I was checking out the new The Huffington Post Books Section this morning (which is awesome), and came across this article. If you are a book blogger, you’ve probably heard something of the clamor that the new FTC Guidelines has stirred up in the book blogging community. I’ve been withholding my opinion, – basically because I don’t feel I have enough information to make an informed one.
It seems that bloggers can comment on a specific article on the Huffington Post site and have the comment posted directly to their blog. I tested out the feature, and as part of the bargain you guys get to hear a little of my thoughts on the controversy. The Huffington Post also include a link to the original post I’m commenting on at the end, which may come in handy.
“Great post. I’ve been reading up a lot on this issue, but have avoided commenting because of some unanswered questions I’ve had. I read the same article, and was under the impression that returning the books was not a requirement of the new FTC guidelines, but a suggestion of how to deal with them by the FTC representative being interviewed to avoid the “compensation” problem?
While I am not happy with the guidelines either – my issue with them is mainly that they have not been thought out properly and were created by someone(s) who seems to have a limited understanding of how the internet (specifically, blogging) functions. They were not made to specifically target book bloggers and so I don’t believe that the FTC considered their repercussions on this group. What I found most disturbing (and offensive) about the interview is that a differentiation is being made between book bloggers and traditional media outlets who review books – and the insinuation is that we have less integrity than, say, the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Despite the fact that we do this for free and, quite honestly, out of love for books.
I wonder if the sad fact is not that the FTC refuses to understand this – but that it just can’t.”