Volvo whiplash | Blogads

Volvo whiplash

by henrycopeland
Friday, April 15th, 2005

Some Spaces bloggers are accusing me of elitism and jealousy for flaming Volvo about sponsoring Microsoft‘s vulgarity-strewn blogging service Spaces, according to a link forwarded by a friend of a friend at Microsoft. (Here’s yesterday’s post for those of you arriving via a direct link.) Spaces blogger Ed writes:

Blogads seems to have a bit of jealousy over MS’ recent deal with Volvo to be the premier sponsor for Spaces. Henry Copeland dregs up the worst of Spaces to make his point… without mentioning such great blogs as Paul Britton’s, Mike Torres, CanadianHawk’s, and The Psychedelic Circuit, all of which are on my blogroll. And I know I’m forgetting thousands if not millions more.

Ahh, yes, thousands if not millions more. My apologies to those four bloggers and their readers, and to the “thousands if not millions” of other great blogs at Spaces that Ed can’t quite recall the names of right now.

Come on Ed, make my day: take a few hours and name, off the top of your head, 20 Spaces blogs who have more than 100,000 page views a month.

While you get started on that, I’ll do five minutes of research on the number of Spaces pages where Volvo’s brand has joined words like: fuck: 15,400, cunt: 536, nigger: 48, faggot: 86, turd: 111, shit: 20,900, tits: 609, ass: 17,400, bitch: 8,540.

Jealous? Heck no. We’ve got hundreds of cool, smart advertisers. I’m angry. I’m angry to see blogging — which I revere for empowering excellence, autonomy and self-expression — debased by Microsoft into another exercize in corporate mass-market drek marketing. I’m angry Microsoft has diverted money out of great blogger’s pockets. I’m angry that anyone as smart as Steve Rubel can utter words like “MSN Spaces/Volvo Deal Shows Big Blog Advertisers Crave Safety” without noting that they’ve gotten the opposite.

My harping on the vulgarities among Spaces blogs makes Ed’s friend Ben ask: “Do we want free speech or not?” Hell yes, Ben. I’m just sure Volvo does not want to be associated with blogs like those it is now sponsoring with Microsoft’s able assistance. Let’s have some quality control baby. At Blogads, we make sure to steer certain advertisers away from profane blogs… and to steer other advertisers into those blogs. No matter what Microsoft told Volvo, the blogosphere is not a big barrel of content that can be bought sight unseen because it has a Microsoft label on it. As I said yesterday, individual bloggers themselves are the best guarantors of quality.

Finally, Ben accuses me of “blogging elitism.” Thank you Ben. Guilty as charged. I believe some bloggers are brilliant and others are idiots. If I were an advertiser, I’d glue my brand to the Einsteins and let Volvo chauffeur the cretins around.

Sure there are some smart people blogging at Spaces. But why didn’t Volvo just didn’t buy advertising on their blogs and actually pay those bloggers, rather than Microsoft?Again, to restate my case, blogging is about individualism, personality and self-expression. It’s about human automomy.

Volvo, buying ads across an undifferentiated anonymized corporate- conceived network full of dreck, emptiness and a few scraps of intelligence, has bought blogging’s worst qualities and quantities and very little of the best. For shame Microsoft and Volvo.

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