Some time ago, I read a young writer named Ezra Klein over at the old Pandagon. I was an instant fan. Jesse was good, but Ezra just stood out to me, and he wrote about stuff I cared about. Eventually, he moved to his own site, and of course there is a link here because he’s a favorite. Now, he is moving his blog to The American Prospect. Of course, I’ll just wander over there to read him.
One of the comments on his goodbye thread said something that gave me pause. He lamented the trend of “Blogger branding.” Most of us don’t blog for money, (though all of us, I imagine, would love the chance) but the commenter raised a good point about Corporate influence on a once independent blog. I think this is more of an issue for Progressives, as we tend to cast a doubtful eye upon corporate practices and agendas.
Its no secret that Aunt B is one of my favorite bloggers, would I feel differently if I suddenly found out she is moving her blog to say…Petco, to promote their new line of tiny cat pants? Probably a bad example. Wait, what if she got swallowed up by PETA, for her tireless advocacy on behalf of slobbery pit bulls? Would her positions on dogs suddenly deserve more scrutiny? If she were invited into a multi-author blog that focuses on women’s issues, and it was a paid gig, would she still have the same street cred?
I suspect we shall see more of this in the coming years, and I don’t know where I am on this. Of course, I could be swayed in a heartbeat…(are you listening, CostCo?)