Social Media, Blogging, Politics and Dirty Tricks.

One of my favourite things I do during the week is teach a class about blogging. My students are a lively group of 9 year old boys and we discuss writing and form and function and layout and the importance of using full stops. The are absolutely adorable and are so engaged in their work. I call them all Darling and ruffle their little heads after I am confident that no one is packing lice.

Harry is mad for blogging. He has a food blog called Harry’s Cafe de Woog, which he writes on daily (but not this week as he is banned from everything following an unpleasant incident which I will not go into…. Let’s just say it was something he Googled)

Understandably so, Harry’s Cafe de Woog is set to private. I cannot face public criticism of my cooking.

During yesterday’s class, I wanted to bring up the subject of DISCLOSURE with my learned gang. But we got bogged down in logins and passwords. 

I wanted to discuss it as I think it is about to become a hot topic in the Australian Blogging Industry. Unlike the US, it is currently unregulated here, something that I suspect will be changing in the near future.

It really came to attention last year when these tweets started appearing.

Those little sentences earned Matt and Exclamation Mark Over-User Shannon $750 each. Which is fine as they have a large twitter following and the conversation began, but they failed to tell their followers that they were gathering coin for their quotes.

And of course, they eventually got called on it. AWKWARD!

Earlier this week I was interviewed by a journalist from the ABC’s Media Watch program for a show coming up dedicated to social media, blogging, politics and dirty tricks. The lass asked me if I was paid by a contraception company for the following post I wrote a while back……

It has been a good 5 years,

My trusted Merina,

Without you

I might have been a

Octomum or at the very least,

Converted to a seven seater beast.

So far thee well,

My trusted Merina,

Because of you,

I produced no more peena

While folk would say,

“Give it a whirl,

You never know, you might get a girl”

So see you around, my trusted old friend,

You did me well until the end,

And now if there is nookie,

It will not be

Until Mr Woog gets a vasectomy.

Which I didn’t and I had a little laugh until I realised, she might have had a valid a point. It made me really aware about how readers might perceive things that are written here. I am passionate about my readership and not pulling wool over reader’s eyes. It is just not worth it and so when I do write a commercial post, it is clearly defined as such at the top of the page.

There are thousands and thousands of blogs in Australia offering up something for every taste. I might be wishing on a star when I say that all of them are ethically disclosing any commercial agreements but the truth is, some are not.

So if you are considering blogging or are in the full swing of becoming an internet star and do not disclose, start planning your next career move. I don’t think the bloggosphere is for you. 

Is disclosure a dirty word?

Have you ever read a post and wondered whether money was exchanged? Does it bother you?

Do you think “Harry’s Cafe de Woog” is a genius name for a food blog?