Monday, August 06, 2007

That's Not LinkLove: Fox News Adds IntelliTXT to AP story, Shuns Bloggers

As I was checking for news stories on the "blogger's union" proposition, I came across the AP story, retooled and ad-optimized for FoxNews--with IntelliTXT ads and, as per most news org policies, no links to any of the blogs of the quoted bloggers...

Now, if you don't know what IntelliTXT ads are, they're the odd-looking, double underlined, green links in posts. If the company using them has added that Snap feature, you can tell you're going to be pushed over into an ad before you click the link. However, if you're unfamiliar with IntelliTXT ads, you may think that you're clicking a link to another blog.

And once you click an ad, you've made someone a bit of money.

There are many small blogging networks and ad-revenue happy individuals who are using IntelliTXT ads as a way to boost their income. So are many online B2B publications (Paul Conley blogs often on the ethical implications of IntelliTXT ads in online B2B pubs.) But there's something rather hinkey about FoxNews, which I'm sure already makes a boatload in revenue, retooling AP copy with IntelliTXT ads--and not linking out additional information sources.

Yes, I know it's common policy in most news orgs NOT to link to outside sources, but if you're going to use a hallmark of social capital among bloggers--the link--as just another way to serve advertising, and not to give people links to main sources or more information, then there's really some nasty ethical stuff. It's fine, then, to lead your readers to advertisements, but NOT to give them additional information that's directly connected to, and part of, the story.

Well, just another low-ball tactic from Rupe Murdoch and friends. I'm sure once the WSJ's content is freed from beyond the pay wall, we'll see some IntelliTXT there, too--but we sure won't see any link love from them!

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