With Bills to Pay, Mommy Bloggers Aren't the Only Ones Selling Out Online

Newsweek is promoting a feature Are Bloggers Corporate Sellouts?

The topic of making money online and retaining a believable, authentic voice concerns me, too. Paying the rent is creating all sorts of ethical challenges online, and that includes Newsweek.

I just left a previous Newsweek story Keeping Her Promise, supposedly outlining the best places for kids in America, as determined by the languishing Colin Powell group America’s Promise. I wanted to read the entire article, but I bailed, insulted that I should sit and click through 10 one-word pages.

Reading the list of America’s best cities for America’s Promise kids, I was delivered to a one-word page: Austin. The next page: BrocktonCharlotten.C. Would anyone like to translate?

I call this strategy the ‘click to nowhere’, an incredible abuse of my precious time that exists for one reason: to increase Newsweek’s page counts and expose me to the ads.

Within this contect, Newsweek publishing Are Mommy Bloggers Corporate Sellouts? is pretty darn hypocritical. Yet the premise of the article raises a valuable question — not about mommy bloggers — but about the Internet in general.

Consumers want everything free online; time is money; and mommys are up against the economic wall, right along with the rest of us.

Trusted writers like myself must let readers know when they’ve been paid to write the endorsement or that they have a relationship with the products they write about. I’m discussing a possible relationship with the wrinkle treatment cream Easeamine.

The Federal Trade Commission is considering new guidelines, requiring bloggers to write: ‘I was paid to write this review.’ The bloggers of Momdot upped the ante by challenging the mommysphere to join them in a PR Blackoutfor one week in August in the hope of getting writers back to basics.

This little guerilla war bears watching. A