A few people have asked me lately what has come out of the Blog with Integrity effort.
Here is what has come out of it: A renewal in my faith in humanity.
I admit (mea culpa) I am often inclined to see the world in more black and white than it warrants. I have to work really hard to see lots of sides to stories, especially the ones that aren’t readily apparent. I’d imagine that describes a lot of us. (Right? I’m not alone here?)
As it turns out, there are not simply bloggers with integrity and those without; those who disclose their paid posts and those who want to pull a fast one over on their readers. As it turns out, there’s a whole mess of in between in there that’s encouraging and promising and wonderful and makes me happy. Because I’m a sucker for good intentions.
As it turns out, most bloggers want To Do The Right Thing, but don’t always know how yet. Me included. And as it turns out, a rudimentary website with a voluntary blogger pledge can get people thinking how we can do to be better by our readers and by each other.
I love that thinking stuff.
And I love when we get an email saying, Hey…take a look at how I did this here disclosure thingamabobby on my sponsored blog post. Does that make sense? How could it be better? Because I never really thought about it before now, but now I want to.
Which made us think, hm, it would be nice if we could evolve BWI into something educational and informative and helpful, and take advantage of all the brilliant folks who have offered up their support. So that’s what we’re doing.
Look, we are all learning this blogging stuff day to day, making up the rules as we go along. I said as much on the For Immediate Release podcast recently with Susan Getgood – that most bloggers aren’t journalists or marketers by background (nor do they want to be, by the way) and lack of transparency isn’t always a result of shady practices or low moral fiber. Sometimes it’s just that we don’t have a rule book.
It’s both what’s exciting about blogging and what’s scary about it.
Wednesday, Blog with Integrity is offering a free webinar on disclosure at 12 noon ET so we can continue the discussion and keeping figuring this stuff out together. We’re going to be talking about what disclosure is, why to do it, and how to get it right, especially in light of the proposed FTC regulation of bloggers. We’ve even got a fancypants former SEC attorney (better known to lots of you as Pundit Mom) who is taking a break from her myriad CNN appearances to shed some light on the FTC and what it could mean for you.
If you don’t work with brands – eh, probably not for you. But if you’ve ever accepted a free trip, a free product for review, or dabbled in land of paid posts we’d love to have you join us. I bet you’ll learn something. And I bet we could all learn something from you too if you want to chime in. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance and we’ll hold a spot for you.
You can even show up in your underwear. Just stay away from the webcams.