not pay me to write this post, photoshop those panties, nor do I have any policy with them.
And they don't do health insurance. I checked. I would not cooperate with them if they did.
But they had a booth at BlogHer about responsibility and blogging and asked us bloggers what we thought responsible blogging meant to us.
Some women bloggers were too shy to go on camera and express their opinion. That's another post for another day, suffice it to say I could dope slap the whole lot of them.
You can see all the participants here and my video here. I'm not linking because I don't say anything particularly germane to this post, plus I'm yelling over the din of the exhibit hall, yet into the microphone-turn your speakers down, you've been warned. My comments are edited but they were very transparent about that and the edits to my own comments were fair and for time, in my opinion.
Anyhow, it always gets me when someone asks me about an issue and I have no idea what they're talking about. The nice interviewer, Brad, asked me about proposed FTC regulations of blogs. I really had a Sarah Palin deer-in-the-headlights moment, but since I wasn't running for Vice-President, I said as gracefully as I could that I didn't know enough about that issue to comment. The end.
And of course it drove me crazy not knowing so I looked it up as soon as I could, and then I understood WHY I was out of the loop.
The FTC is proposing regulating blogs that take free products from advertisers and then blog about them, particularly if it appears to be a quid pro quo arrangement. The thought is that bloggers who do that are actually engaged in advertising rather than protected free speech. Blog-ola, they're calling it at NPR, and it's creating a freak-out among some bloggers, particularly a subset of women bloggers, who would have nothing to say and no audience if they didn't do daily giveaways/reviews.
One mommy blog is promoting a "PR blackout challenge" for one week, to give busy mom bloggers a break from their giveaways to get back to what they really came to blogging for...pictures of their child's new tooth. I wasn't surprised to see in their comment thread, a blogger state full-out that they did not blog about anything the week they forsook giveaways.
That's incredibly sad.
I took myself out to lunch yesterday after getting back from Chicago, and the waiter and I got into a conversation about where I'd been. He being a college student had much more of a theory-based framing to the issue, but it raised my eyebrows:
Feminism and Capitalism don't mix.
Marketing does not empower anyone but the owner of the product. That so many educated white women of a certain income with internet access and time to write (and most of them can spell and put a sentence together) don't get that is horribly sad.
And my sense is, all of this is about editing "don't tase me, bro" into "don't tax me, sis." If the blogger is soliciting products in exchange for promotional consideration, it's a BIZNESS. Another blogger at the PR blackout post said she wouldn't blog about her personal life much at her promo-giveaway blog because that would be mixing business and personal life. Wow. Just wow.
And having come out of a conference which was all about empowerment through harnessing internet marketing dollars with your blog-space, hearing the word "mom-preneur" to the point it didn't make me gag anymore, well...
No wonder I'd never heard of the FTC thing. No advertiser in their right mind would expose their product on purpose to this blog. I double-dog-dare you to send me swag, Estee Lauder:
(h/t Quaker Agitator for the NPR link.)
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