Spent a pleasant few minutes (so few, but they go so fast) talking with Kathleen Petty and Andrea Tomkins on CBC Radio this morning talking about giveaways and bloggers. UPDATE: Here’s the audio, in the hated RealAudio format. Sorry.

As I drove home, I thought about the frustration of having what, to radio, seems like a fairly significant discussion about a subject, but in reality, missing out on the thousands of posts, let alone thousands of words, written about blogger relations and ethics around giveaways to bloggers.

A couple of thoughts that I wasn’t able to get into the discussion:

  • According to Technorati’s last State of the Blogosphere, the median income for bloggers is $200 (US). There are a few who make scads of money from their blogs — Dooce, for example, is rumoured to take in $40,000 per month. But the vast majority of bloggers make little to no money. So does this make us MORE or LESS susceptible to blogola? On one side, you could see it as a slight reward for a lot of effort. On the other, you could see it as being proportionately greater in terms of impact on the blogger — if someone sent me a $1000 camera, that would be a huge equivalent of income for my blog (given that I don’t think I’ve ever made ANY money from it).
  • The attention given to blogger giveaways and the HUGE criticism of some bloggers and corporations (Chris Brogan, come on down; Microsoft, here’s your prize) for perceived ethical failings ignores the fact that bloggers rely on the credibility that their audiences vest in them. If I lose the respect of my readers I lose whatever rationale there was to send me stuff in the first place.

Anyone else out there with thoughts? Would love to hear them.


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