Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I am first of all going to give credit to Robin Good for calling it like he sees it. He is being paid for talking about Marqui (and has a nice little logo attesting to the fact) and is defending his credibility in doing it. And he's even getting a link out of me for the paid spot! But it's going to be the last. Let me explain. It's not that I doubt his credibility or his honesty in reporting, even though he is paid. No, not that.


But if you look at the Marqui page you'll see it "will start out on about fifteen leading blogs, the largest direct sponsorship program the blogosphere has ever seen." Now how did they choose their blogs? Would I qualify? Well, maybe for this site, which despite its acerbic nature is actually a model of decorum (for me) but probably not for my other site (which is not). Robert Scoble, Good notes, isn't restrained by Microsoft at all. Well no, they don't have to. But I can't ever picture Microsoft picking me for the same assignments. Perhaps I should start cleaning up my act to prepare for the inevitable day I cross the line and find myself unemployed. No corporation bashing, that's right out. Being nice to Microsoft once in a while. Maybe preparing for some LMS vendor contracts by pulling back on some of my criticism. Hm?


No, I am not questioning Good's right to do this. But I do wonder about the ripple effects. What happens, for example, if I start filtering out his Marqui links from my Edu_RSS aggregator, prefering only to harvest and display his non-commercial content - does he come back with terms and conditions for aggregating? Does Marqui? The point is: paying bloggers has ripple effects, and if we just look at the particular blog, and not the wider picture, we miss this. Sponsored blogging brings money into the picture, and while money has its uses (it lets me eat and clothe myself unfashionably) it also distorts. Let's not be blind to this.


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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 03, 2023 1:20 p.m.

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