Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts On Disclosure

In a recent response to one of my posts, an individual wrote in responding to my “Disclosure Policy” on this blog. I actually found her thoughts to be fascinating. She talks about “Word of Mouth” (WOM) blog advertising.

There are a number of sites which provide bloggers the opportunity to write a review about a product, service or site and get paid for doing it. One such site is Smorty.com. This site lets individuals look at available opportunities. You claim your opportunity and get paid for blogging.

Is it ethical to endorse a product that you have never used? Is it ethical to claim to be someone you are not? Certainly there are ethics that are involved. Fortunately, most of the sites that provide opportunities where you can blog for money have certain requirements. Still, having some governmental regulations on this is not a bad idea, as long as they do it the right way.

At the current time, there are problems with which the government is dealing. We are in a recession, people are having trouble making ends meet and gas prices are ever increasing. The government seems to be doing little to address those concerns. By blogging for money, one can supplement ones income and not need to spend any money on gas. As a result, I think such opportunities should be endorsed.

Still, is it right to claim you have used a product if you never have? I say no. One thing which I try to do is blog about the types of things I normally would and provide the necessary links to the website. For instance, I might talk about the problems of traveling 100 miles round trip to teach a class as an adjunct and how I need to save money on gas. Next, without endorsing a product, I might indicate that there are alternative methods to saving on gas expenses and suggest they are worth checking out (Which I believe). I would include a link to the sponsoring site and people could check it out and make their own decisions.

So, if the government wants to set up certain requirements, I am all for it, as long as they do it the right way. I fear, however, that government will not get it right, at least not at the start.