One last post before I hit the road

One last post before I hit the road: The WSJ (free feature) reports ASME will release new editorial guidelines for magazines today, which sound much like the old ones, just different. (The article does not make the distinction that this is for consumer magazines.)

I think the magazine industry is too broad to issue guidelines that attempt to define what is ethical or not ethical in all instances and in all categories of magazines. Too often, such guidelines do not provide practical answers in specific gray areas, but rather provide “cover” for those who can figure ways to finesse the rules.

More importantly, such guidelines suggest magazine readers, perhaps the most savvy group of media “consumers” are too dumb to process the types of business-relationships they see dozens of times a day in other media.

I’m sure these guidelines will provide plenty of feel-good fuzzies for those who issue them. However, I’d rather such groups call for transparency and accountability in revealing all relationships between marketers and media, rather than playing Church Lady and issuing “commandments” to define specific sins.

Blog advertising is great, just not for this blog

Blog advertising is great, just not for this blog: Several people have asked me recently about why I don’t have ads on this blog. There must have been a survey on the topic.

First, let me say I am a big fan of advertising. Advertising — or something like it — is my life, okay. And advertising on personal weblogs is great and I have nothing against it. But generating revenue on this weblog from advertising is not what this blog is about. I am very precise in my description of this weblog over at the top of the right hand column: “rexblog.com is the personal weblog of Rex Hammock.”

Why I blog: This weblog is my place to have my part in a conversation. When someone calls me up on the phone, I don’t start out by saying, “this conversation is brought to you by the Capital One card.” When I’m having dinner with friends, I don’t say, “Before I answer that question, I’d like to say a word about the friendly folks at Walmart.”

This blog is merely my little part of a big conversation. It is not a media property. It doesn’t fit into any business plan. If this blog helps someone discover Hammock Publishing, that’s great. But that’s not its purpose, either.

That said, I do not think my approach is any better than the approach others take who carry ads on their personal blogs. My decision not to have ads here is not based on any principle or belief or ethical stance — indeed, I think it’s completely appropriate and fine for anyone to carry — or not carry — ads. I think blogs can have business models and can fit into business plans. I think advertising is a great business model for blogs.

Just not for the rexblog.