Over the past couple of weeks, mommy bloggers have come under fire for accepting trial products, special travel invites to events, and given special treatment. The thought behind the madness is such actions taint opinions. That is, after all, what bloggers offer – an opinion.
A majority of bloggers understand the web 2.0 ethical code of complete transparency. So if a business sends a blogger a product, gift or anything else, then it is imperative the recipient mention it to satisfactorily inform the reader.
I can’t say I follow mommy bloggers much, so I won’t say who the “good” ones are. (I am guy with no children, what would you expect?) However, suggesting mommy bloggers have tainted opinions because they received them from a business to try versus purchasing it themselves is just silly. Why? Because at some point in our lives we have all reaped the rewards of free. Ever been given a new candy to try when walking out of a movie theatre, or been given a coupon that says “go here” to get “something” for free?
The scrutiny mommy bloggers are receiving is ridiculous. Businesses need for people to try products to determine if they are worthy of continuing production, or whether it is necessary to remove them from the product offerings ASAP. Trying products is part of the economic ecosystem, as it should be, which brings me to the musical side of this discussion.
The other day I was sent a press release from EMI to give a new jazz album a listen, so I did. (For the purposes of this discussion, I won’t say what artist or album.) Does that mean any opinion offered by me about the album is tainted? I mean, I was “given” the album to listen to. Granted the tracks were all streamed online, and I really never received a physical product, but still, I heard it.
OH NO!! Keep the digital, musical boogeyman away… I heard something for FREE! Oh wait, there is radio… and Pandora…and a whole host of other Web 2.0 options.
Somehow that is supposed to taint my opinion of whether the music I heard sucked? Umm… a bad album will always be a bad album. Of course, it is also a matter of opinaion and taste whether an album deserves a thumbs up or down. While I can’t stand the “tunes” of Lady Ga Ga, I have colleagues that believe she’s “da bomb.”
The bottom line is really quite simple. People blog for all sorts of reasons, and there is nothing wrong with mothers choosing to write about a new product, or a post about just changing the nastiest diaper ever, or other motherly topics. Just like I can write whether X artist produced a crappy or awesome album. Or, Y writer authored a useless or memorable book. Or, Z brand is launching a wicked new guitar and they sent it to me to try out (which I would totally do).
As long as all bloggers – music and mommy alike – are honest about how they received a product or service, it doesn’t matter. Businesses and PR folks need to be aware that in the blogosphere anything goes, meaning I reserve the right to talk positively or negatively about anything.
After everything is said and done, an honest opinion is what matters most.