It seems that this weekend’s bitchmeme is courtesy of Robert Scoble‘s actions on Twitter. Louis Gray caught Mr. Scoble with his hand in the cookie jar:
Tonight, I noticed and asked Robert myself if this was his “FriendFeed revenue strategy”. His answer? “You caught me red handed!”
Louis’ only complaint was that Robert did not disclose what he was doing immediately. I have one simple question.
Why does everyone care that Robert Scoble wrote a tweet for an affiliate link to Amazon?
This is where I start disagreeing with a lot of bloggers. People are out to make money. They will put some advertisements on their blog or try to get sponsorships on their blog in order to make some extra money. Is there a problem with Robert posting an affiliate link? No. Actually, I found it to be a terrific idea. He is trying to capitalize on his popularity. Would it have been better to provide some level of disclosure? Sure, but Robert has normally provided that type of information.
Why do people care if a blogger tries to make money? People are always trying to find a way to make a buck. Something like the KMart sponsored posts tend to be a problem, but most of the people involved in that campaign disclosed what they were doing and donated some of the purchased goods to some charity. I know people want to keep blogging “pure” or whatever they want to call it, but in the end people will try to monetize anything they can.
Any site that I have created, I have put Google Adsense Ads in the sidebar. I do this in the hope of paying for the hosting costs so that the whole process is free. I do not expect to make thousands of dollars from the blog advertisements. I would need a few hundred thousand pageviews to make that kind of money.
So, if Robert wants to post affiliate links to Twitter, he can. If you do not like it, you do not have to subscribe to him. If Louis tries to do the same thing on Twitter, that would be fine with me. I would rather send money to people like Louis or Robert than send it to a large company like Amazon.