The End of Innocence

I often think that the most durable legacy of the dot-com years is the belief that an idea, a web site, and a host of eyeballs can make you rich. I am constantly amazed by the ways people actually think they can make money - and how much money they actually make.

The downside of all this inventiveness is that any idea can and will be commercialized. Case in point, PayPerPost. Peter Wright would have us believe that [PayPerPost is] a marketplace - we put advertisers in touch with bloggers. And that their hands are clean - any deception in the process lies in the hands of the individual bloggers.

Jason Calcanis love[s] the transparency, authenticity, honesty, and passion found on blogs … [and feels] the need to defend it from the forces of evil, a.k.a. PayPerPost.

I’d like to feel some outrage. But I just can’t muster any up. As much as I hate to say it, it just seems like the next step in the commercialization of weblogs.

  1. Take the First Step is barely commercial, it only advocates the brand of me.
  2. Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants is somewhat commercial, it advocates James Robertson with a strong splash of Cincom Smalltalk.
  3. Engadget HD is primarily commercial. The authors may be writing about a topic they love, but the site only exists to make money.
  4. PayPerPost is all about commerce. It acknowledges the success of Weblogs, Inc. and finds attempts a business model with more leverage.

PayPerPost may create an environment in which weblog malfeasance can flourish. But I’m a wee bit sceptical that there are enough unethical and successful bloggers for it to be a real issue.

9 October: The Genie is out of the Bottle