The blog has officially come of age. No longer are these “web logs” just the best kept secret of the tech savvy. According to the Wall Street Journal , they are now the preferred tool for creating buzz among network television publicity campaigns.
That’s right. When CBS was looking to promote its new sitcom, “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” it didn’t target TV critics or mainstream newspapers, it invited a group of bloggers to visit the set and get a look at the show first hand.
Bloggers like Yvonne Marie, who authors a blog called Joy Unexpected, were brought in and given the royal treatment. They were showered with gifts like ipods, fancy bags and free trips. Some critics are even calling the practice “blogola,” a reference to the pay-to-play atmosphere of 1950s radio.
Whereas many traditional media outlets have strict policies prohibiting gifts with a value of more than $25, most blogs do not. This laxity calls into question the journalistic integrity of some bloggers. How do these bloggers sleep at night? Probably on pricey Tempur-Pedic pillows given to them by network television execs. I can just picture it now.
Well hear this network spendthrifts, this blogger is not for sale. Besides, I already have an ipod.
For now, blogging remains “uncharted” journalistic territory – one that is ever growing in popularity and readership. While blogging guidelines and restrictions have not yet been clearly defined, however, one point should be clear to all bloggers: your time in the limelight may be short-lived if you throw out the for sale sign on content.