Each of us must decide for ourselves where we stand ethically.
There are basically three camps:
ANYTHING FOR A BUCK
These bloggers will do whatever generates the most money regardless of who it hurts. Common strategies are:
- Promoting ebooks, products and services they know aren’t worth buying as long as they earn money on them.
- Attacking other bloggers when they are getting high visibility to use controversy to generate more traffic which makes them more money.
- Recommending strategies they know – or should know – could get their readers banned or their accounts deleted. Even when outed in the comments of their own sites they don’t stop recommending them.
There are many very prominent blogs in the how to make money online niche that never get mentioned here. These are the reasons why. [Update: I just saw an example of a blogger who appears to be making money and whose blog has strong Alexa numbers who is using testimonials from the big get-rich-quick hucksters. The content appears to have been professional written for him. Remember that the illusion of being successful is easily created if you pay enough or have the right connections. Do not fall for it.]
GO ALONG WITH THE CROWD
This is where the majority falls. They probably feel that if others are doing something it must be fine until someone gets bad publicity about it. When that happens, they pretend not to know the people who are getting bad publicity. If they get caught they deny culpability or plead ignorance.
Many bloggers currently operate in this area and could go either way. If their goal is to make money – especially if they have fallen for the illusion that you can get rich quick – they are more likely to end up in the ‘Anything for a Buck’ camp and later have serious regrets.
The highly ethical person does the right thing even though it means limiting how much money they can make or taking a public stand may cause the majority in the middle to unfollow them or stop reading their blogs.
Once you decide who YOU are
You have to decide what to do about others.
HOW TO NETWORK:
Now that you know who YOU are you can better decide how to interact with each of these groups. Here is what I choose to do:
These are the people I trust and collaborate with – others who choose to be highly ethical. I make supporting them my priority and spend my time supporting their efforts. I mention them often here and add them to my lists.
We encourage highly ethical bloggers to join
DoFollow CommentLuv communities
While not everyone on every list is highly ethical or someone I would trust with my PayPal password, they are all either almost that trustworthy or moving in that direction.
GO ALONG WITH THE CROWD:
This is where the majority of people are and they have their own decision to make. I interact with them regularly. I follow them, help them in any way I can, and sometimes I’ll comment in and share their posts.
Because there are only so many hours in a day, while I don’t mind supporting their efforts they are not my primary focus. I reserve most of my time for the highly ethical bloggers, causes and an occasional client.
I might even write guest posts on their blog if by doing so I benefit others more than I benefit them.
ANYTHING FOR A BUCK:
I ignore (don’t read, don’t comment in, and don’t share) the content of the ‘Anything for a buck crowd’ because I don’t want to encourage anyone to emulate their lead or accidentally share a dangerous strategy I might have read in one of their blogs.
You don’t always know what they recommend
is unethical or might get your accounts
banned until it is too late.
It is critical for highly ethical bloggers to seek each other out now while our blogs are still being indexed by Google and Twitter is only censoring either some tweets or possibly only the accounts of some Twitter users.
OCCUPY WALL STREET:
Since I started tweeting about the Occupy Wall Street movement, many of my tweets are no longer showing up when I search for growmap. (All tweets you send should show up when you search for your username because your username is in every tweet.)
What I have been writing about why the economy is failing for over three years now explains why people are protesting as do my tweets and comments. You can see my #ows tweets and read my comments in Livefyre on any site that uses that commenting system to see why I support what they’re doing.
For more information see:
- OccupyTogether (@OccupyTogether #OccupyTogether) – pointers to at least 115 cities so far plus a number of state hubs; meetups in 840 cities and growing
- Where to find Facebook Occupy pages
- Occupy Twitter Usernames and associated links
Does anyone else think it suspicious that the Livefyre link to TPMIdeaLab’s
IT’S SPREADING: Occupy Wall Street Now A National Movement
is BROKEN so we can’t share it on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Update: Comments are no longer visible on that post.
The Livefyre link that is “broken” is http://fyre.it/x4u
FOUR hours later it is STILL not working.
How long does it take you to fix a broken link?
The link returns only: “Not Found: The requested URL /idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/mt-preview-923e917f1d7923e80b244879a324663e3be55705.php was not found on this server. Apache Server at 18.104.22.168 Port 80″
BLOGGERS: Do NOT use third party commenting systems
like Livefyre, Disqus, or Intense Debate that are EASILY CENSORED.
This will become increasingly important as Google starts dropping posts and blogs from their index. The Chrome block feature as I explained in Crowdsourcing Failures and loading time are the perfect excuses for them to do that.
What about you? Have you given where you stand ethically or the Occupy Wall Street movement any thought? As always, you are invited to comment and leave relevant links to related posts or comments elsewhere.