You’ll have to excuse the language here. I feel very strongly about this because I believe that the stakes are too high to take this matter lightly.

There’s a practice that Shel and Neville discussed in their last podcast. I disagree with it, and some people disagree with me.

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6 thoughts on “Panhandling 2.0

  1. just so you know, i wasn’t advocating base schwag acceptance. i need for podcasters to accept the value of what they do (which is huge) and any exchange of schwag devalues that… but an iPhone, that has value.

    i also think that there’s a huge underappreciation for the one-to-one exchange/barter in these scenarios. we think networks (podtech, podshow, etc.) are going to save our lives and pay our rent, but this can probably do it easier… we just need to make sure we don’t sell ourselves short.

  2. There’s no question about it: the value of what podcasters do is significant. And it’s too bad that more often than not, those producing the high quality and/or compelling content are getting nothing out of the endeavor other than a reputation. After all, they say that until you get paid to do something, you’re a hobbyist, not a professional.

    But swag doesn’t pay the rent. It’s just stuff, and maybe sometimes it will save us the cash that we were going to spend on replacing something, but there’s a danger that people are just going to do stuff in exchange for cool toys, and that’s going to make us all look like shameless self-promoters who’ll do anything for an iPhone.

  3. CT,

    Appreciate your passion and thoughts and assure you that this experiment was never meant to be “panhandling” as you put it. I am committed to proving the value of new marketing (new media/social media) and this was just a spontaneous, irreverent way of showing how quickly value can materialize.

    I have always been ademant about transparency and disclosure – both of which were present here 100% of the time.

    Will I continue doing this? Probably not, HOWEVER now that I have my Macbook Pro, I am curious as to how much further I can supersize this experiment, which I do believe both validates and legitimizes the power of consumer generated content/citizen journalism.

    Again, I appreciate your thoughts and am wondering why Canadians are so against this :)

  4. Joseph,
    It might reify the fact that consumer generated content/citizen journalism is powerful, but it neither validates nor legitimizes them. Rather, it does very much the opposite because it establishes grounds upon which such content is suseptible to charges of being nothing more than the pursuit of selfish gain.

    This is precisely the kind of thing that lends credence to people like “Amanda Chapel” who call the new media populism, McCarthyism, and extortion.

  5. Transparency is a slippery slope. Consider Shoemoney’s disclosure:

    So basically my disclosure policy is you should assume I am getting paid for or will get paid for anything I ever mention. To be perfectly honest with you almost every advertiser I have is because I mentioned them then they contacted me after the fact because they liked the traffic they received from being mentioned.

    I think these blogger disclosure policies while noble and all that good stuff are extremely silly. Everyone gets paid one way or another.

    If this kind of precedent gets established, you won’t be able to talk about Google without someone using the fact that you rank first in the SERPs for your name as evidence that you’re in cahoots with them.

    And consider how the phenomenon of fully disclosed paid reviews have led to tempting conflicts of interest like this offer for a $10,000 review that was made through Sponsored Reviews, who themselves note the importance of transparency:

    7. Disclose sponsored posts: […] It is essential, however, that you make your position regarding those posts transparent in front of your readers.

    In a word, by featuring fully disclosed but compensated mentions, you’re sending out the message that you have a price. This means that your silence probably has a price too.

    More to the point, however, you also send out the message that you’re only as passionate about “the conversation” or the topic of your choice as you are able to make money from generating content.

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