Monday, October 12, 2009

The FTC Blogging Debacle

I don't believe I have a lot to add to this discussion other than to say I think it will will be interesting to see how it plays out and that at first glance, it seems like regulation that is particularly ill-suited for the book-review blogging community. I hope there’s a good deal of revision. From where I sit, there really aren’t consumers to be protected in the cases of the vast majority of children’s book blog reviews—unless you consider librarians and bookseller consumers. These blogs are more in line with the reviewing done by professional journals than the reviewing done by consumer publications like newspapers. Yes, publishers have long quoted SLJ and PW on their jackets, but I’ve never been convinced that those are decision makers for consumers in bookstores—who seem to be the people this regulation is designed to protect. Again, I realize my insights are limited to the corner of the book world I occupy. I know there are book blogs that do have consumer followers, but even there the notion that those reviewers are somehow more corruptible than newspaper reviewers seems quaint at best.

For a larger perspective on the impact of this regulation, this story from WNYC’s indispensible On the Media is instructive.


Alan said...

"Literary Advocates Redefine Their World Without Books." Read it at

Wyman Stewart said...

Thanks for posting. I am sure this will eventually lead to innocent Bloggers being cited or arrested due to the new FTC guidelines. I figure this will happen within 5 years. Would be nice if reason prevailed, but it rarely does. I agree many Blogsites are Ads disguised as Blogs or are indirect sales pitches, meant to be informational and attract business. Maybe we should call these Blots, not Blogs, with them labeling themselves as such. That might be more honest and helpful to all concerned. Beats locking up or fining innocent people.