Con Artists, Sell-Outs, Whores

The Magic Christian, a movie from 1969, ended with a memorable scene. A giant tub of shit was filled with money to see who would throw away their dignity for cash.

And now this, forty years later …

A Friend’s Tweet Could Be an Ad

Mr. Chow is among a growing group of celebrities, bloggers and regular Internet users who are allowing advertisers to send commercial messages to their personal contacts on social networks. For the last month, he has used the services of, a start-up based in Los Angeles, and Izea, based in Orlando, Fla., to periodically surrender his Twitter stream to the likes of Charter Communications, the Make a Wish Foundation and an online seminar about working from home.

In October, Mr. Chow’s income from Twitter ads was around $3,000. “I get paid for pushing a button,” he said.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And by pushing that button you blow your credibility to smithereens.

Previously here:

FTC Wants Bloggers To Disclose: My Disclosure

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

The Ultimate Weapon Is Trust

Previously at Mike Cane’s Blog:

Like This Shit Is News?
My Response To “10 Things Your Blogger Won’t Tell You”
I’m Beginning To Think There Isn’t A Single Tech Site That Can Be Trusted

5 Responses to Con Artists, Sell-Outs, Whores

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: @ScottMcKain @redstarvip @hnshah @chippy @jkkmobile @geardiary @jane_l @Booksquare

  2. […] This post was Twitted by bewegte_lettern […]

  3. jenn topper says:

    I’m not adverse to putting an ad on the back of my book. (Though I say it, it’s a purely theoretical statement. I could cancel my kids’ Christmas and Hannukah and print my book instead, foregoing ads. We’ll see.) I’ve been in my own business once before and I didn’t whore myself. That statement didn’t matter much to the U.S Trustee for the Eastern District of New York Bankruptcy Court.

    Keepin it real is purely theoretical.

    Managing our businesses whether they are tea salons or books is something I’ve been barking at authors do to more aggressively for a while. The business may not entail commerce if said author decided to give her work away for free, but that right there is a business model which needs a plan.


    • mikecane says:

      A writer tweeting “Hey, maybe you might want to buy my book, at this link” is not the same as, say, a writer being paid $200 to tell his readers to go buy some frikkin M&Ms.

  4. jenn topper says:

    Oh this is a whole ‘nother conversation, then. At first I read your response and I was like, Yeah, of course.


    Then we’re talking about what the implications of an advertising relationship is. Who’s endorsing whom? Would American Girl Place put an ad on my book, 29 Jobs and a Million Lies, where I detail writing porno scripts and start a punk record label? Absolutely not. They wouldn’t endorse me. And I wouldn’t recommend my prospective audience to their prospective buyers.

    The people who would endorse me are not the ones we hate. *Would* being the operative word. Could I call up Coke or Hershey’s (yuck) and ask them for $200 and an ad? Sure, but they’d laugh me out of town. They are not that desperate for new eyes to do it.

    I’m not in advertising. I don’t like it and I don’t respond to it. I certainly don’t represent most people though. For those independent authors who might think about putting an ad on their book, I’d be curious as to what advertisers would think about it–because they’d then have to put some intern on reading the contents of the book to ensure nothing is inflammatory. Clearly not going to happen.


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