Poll: Whats Your Take on FTC Guidelines For Bloggers?

October 11, 2009 – 8:25 pm
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If you have not heard or read yet, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week released new guidelines pertaining to blogger (or other social media) disclosure of if they are being paid, receiving free products or services, or simply had their costs covered to attend an event that they will be writing, posting or blogging about.

Not surprisingly, there are those who are up in arms, those that are cheering that its about time, and everyone else trying to figure out what the new rules mean, who they apply to and when. For some I expect to see a rash of disclosures by those not sure what it means or being safe while others continue to do what they have been doing, business or blogging or both as usual. As with many things, all bloggers do not get paid or receive renumeration (compensation in some shape or form) for what they write or blog, however there are some that do and is often the case, a few bad apples turn a good thing into a problem or black-eye for everyone else.

Here’s a couple of links for some background:
Discussion over at StorageMonkeys.com pertaining to IT/Storage Analysts
Discussion at Blogher.com what the FTC guides mean to you
FTC blogger guidelines

I interpret the new FTC guidelines as pertaining to me or anyone else who has a blog regardless of if they are a social media elite professional or just for fun blogger, blog on their own time for work our their own other purposes, for profit, as a media or journalist, reporter or freelance writer, consultant or contractor, vendor or customer. My view and its just that, a view is that blogs, along with other forms of social media are tools for communication, collaborating and conversation. Thus, I have a blog, twitter, website, facebook, linkedin along with having material appear in print, on-line as well as in person, all are simply different means for interacting and communications.

As with any new communication venue, there is an era of wide open and what some might call the wide open use such as we are seeing with social media mediums today, the web in general in the past, not to mention print, TV or radio in the past.

I’m reading into these guidelines as a maturing process and acknowledgement that social media including blogs have now emerged into a viable and full fledged communication medium that consumers utilize for making decisions, thus guides need to be in place.

I like other bloggers are wondering abut the details including when to disclose something, how the guidelines will be enforced among other questions, that is unless you are one that does not believe the guidelines apply to yourself.

With all of this in mind, here’s a new poll, what’s your take on the FTC guidelines?

As for my own disclosures, look for them in white papers, articles, blogs and other venues as applicable.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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  1. 8 Responses to “Poll: Whats Your Take on FTC Guidelines For Bloggers?”

  2. The FTC guidelines seem to protect the consumer more. Currently lots of people are just promoting products without knowing what they are on their blog, hoping to earn quick money. The product might be something that doesnt even work. With the new guidelines, at least we know that the person is doing it for money, and chances are we will be more skeptical about the product unless the person is someone trusted.

    By Elisa Geller on Oct 11, 2009

  3. Heres a good post/piece over at Techrepublic about things bloggers should know:

    http://blogs.techrepublic.com/10things/?p=1150

    Cheers gs

    By Greg Schulz on Nov 16, 2009

  4. After a quick read of the FTC announcement and a couple of sites discussing the new guidelines, I think they are good **if** they apply to everybody. Wired.com says the guidelines only apply to amateurs. They only make sense if everyone has to disclose any benefit they have gained from recommending/endorsing/plugging a product.

    By Bob Allen on Jan 11, 2010

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