Friday, 18 January 2013


Hot on the heels of Scientologygate, in which The Atlantic prostituted its good name at the altar of a fast buck earlier this week, I can confirm that Our Man in Abiko has received two offers to do similar in the last couple of days, though the Johns were only offering free copy in exchange for a quickie link. Am I being puritanical in thinking such deals compromise my good name? I gave them short shrift, but it makes me wonder. Doing it for money doesn't seem so bad, as long as everyone knows up front there's no love involved.

But then what would be the point? 

Sorry, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. These two emails and my responses, reproduced for your pleasure here:

Secret handshake to Warped Gaijin for the video of more corporate journalism fun. Carry on. 


@Crank_Dub said...

I had no idea that that kind of thing even went on. How naïve am I? Fair play to you for turning down their offer though. Or did you? How do we know that this is, in fact, you that's now writing your blog? You might be some poor bastard, scratching this post in blood on the flayed skin of their dream of being a real writer. Who can tell any more?

Orwellian? We don't even know we're born.

(and then the captcha says "Please prove you're not a robot." How ironic)

Our Man in Abiko said...

I'd still let you in the house even if you are a robot. Robots are people too you know.

No, wait. The rot started in my first paper with advertorials -- advertisers paid to have us journos churn out fluff pieces for them. Now we do it to ourselves for free, going on blog tours and bigging up each other's books. But still we little folk don't see any of the cash. Why this even bothers me anymore is mark of how naîve I am. But I shall make a mark in the sand. I can live with being honest and poor. Couldn't live with being a fraud and poor. Or something.

Jan Moren said...

Even I get these come-ons on my blog, and I have only a small fraction of OMiA readership. Should perhaps take them up on the offer once then post about the experience..

BTW, do you get occasional offers to publish your posts on other sites? Where you effectively do all the work, they get all the revenue and you get "exposure".

I was going to add a sentence here about being dumb enough to fall for such a scam; then I remembered I'm a researcher and this is exactly how academic publishing works...

Our Man in Abiko said...

That's that's the Huffington Post model. Works well if you have something worth exposing, I suppose.

Kevin Wood said...

I've gotten a few of those offers before and a few offers to do the writing -- you have to remember the vast majority of blogs are not political or journalistic - they are food or travel or hobbies or -gawd help us - 'mommy' blogs. Most of those blogs are happy to have free content and don't even realize they are being used as a stealth advertising platform.

Our Man in Abiko said...

I hear ya. Mind you, we're all just fodder for the Google man.