Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

23Aug/05Off

Uneasy Money

I've been thinking a little bit about the conflict or whatever you'd like to call it between Shelley Powers and Phil Ringnalda about the difference between spamvertising (ie. playing Google's page ranking algorithm) on more commercial sites (like O'Reilly sites which as anal retentive as I might be about it I am still a little hesitant to term 'commercial') and a person's weblog.

This is one of those sticky ones but I think part of what influences my sympathy towards and acceptance of Shelly's use of sketchy advertising is that her site is indeed a weblog that attributes credit to a single author presumably speaking with her own voice instead of O'Reilly that publishes tech books by a fairly large number of people and their portal sites which also feature writing by people who are pretty damn credible within the context of their area of specialty. In a weird way I think the idea that the writer might need some financial assistance actually adds a little bit of credibility to a weblog where an established and well known/respected publisher like O'Reilly looks like a schmuck when doing it.

Another thing that comes to mind is that O'Reilly using this kind of advertising drags their authors into seeming endorsement or at least gives you the weird feeling that a) maybe royalties ain't what they should be or b) maybe all those books on controlling spam (this is the part where I stick in the disclaimer about knowing the difference between filling your inbox full of annoying shit and playing the search engine game which is almost as old as search engines themselves) aren't as sincere as they might have been. It sounds like I'm completely full of shit but that didn't change the fact that it feels that way to me even when facts and prior knowledge tell me I'm totally full of shit. I guess, in the end, it is a public relations issue that needs to be addressed by people who buy O'Reilly books and use their websites. That is my 1 3/4 cents written between help calls to pass ten minutes.

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