Sunday, June 26, 2005

Boston Globe Gets the story wrong right

In a blow to blogger transparency, The Boston Globe features local blogger Jeff Cutler in a story about bloggers accepting payments for placing ads in their blogs.

The story For a fee, some blogs boost firms says:
Jeff Cutler has never purchased anything from Dot Flowers, but you might think otherwise, reading the Hingham resident's blog.

''No more driving to the corner to buy flowers and hand-deliver them,' he wrote on his Web page. ''Nope. Now I go online to places like Dot and 1-800-Flowers. I like Dot a little better just because of the personal touch.'

Dot Flowers's ad agency paid Cutler $5 this spring to promote the florist and put a link to its website on his blog, or online journal, short for web log. Cutler, who does not disclose the payment on his blog, is one of more than 2,000 bloggers whom marketer USWeb enlisted to hawk products and services.
Well I went to Jeff Cutler's blog to get hte real story. I never believe everything I read at first glance. My motto is seek first to understand.

So I read down his blog a few pages and found this:
... in an effort to avoid sharing, but still making people happy, I've decided to give gifts and compliments to people randomly. For some people I'll send a card, for others a nice present, and for others a bouquet of flowers. And not just ordinary that take very little effort to send as not to disrupt the rest of my life. No more driving to the corner to buy flowers and hand deliver them. Nope. Now I go online to places like Dot and 1800 Flowers. I like Dot's site a little better because of the selection - but I've never purchased from them. My regular places are Kabloom, 1800 Flowers and the local florist.

According to their site - Dot Flowers is the easiest way to buy flowers online and send flowers across the country. They also boast of beautiful flowers and quick delivery times and nearly guarantee happiness.

Now, if everyone could guarantee happiness, wouldn't we all be better off?
For more info, visit Dot Flowers for your next gift giving escapade.
I've emailed Jeff to get his reaction to the Globe story.

If I was him, I'd be pretty mad and be asking the Globe for a correction.

Jeff responds:
From: jeff [AT]
Subject: Re: Your thoughts on the Boston Globe article
Date: June 26, 2005 7:26:19 PM EDT
To: steve [AT]


I think the Globe article was accurate for the most part. I wasn't as clear as I should have been in my dotflowers-sponsored blog about having never purchased something from them AND that my thoughts about the company were only based on visits to their site and not based on actual consumer experience.

I have updated my blog so there is no future misinterpretation, but Jenn Ableson got it right when she compiled her facts.

I'm not asking for a correction.

Please send me a link to your blog about the Globe article. I would love to read it.


So this exchange brings up an issue of historical accuracy. By the time I went to Jeff's blog, he had already revised his post, which made it different than the one the Globe reported on. The truth changed.

I usually do not change my original post when I update an item on my blog. I'll post an update to reflect new information, leaving the original so that visitors can see the change.

Note: The online version of the Globe story neglects to link to any of the web sites mentioned, including Jeff's blog. They have repeatedly promised to correct this oversight in their online versions of Globe stories, but have never followed through.


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