Disclosure on the Blogosphere

In the recent past, there’s been quite a bit of discussion around bloggers that are being paid to blog, but don’t reveal their professional connections, which may motivate them to blog. The two worse cases are PayPerPost, a service that pays bloggers to talk about products (disclosure is not required) and the Walmart Flog that was created and written by PR firm Edelman.

Chris Heuer lead a roundtable last night focused down on the topic. We had some brief conversations about this at the Social Media Club on Monday, and it’s great to see such a focused conversation on it. Michael Arrington encourages folks to talk about this as it’s an issue that could unravel the trust and intention of the free web, those damn humans. You can check out Chris’s recap of the event.

If someone promotes a product or company, and is on their payroll, disclosure is required, often a simple disclaimer at the footer of a post or in a permanent location on a blogroll is sufficient.