Until earlier today, sitting in my hotel room (I am on the road with a client) I had never heard the term “proxy blogging”. I was listening to a podcast that will remain nameless because I don’t want to unfairly single out anyone (since clearly only someone totally inexperienced in the blogosphere – especially with all the recent examples of the brand damage that can occur when you’re not honest – would even dream of suggesting such a thing). The writer being interviewed began talking about the notion of “proxy blogging” and made it sound as if she was engaged to craft “proxy blogs” (plogs?) on a regular basis for CEOs that were “too busy” to do so themselves.
Please tell me, Dear Readers, that there isn’t some secret society of hapless web writers creating “proxy blogs” (let’s be honest, they’re actually called flogs) for otherwise well-intentioned (but similarly clueless) Canadian companies! Do I need to remind you of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s code of ethics? Look what you made me do:
The essence of the WOMMA Ethics Code comes down to the Honesty ROI:
Honesty of Relationship: You say who you’re speaking for Honesty of Opinion: You say what you believe Honesty of Identity: You never obscure your identity
Sound like a “proxy blog” to you? I didn’t think so.
(Oh, and while I was writing this post I had an idea for a new wikipedia browser widget: a tool that allows you to highlight a phrase, like, for example, “proxy blogging”, and search it against all wikipedia entries. This would be very handy.)