Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blog Ethics - Sex Sells and so does Victor Lebow

I always find surprises in the google search topics that get people to my site. Dennis at AlaskaReport (by the way check out their story on Don "Corleone" Young while you're there) recently shared that he has an entertainment section because that's what people want - along with stats showing Heath Ledger, Britney Spears, and other celebs being top hits. So I shouldn't be surprised with all the people googling Bambi Tyree. In the last 40 or so site views six were looking for Bambi from:
Sophia, Bulgaria
Miami, Florida
Las Cruces, NM
Cranberry Twp, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Spokane, WA

Do you think if her parents had named her Martha things would have turned outdifferent?

On the other hand 10% of the last 100 were still looking up Victor Lebow, including someone from Ankara, Turkey. If you got here looking up Victor Lebow, go here. While in LA I looked up Victor Lebow I found a Victoria who lived near my mom. I phoned her and after a number of calls to relatives "I hadn't talked to in 55 years" she said that the Victor Lebow who wrote about American Consumerism is not related to her family. But the Victor Lebow from Wichita, KS whose picture I posted is a relative. So that confirms my suspicion they were two different people.

Also had someone from the US House of Representatives look at yesterday's chart of Blacks in Congress, and finally, someone got here googling:

"Carnival cruises send passenger flowers."

Media Ethics Note: Sometimes people do send me links to stories they'd like me to link, like the Corleone story. If I do link to these stories it's because I think they have something worthwhile. And I'm not above critiquing the stories people pass on to me. This doesn't happen a lot, but I mention it here because I think people should see what happens behind the scenes. Is it unethical for me to link to that story? No. Does the fact that AlaskaReport sometimes links to me a problem? It could be if I posted their stories because I thought it would keep them promoting my stories. This is the beginning of ethics creep. It starts out innocent enough, all with good intentions, but if one isn't careful, one's judgment gets lazy. I'm not a politician and I'm not making policy decisions based on favors others do for me. But readers should know if the newspapers, tv shows, or blogs they read are pushing stories or omitting stories because they might affect their advertising.

I say this because a lot of blogging chatter is about how to pump up site views. Trading links among sites is a popular means. I don't think this matters much for personal blogs among friends. But it does for blogs that edge into journalism. At the very least, there should be disclosure. So, let me disclose that last week when Alaska Report linked to my speculations about why Murkowski left the US Senate to be governor of Alaska, my site views for that day more than doubled. But I linked to the Don Young story above because it adds a few tidbits to what we know.

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