Contradictions and Hypocrisy
This post as you alluded to does indeed feel as though you’re clinging to an age of journalism that no longer exists, and you definitely seem to feel “anti-commerce”. I get it… You want to preserve the age-old values of journalism. I’m somewhat in that camp as someone who hates the direction written media has gone. As an author I find it very disturbing and unsettling that people just don’t read books anymore. They’re far too busy reading Gossip blogs or playing Clash of Titans. However, the fact remains that innovation doesn’t care about anybody. Things will change and industries will evolve. I am perfectly fine with sponsored content. If the reader is too lazy to read the word “Sponsored” “Promoted” or whatever other word media platforms use to trick readers I don’t care. At the end of the day, if you believe in Capitalism (which I do) then you know that in the end the chips will fall where they should based on user behavior. If users get sick of being misled and don’t find value in sponsored content, they’ll stop clicking those ads. Ad revenue will then drop and the model will go away. Here’s the thing though… Often times sponsored content is actually rather interesting and valuable depending on the brand promoting the content. In a way sponsored content (long-form ads) is actually revitalizing attention by delivering value in more than just a stupid 5-word tagline. This is good for humanity. People need to read more! I also find it a bit hypocritical that you’re pushing an anti-sponsored content agenda yet you’re using Medium (a media platform) to push your product (book) in this very same post. Although you’re offering your product for free, a transaction of some sort is the end goal. How does that make you any different than an advertiser who pays to interject a marketing message??? Now here we go, back to one of my original points. When sponsored/promoted content is well-written and genuinely provides value, throwing in a pitch and paying for visibility isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually quite valuable to the end-user. What I can’t seem to figure out is why you disagree, yet you just did the very same thing you’re opposed to, except you did it for free.