Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to 2010, Blog Writers Beware

It's a new year, promising a new perspective, a writing renewal. But the FTC has a surprise for us this year--actually it went into effect in December. We bloggers must now disclose (hate that word) to the readers whether or not we have a "material connection" to the product we discuss. Did we receive a free review copy of book x? Have we perhaps written that book? Then we cannot mention that book without "disclosing" our free copy or authorship.

Might it have affected our opinion? I hope no blogger would write about a book without reading it, so it had to affect the opinion. But did getting it free incline the blogger to plug it? Maybe. Is this a danger worth our government's surveillance? Don't make me laugh. Can they catch bankers swiping hoards of cash from customers, betting against their own advice in the stock market? Can they catch nascent terrorists wanting to set their pants on fire? Well, maybe it would be easier to catch a book reviewer on Blogspot. Okay, so expect disclaimers if I mention any books. Sigh.