Who profits?

I’m going to BlogOn today to be on a panel but I have to admit some trepidation. For in the midst of the attendees I want to see and the speakers I respect — David Weinberger, Seth Godin, Mary Hodder, Steve Hall, Steve Rubel… — I also see panels such as this: “Pitching to Social Media…. How do you pitch to bloggers when most spurn overt attempts to influence them? It’s a whole new PR ballgame and you need a new playbook to get in the game.”

Makes my skin crawl. Businesses think they can exploit blogs. But I want to tell blogs to exploit businesses instead: Get what you want out of them. Get advertising money out of them, if you want. Or attention. Or peace and quiet. If a PR company calls you, tell them to have their ad buyers call instead. This is why I generallly won’t do panels at events for PR people. No offense. But there’s nothing in it for us. They want free publicity from us. They want to piggyback on our trust. Well, then, buy an ad.

They’re also having a session devoted to the McDonald’s web strategy. This is the company that created the insulting fake french-fry blog, which is the etiquette equivalent of having Ronald McDonald sit down at your table and snarf your fries. It’s rude. I do hope there’s Q&A so I can tell the man I like his burgers but do not like his web strategy.

This is all the more reason why we bloggers who want to pay for their passion or make a living at this need to get our act together.