How the Blog Republic ruined blogging

August 25, 2006 – 10:54 am

by Darren

Okay, thanks to Easton Elsworth for the heads up about the following strange post on The New Statesman. The post is actually on the front page of this newspaper, and the author says:

Towards the end of last month a posting appeared on a website called “Blog Republic - By the Bloggers. For the Bloggers”. “Blog Republic is looking for bloggers who are interested in being paid per post,” it said. “We’re looking for motivated bloggers in the following areas: cellphones, broadband, travel, gadgets, health, stocks and blogging. We’re looking for quality bloggers who can make insightful posts. The more you post, the more you earn.”

You’re going to have read the whole article. It’s a long one. The basic gist is that the Blog Republic has implemented some sort of “Pay Per Posting” plan which swept the internet by storm. Due to my posting, the basic integrity of posting is now gone.

The idea expressed by the author is completely wrong. We are “paying people to post”, but the subject matter is “whatever they want to talk about”. I personally would never take a payment from a corporation to hawk their products, and I haven’t encouraged any of the people who write for us to write anything. The whole point is allowing the bloggers to grow.

The best part about this article is that I get to make the cover of a national UK newspaper, and they don’t even include a link after they mis-interpet a job posting. A sad day for “journalism” after all. Maybe citizen bloggers really are the only hope.

The worst part is this:

One of the big advantages the blogosphere offers adland is, ironically, a function of its birth as an unregulated samizdat medium. It is admirable that editorial content can’t be controlled, but the absence of any oversight means the same is true for commercial deals. The kind of opinion sponsorship PayPerPost and Bloggers Republic are offering would be illegal in the UK if practised by any of the conventional media. And the ramifications are not just in the soft drinks sector. The US marine corps is already using the networking site myspace.com for recruitment and brand-building - and has form in paying for positive editorial in Iraqi newspapers. Who’s to say that the marines aren’t already slipping teen bloggers a few dollars for a bit of positive spin? Who’s to say? No one. Because the blogosphere is completely unregulated.

Wait a minute. Did this buffoon just say the Blog Republic is doing something illegal in England? Any UK lawyers want to make some quid suing these guys? “Opinion Sponsorship” is not something we’re doing here. In fact, the phrase or concept has never been mentioned even once.

It turns out that journalists are only bloggers who don’t check their facts.

What do you think of this?

  1. 23 Responses to “How the Blog Republic ruined blogging”

  2. That is an odd article that couldn’t be any further than the truth.

    I’m not quite sure I understand how “it took the internet by storm” either?

    By Heather on Aug 25, 2006

  3. Thanks for following up. I found the article via a search feed for something like “corporate blogging” that came through my feedreader. What a strange article. Maybe you should try contacting the author - probably just got their facts mixed up - and maybe they’ll publish a correction.

    Fact-checking is soooo important, especially now that word spreads as fast as electrons.

    By Easton Ellsworth on Aug 25, 2006

  4. I probably will. They clearly mixed me up with the PayPerPost place because of the content of my post, which has nothing to do with the other service.

    I guess it’s a good sign that people are out there, mis-reading :)

    By Darren on Aug 25, 2006

  5. Wow now that is crazy and just plain ridiculous!

    Im from the UK and im very sorry to hear that some idiot who has not the first clue about blogging has writing something about your site in such a way.

    Thankfully, I have never heard of the “newspaper” what so ever, and it’s definitely just an online only thing.

    It seems like, this idiot, I will refer to him as “idiot” from now on has totally got the wrong end of the stick, you are paying people to post about what they want and rewarding them!

    And he needs to give blogs a lot more credit!, sounds to me he has no idea what blogging is all about!

    By Matt on Aug 25, 2006

  6. Thanks for the info, Matt.

    I wasn’t sure if they were a real newspaper or not. There have been about 5 people looking for “Blog Republic” since it went live, so they must have very little traffic. I guess we can see why.

    By Darren on Aug 25, 2006

  7. Darren I think it’s time you go underground for awhile. Maybe in a few years you can resurface and the crimes may be forgotten. Keep an eye out for the 5-0.

    By Leroy Brown on Aug 25, 2006

  8. I always look out for the “5-0″ or “Rollers” as I prefer to call them :)

    By Darren on Aug 25, 2006

  9. No problem, maybe you should contact them and ask for them to pull it and apologise, that “journalist” sure did not do their research well….. did they skim read your post in about 3seconds and form a story? lame ass.

    By Matt on Aug 25, 2006

  10. Some newspapers are nothing but a coterie of self-seekers. They do not allow so easily any good freelance writing work to be published as they are afraid readers will get addicted to superior posts. Their complacency arising out of the assumption that they are the best in the job becomes the bane of their existence. But, that’s their funeral!

