Saturday, December 1, 2007

Actions speak louder than words

While cnet has said that they do not let advertisers have any say on editorial content, it is interesting to note that their gamespot site has re-posted the kane & lynch review with the content edited to remove some of the legitimate criticism that Jeff made about the game. To me this just confirms the fact that cnet is a sellout.

The bigger issue is how did this situation happen? My personal view is that there is a cycle of greed. Sites initially start off small with only a few people working for them. The only thing they have is their integrity. As a result, they have honest reviews. As they start to grow, they start needing to hire people and spend more on their structural costs. This costs money. As today's generation don't want to pay for anything, the only real choice is to have advertising. Some sites have subscription services that don't have ads, but too few people are bothered enough by ads to pay for such a subscripion. This means that the bulk of their money must come from advertisers. While this does not have to be a problem, far too often the advertising department, which is bringing in the money for the company, gain too much power and slowly editorial integrity is forgotten in favor of appeasing advertisers. This is when people who care about integrity have to find new sources for their information.

As there are no reviews on Blazing Games, I don't really have to worry about this issue. What would I do if Blazing Games somehow managed to grow to the point where advertisers wanted to control the content of my games? If advertising is the only real revenue stream it is a very tough decision. I am sure I have a price, and that price is probably a lot lower than what I think it would be. That, however, does not change the basic fact that if advertisers can dictate the reviews that their games get, the reviews are no longer worth the electricity that transmits them across the internet. What is sadder still is the fact that this will continue to get worse until people decide that content should be paid for which would decimate any say advertisers would have as then they would be only a small portion of revenue. After all, it is the content that drives traffic.

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