Monday, June 25, 2007


Valleywag has a sharp piece on "spokesblogging": a web writer, often financially strapped, who lends his or her name to a corporate marketing effort, a commercial transaction often disguised by some jargon, such as conversational marketing.

The example under derision is Cisco's new tagline, "the human network"
...the original article on the "human network" on Wikipedia, together with a convenient link back to an advertorial page hosted by Federated Media. On that page, quotes from Phil Torrone of Make Magazine, Matt Haughey of Metafilter, David Pescovitz of Boing Boing -- and Michael Arrington of Techcrunch, of course. All explaining what the "human network" -- the Cisco slogan -- meant to them. They were just making conversation. Sure.

BowBlog makes the point that

[The well-known bloggers] are not journalists and only barely publishers – they’re over-excited participants in a business and media revolution and they really do have a defense: ignorance.

They just didn't know there was anything wrong with carrying those two innocent words. Their publisher, though, is different. Federated Media is a sophisticated business, an interesting, web-native publishing network – a business advancing a promising model in an uncertain medium. They should have known better.

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