    By Satish on Aug 25, 2006

  11. What a plonker. The New Statesman is a presigious UK weekly journal that has a long history. Never heard of it is like saying you never heard of Time or Newsweek (fortuantely it is more intelligent) and has been in print for nearly 100 years! Mr Matt UK you must be walking around blindfold if you have never heard of it. Disagree with the article but having pride in ignorance is another matter (try checking out your local newsagent or WH SMiths (presumably you have heard of them?)

    They didnt link to us? Then how did I get here? This blog is named so anyone with a pea brain would have been able to find it via adding .com or doing a search.

    Anyway good on you guys to forward with the march towards a fully commercialise the world - go forth and advertise! Money is King and it is right that we worship it in all spaces at all times.

    Satish - you make the assumption that just because a piece is a blog post it is superior and if it is a MSM post it is not - WRONG some blogs are rubbish and some MSM are rubbish (subjective opinion on which ones) - there is intelligent writing on both sides. Blogging is not about superior posts necessarily it is citizens writing their own opinions and reporting their own news without be constrained by editors or commercial interests at least it used to be - the more commercial blogging gets and the more advertising that is involved the less independent bloggers will come in terms of their freedom to say what they want how they want. It is not happening yet but its only a matter of time. Yes I am a purist. No ads on my blog ever and I accept that that is my choice. If people want to make money from blogging and go down that road then that’s their funeral!

    By sokari on Aug 26, 2006

  12. “Anyway good on you guys to forward with the march towards a fully commercialise the world - go forth and advertise! Money is King and it is right that we worship it in all spaces at all times.”

    You missed the point of my post. I didn’t “commercialize blogging”.

    But yes, money is my King. He pays my bills, and for that I worship him.

    I guess we couldn’t figure out how “prestigious” the New Statesman was because they “smeared me” in my only encounter with them, and GOT ALL FACTS WRONG, without checking.

    By Darren on Aug 26, 2006

  13. Shame they couldn’t actually interpret what was a simple job ad! More of a shame still they didn’t look at actual pay per post offers from places like payperpost.com and blogsvertise.com!

    By Greg Kiernan on Aug 26, 2006

  14. This is simply ridiculous! And shows how thin old media is getting.

    No facts checking, no contating with the people associated with the news, and just printing bullshit.

    By Ankit on Aug 26, 2006

  15. sokari, I’m a plonker for not knowing of a …quote wikipedia “British left-of-centre political magazine published weekly in London”.
    I am not blind, nor am I that into politics that I would buy a magazine about it! and I must say I have never seen it in a newsagents or WH Smiths that I have been to, the only person who is blind here is Stephen Armstrong, the journalist for New Statesman!
    Wikipedia also mentions about New Statesmans’ decline and that their weekly circulation is 24,000 per week, where as the mainstream newspapers have a daily circulation of over 3.5 million, you can hardly call it mainstream nor be surpised or insult me that I have never heared of it.

    Also sokari, if you didn’t know, a LINK is short for hyperlink, and there certainly was no link.

    “the more commercial blogging gets and the more advertising that is involved the less independent bloggers will come in terms of their freedom to say what they want how they want.”……… Bulllll shitttt, how does adding Google Adsense restrict, limit or anyway change what a person posts? it’s simply a template change and that’s all, we are not paid to wrong about certain things and not others, advertising in this way no way limits our freedom.

    It seems to me, you as well as New Statesman are the only people who have gotten their facts WRONG along with their views.

    By Matt on Aug 26, 2006

  16. Wow.

    Matt won that argument with perfect flair and logic. Well done.

    And yes, 24,000 copies a week. That’s why we never heard of them. I assume that the paper is distributed free of charge.

    I also assume that Armstrong was PAID to write his inaccurate crap.

    By Darren on Aug 26, 2006

  17. Many thanks Darren im glad you think so, and thanks.

    I hate it when people attack fellow bloggers and what they do (and of course me) when their point of argument is way off and it proves that they do not fully understand blogging.

    By Matt on Aug 26, 2006

  18. On reflection it could have been worse with a Telegraph blogger lifting a blogger’s entire post and changing the heading without so much as a link back!

    By Greg Kiernan on Aug 27, 2006

  19. Mounting evidence of a war on bloggers by journalists? I wonder how many other incidents are going on?

    By Darren on Aug 27, 2006

  20. Darren - Congrats! As they say, “any type of publicity is good publicity”. It really seems that bloggers are starting to have an effect on journalists. Here’s the good thing - there’s more of us then there are of the “writers” like this clown. This should give us incentive to keep doing what we’re doing.

    By Chad on Aug 27, 2006

  21. Matt

    “Also sokari, if you didn’t know, a LINK is short for hyperlink, and there certainly was no link” - You obviously didnt read what I said which was - anyone with a pea brain could find this site just from typing in the name so not including the link is no big deal!

    as for facts! what facts, these are opinions there are no facts! What a predicatable response “you and the left ……”

    By sokari on Sep 1, 2006

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