Blogola

August 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm 3 comments

| Gabriel |

The Daily Caller has a very interesting story on political blogs having suspicious relationships with political candidates and committees. For the most part these relationships involve buying ad space or hiring bloggers to do consulting. It’s entirely natural that candidates would buy ad space on these blogs but it gets suspicious when they are doing it at ten times the market rate cpm. Likewise, if you’re a campaign committee interested in doing blogger outreach, who better to hire to write the report than a blogger but this is the kind of thing the blogger really should disclose.

I found this interesting in part because I work on pop music payola and there are parallels, deeper even than the obvious. First, take this as evidence for Coase’s take on payola that when something is valuable a market for it will emerge. Second, in radio payola hits every fourteen years, like a cicada, but every time the details are different (this will be described at length in the payola chapter of my book, Climbing the Chart, look for it in fine bookstores everywhere sometime in 2013). The practice of overpaying for legitimate services is very similar to how payola was practiced in the 1950s, when it was common for record labels to hire disk jockeys to moonlight as consultants, party hosts, etc. or to buy services from companies owned by the disk jockeys.

Finally, if the Whitman campaign is reading this they should know that I’m a Princeton alum (*05) and a California opinion leader with literally dozens of readers. I don’t currently carry ads but I’d consider it for $500 per page view. I’m also a social scientist with invaluable expertise who could do some GSS cross-tabs for a mere $50,000. I’m just saying.

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3 Comments

  • 1. Jenn Lena  |  August 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I can hear the phone ringing from here.

  • 2. Noah  |  August 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    That was my plan B for summer funding.

  • 3. Blogs, Payola, and Gift Exchange | Code and Culture  |  May 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

    […] labels and radio stations. As I’ve previously discussed, we have seen examples of this with bloggers who seem to be a little too close to political campaigns. Likewise a few years ago the FTC announced that bloggers should disclose when they’d […]


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