Not much disclosure in the GIS Blog world

Sean posted about it last week and I’ve been thinking about it. I see some real good prosituting in the GIS blogs for companies. The 3D Connexion is just the latest and I’m sure not the last. Some forces came together on “The Earth is Square” where the local Google Earth Blog prostitute continues to troll on other blogs spouting the virtues of Google Earth.

Frank, I get it.

  1. You love Google Earth
  2. You enjoy Google buying you lunch
  3. You enjoy 3D Connexion buying you lunch

Nothing wrong with it but you have to understand we turn you off when you get on your soapbox.

Ron Exler is exactly right:

think what matters most on the blog advertising issue is not whether it occurs but how bloggers handle disclosure. In other words, does the blogger write about those that pay, for pay? Is the blogger influenced by advertisers, even indirectly? Or does the blogger have other influences that are not obvious? If so, is that disclosed on the site?

The readers deserve to know the incentives of the bloggers they read. And bloggers have an ethical obligation to be clear on their motivations.

I think Stefan over at Ogle Earth is pretty good about it, but every time I read a 3D Connexion post I tune him out. Now I do believe he links it, but how can I trust him if he’s received gifts? Can’t really do that can we? James received Manifold a couple weeks ago and blogged about it. He put a footnote on all his posts that he received a copy from them at no cost to him. He seemed to not really care either way about it, but for some reason I never felt like he was on the take.

Of course the anonymous blogger is suspect too as for all you know I’m working at Microsoft or Google. The big difference is that I’m not “reviewing” any products.

Now you also have sites such as GIS User that just regurgate marketing that is provided to them and then sell ads on that space (brilliant, but untrustworthy). Do bloggers want to go that route or the GEarth Blog where there is no compelling reading?



5 Responses to “Not much disclosure in the GIS Blog world”

  1. 1 Chris
    February 28, 2007 at 3:45 am

    Well put. Frankly I’ve unsubscribed from more GIS blogs in the last 2 months than I can recall. There are very few that I’ll even read.

    The difference between the Google Earth Blog and Ogle Earth couldn’t be more striking. Frank is sipping kool-aid every post and I’ve gotten to the point where I use the old greasemonkey script for Planet GS to hide his blog.

    James should remove marketing blogs like his from PGS IMO.

  2. February 28, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    You will note in my two posts I was doing testing for them in getting the SpaceNavigator working within World Wind.

    They had contacted the NASA WW Project Manager and he in turn contacted me to ask about assisting them.

    I also went through how it works within WW and also said not everyone would really need this.

  3. February 28, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Nothing wrong with discussing a product, but I think most prefer the “honest broker” approach with disclosure.

    The only downside is that many folks are willing to overlook some of the cons in favor of the pros when the item in question arrived as a gift (the old “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” adage)….

  4. March 1, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Well, I did say in my posts I had gotten it to help them get it working properly in World Wind (just got a new version of the plug-in to test today).

    But, I also expected this to kind of happen. So, it is not a complete shock.

Comments are currently closed.


%d bloggers like this: