Bloggers ‘bought off’ by Fon? Not me

    February 9, 2006

Um, I see an article in the Wall Street Journal about some bloggers who are getting compensated by Fon for being part of their board of directors or advisors or stuff like that.

Their “hype” of Von is being called into question.

For the record, if I receive compensation (or free stuff) from a company other than Microsoft I will disclose that. I’ve been offered a lot of board seats and stuff lately and I’ve turned them down. Why? Cause I work for Microsoft. Getting approval to do those kinds of things just takes too much work and, anyway, it complicates my life too much at the moment and it’s hard enough to keep track of the bias that being a Microsoft employee places on me.

Anyway, I have not gotten any compensation by Fon. In fact, it is funded by competitors of Microsoft. So, when I say it’s an interesting idea and one that I wish we had funded too, you can see I’m being straight up.

That said, bloggers, we need to disclose our conflicts of interest up front (and I would put a disclaimer on everything you write about such a company). Next week I’ll be skiing for free at a Colorado Resort, for instance. I will disclose that and will remind you of my conflict if I write anything about that resort (Steve Broback of Blog Business Summit arranged a trip for several bloggers to try out the resort’s amenities).

More commentary on this issue is linked to on Memeorandum.

Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as’s Vice President of Media Development.

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