In previous issues of our newsletter, we have talked about how some people try to get publicity the old-fashioned way - by buying it! As we have pointed out, this type of PR tactic almost always fails miserably and will come back to bite you. Now technology has enabled a new form of "payola," but in this case, it's even worse. An editorial in The Atlantic explores the latest trend of starting your own blog to promote a company or investment. 

Now a blog is recognized as a bully pulpit, a place where someone can freely express their opinions and readers can respond, creating a social conversation around a topic or subject. But where is the line drawn between blogging and promoting? 

In particular, the editorial explores the relationship between tech bloggers writing about companies in which they may have a vested interest. If I am an investor, and I read an "expert" tolling the bell for a new technology, I might be tempted to dive in and buy some shares. Should I know that the expert I listened to was a founder or investor behind the company? 

It seems that the best solution to this problem would simply be one of disclosure. If I know that there is a business agenda behind a blog post, I will probably do a little more due diligence before proceeding with any kind of investment or purchase. On the other hand, if I have to find out on my own that there was a hidden agenda behind blog posts, I would have to question the integrity of, not only the blogger, but the company or technology they represent.