A Milwaukee blogger was put on the defensive after a USA Today article reported that the city of Milwaukee had provided her with internet access and computer equipment. Had Erin Leffelman made that relationship clear on the blog, she wouldn't have become the target of other bloggers and critical comments on her Play in the City blog.
Leffelman and her defenders point to the level of compensation and argue that it's not significant. "I would hardly classify $1,700 of 'in-kind' support to do her job -high speed internet, a gift certificate for technology improvements at Dell or a $200 camera as the type of compensation that would sway anyone’s opinion," Dave Fantle of VISIT Milwaukee writes in a comment on The Blog Herald.
He misses the point, which is really very simple: Be transparent, be honest about your relationships. Otherwise it looks like you're trying to hide something even if you're not.
To Fantle's credit, VISIT Milwaukee's June 20 news release, which he posted on The Blog Herald, did explain the relationship. It also noted, regarding blogs, "Their impact lies largely in their credibility and growing awareness among an increasingly computer-literate world."