The discussion that has followed my earlier post about the A-List and PR favored links has been an interesting one. On top of that Robert Scoble in his last comments asked some pointed questions about what my ethics would be under the following conditions:
1. Will you go to a press conference or press dinner if invited?
2. Will you agree to hold any news until, say, next Monday at 10 a.m. in order to go to that press conference or press dinner?
3. Will you accept a free piece of hardware to write your review?
4. Will you accept a free dinner?
5. If you are told you’ll be given an exclusive that Mike Arrington isn’t going to get, will you accept any rules like “please keep this secret until 10 a.m. on Monday morning so we can make sure our servers are running when you blog it?”
I could have answered them in the comments and had them disappear into the long tail but I think they are valid enough that they deserve an answer in a post of their own – so here goes
1. Living in Ontario in a small town I doubt very much that I would be asked let alone afford the transportation (I don’t drive) to such a gig. However supposing that I could it would depend on if I was hungry; or not, and what was on the menu. Seriously I probably would.
2. This is a harder one to answer if my supposition of being able to go in the first place. My very first reaction would probably be no; but I don’t know if it would hold true after further thought … no I probably wouldn’t
3. This is very hard to answer and would probably depend a great deal on what the hardware is. If it was an iPod, XBox or some such thing I probably wouldn’t. If it was a hard drive or the such I would be really torn. As I said in a comment to ParisLemon on his post about all this:
if Apple contacted me as a Windows user for a review of Leopard which “oh by the way here is a MacBook for you to review it with and take your time getting it back to us” I would be hard pressed to turn it down
4. Depends on who’s offering the dinner
5. Chances are I probably would even at the risk of losing the edge if some-one broke the embargo.
Hopefully that answers your questions Robert; and anyone who might want to send me some PR or hardware to review .
As Karoli just pointed out in the same comment stream of the post – it is all about the disclosure. On top of that cranky old farts are notorious for getting irritated at trying to be paid off. After all it’s not just about respecting my readers it is also about self-respect and being able to look at oneself in the mirror afterwards.
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