This time reported in the New York Times’ What’s Online section. Under the subheading, “Some Bloggers Blur Lines,” (how ho-hum is that to most of us?), the details unfold (I’ve provided hyperlinks except for the one with People Ready):
Federated Media handles ads for several of the most popular blogs that cover technology and business: TechCrunch, GigaOM, Boing Boing, VentureBeat and several others. Late last week, Nick Denton of the Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag noticed that several of Federated’s bloggers had contributed to a marketing site created for Microsoft.
The site, People Ready (peoplereadybusiness.federatedmedia.net), had eight Federated writers answer the question, “When did you know your business was people ready?”
“People Ready” is a slogan of Microsoft, which advertises on Federated’s sites. The bloggers were not directly paid for taking part, but in return, Microsoft bought ads on their blogs.
Honestly, the only thing that surprised me was that I hadn’t seen anything about this incident before this morning. Otherwise, it’s the same old same old: independence and transparency. Then, let the readers decide.