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Beware the Message of Adverblogging 37

GameSetWatch looks at the moral middle ground of semi-official company organs. Otherwise known as adverblogging, GSW singles out Three Speech, a blog dedicated to the PlayStation 3. Though the site purports not to be a 'part of' Sony, they have insider access and company knowledge that separates them from your average blog. All this raises some trust issues, which the post explores: "You know, this 'free and open' is true to some limited extent, but why weren't there any difficult comparative questions asked about Xbox Live Arcade in the Harrison interview on E-Distribution? Surely the fact this is for a Sony site makes a difference? (The earlier discussion on SIXAXIS is a bit more rigorous in terms of asking tricky questions, mind you.) I'm aware that the interview was _largely_ just informational, and there are some tautological ways round this. But how about Sony just give Fahey a no-holds-barred interview with Harrison that would run in full on GI.biz, and then reprint the bits they want to? Or wouldn't that be bloglike enough?" Russ Pitts has a further exploration of this subject at the Escapist Lounge blog.
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Beware the Message of Adverblogging

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  • From the site: "Three Speech isn't part of PlayStation, but it does get to speak to PlayStation. You could say we're 'semi official'."

    Note that they say they're not a part of PlayStation, rather than not a part of Sony. They could easily be produced by a Sony affiliate or subsidary that is not linked to the arm of Sony that directly produces PlayStation products.

  • For some reason I thought Engadget or at least Gizmodo would be listed as examples of advertorial blogging.

    • I always assumed that Engadget and Gizmodo did not have any stake in the success of the products they were writing-up, or did not receive any direct financial benefit from the company whose product it was promoting. I understand that they receive free "tester" versions of the products that they review or promote, but was not aware of any cash or other payment to them in exchange for featuring a product.
      • I understand that they receive free "tester" versions of the products that they review or promote, but was not aware of any cash or other payment to them in exchange for featuring a product.

        too many bad reviews, and people stop sending you stuff, which is why consumer reports goes out and buys the things they review - they're not beholden to anyone.

        It will be interesting to see what consumer reports thinks of the Vista EULA [slashdot.org].

        • by nexex ( 256614 )
          I thought it was because they did not want to recieve 'reviewer' versions. They want to test the exact version that a typical consumer would buy.
          • Well, it's both of course. Avoiding conflict of interest is a big part of it, though - they won't have any credibility unless they do that.
    • "For some reason I thought Engadget or at least Gizmodo would be listed as examples of advertorial blogging."

      Erm. I suppose one could say that. But wouldn't that be true of any news site that covers products that people would want to buy?
  • The problem with maintaining whatever journalistic integrity a blog (or, for that matter, website) has is if it's popular and successful enough, the industry will take notice, and it will result in "connections" one way or another, even if it was completely unofficial to start with. Many of the webmasters from the "Snakes on a Plane" craze got t-shirts and things. The "Penny Arcade" guys have parlayed a comic strip that touches on the gaming industry into an entire empire with their own gaming convention,
    • With the pc gaming scene slowly diminishing, I was sad to se that Company of Heroes got no menion on PA (correct me if I am wrong). Its such an excellent game - and one of my best experiences as of late.

      I wrote them - but got no reply. I wonder if their project with Ubisoft(Brothers in arms) "got in the way". While they only metion the odd RTS ( like the recent LOTR games ), as a gamer i feel that COH is too big a thing to ignore.

      There's still a lot of fun to be had in front of the PC.

      .. and no; I've g
      • by technos ( 73414 )
        They probably just didn't play it. They organize a huge convention once a year, manage a charity, write a comic strip, and what with five different console and portable platforms out on top of the PC, they were probably just doing other things.
    • by Kizzle ( 555439 )
      Cactus?
    • First, I doubt it is possible to be purely unbiased (in an theoretical sense) in web publishing. I mean, if you are going to pay for net-hosting, etc., you have some stake in the fact that the information is viewed by others. It could take the form of desiring an audience to be aware of the issue at all, the desire for them to have the correct information, or perhaps the desire to have your information. (forgive me, bloggers!)

      That being said, a major factor in the inception of blogging was that it was fa
  • by Otter ( 3800 )
    The full quote is:

    "People are free to say what they want here. We won't censor content so long as this space is used constructively" - and with a pun on 'free speech' as the blog name, too.

    You know, this 'free and open' is true to some limited extent, but why weren't there any difficult comparative questions asked about Xbox Live Arcade in the Harrison interview on E-Distribution?

    Which strikes me as a total non-sequitur. They say they won't censor comments so they have to ask interviewees any question s

  • The threespeech domain is owned by "Ramp Industry" (do a lookup at dnsstuff.com). Now check this out:

    http://www.aqr.org.uk/dir/r/rampindustry.shtml [aqr.org.uk]

    Clients include Channel 4, Sony PlayStation, MGOMD, Topshop, Asics/Onituska Tiger, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment and Bacardi.

  • "Three Speech isn't part of PlayStation, but it does get to speak to PlayStation."

    I speak to playstation, a lot actually when I get frustated, they usually are crude remarks about it's mother, but I also speak to playstation. Listen to me too.
  • What's this, a guide to deal with stories posted by Zonk?
  • Its simple. If you're 100% up front that you are part of the company you're posting about, and by part of I mean being paid by them to post about them, then people won't have a problem as they can easily ignore you once they realize your bias.

    The issue comes about when people do NOT disclose this and try to trick readers into thinking they are something they are not. If I want to get exclusive pics and videos, I might check your site out since I'd know you were sponsored by the company and thus would have

    • by bit01 ( 644603 )

      ... by part of I mean being paid by them to post about them ...

      Worth emphasizing that means being paid in any way. Meaning money, employment, sub-contract, freebies, early access, media access, future access, anything of value.

      Too many weasels claim that being paid in kind is somehow different from being paid directly and doesn't require disclosure.

      ---

      Marketing talk is not just cheap, it can have negative value. Free speech can be compromised just as much by too much noise as too little signal.

  • They all seem part of some sort of Microsoft network... and would be cited as examples of "Adver-Blogging".

    Aside from selective "journalism", they're headlines include:

    Sony Hates Europeans, Will Prevent The Importing of PS3
    Why the PS3 Needs Lots of Power [gizmodo.com]
    Microsoft Blogger Says PS3 Online "Likely Underwelming" Sony: "European gamers come second" The only reason they report on the PS3 is to put a negative spin on it, and get people to think they're a credible news source, rather than a fanboy site or a

    • Sorry Gizmodo and Kotaku are part of the Gawker network of sites (which is why they are media go to's more than anything else because Gawker is a well know media outlet) and are in no way affiliated with Microsoft. They have been touting their love of the Wii as well and two of Kotakus bloggers are now Wired Mag staff.

      Their hate on Sony has much to do with Sony's recent handling (or most would say blatent misshandling) of the public at large. They have never said the PS3 or other Sony products suck (infac

  • I am here to inform you that I will never, ever [kiyon.com] stoop to the level of promoting [kiyon.com] my employer or their interests [kiyon.com] in my blog [kiyon.com]. Why, it's as honest as the day is long [kiyon.com], and I would never let my employer paying me [kiyon.com] affect my bias in any way.

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