This is a nice little bit of, umm, well, I\’m not quite sure what to call it. Reverse astro-turfing? Product placement? Argument from authority?
Anyway, it\’s a nice little bit. Ritchie has, as us devotees know, got himself a column at Forbes.com.
As a U.K.-based accountant and economist
Well, yes, ahem…..
Now of course there is some cachet to being published in Forbes. One is basking in the reflected glow of such wonderful writers as Virginia Postrel for example.
And of course such cachet can be used, as the TUC\’s Touchstone blog does:
Further coverage included Richard Murphy on Forbes.com:
See that? It\’s not just Our Dickie, the man we employ, writing on some blog somewhere (or in one of the reports that we pay for) it\’s Mr. Murphy and he\’s in Forbes!
Isn\’t that special and important?
So, what actually is the business model at Forbes.com? Felix has a go at it here:
He’s right about this: Forbes is doomed if it thinks that running vast amounts of PR drivel (the flacks are already salivating) is any way of building a successful website.
What\’s that? PR drivel you say? And Felix also links to this at Techcrunch:
That Forbes.com will soon be opening its doors to 1000s of unpaid contributors….
Oh, so this isn\’t rigorously edited, carefully chosen, commentary then. This is for the \”look at me! I\’m in ur intertubes\” crowd.
There are almost not enough words to describe how wrong-headed this move is: Forbes’ online editorial standards are already in the toilet and Dvorkin has just yanked on the flush. Not only will this new breed of hacks add thousands of pages of self-promotional, unedited (Forbes simply doesn’t have the resources to monitor thousands of contributors) drivel to Forbes.com but….
Is he talking about someone we know?
But Ritchie will no doubt carry on writing there, some will apply greater weight to his maunderings because, hey, look, they\’re on Forbes and the rest of us, well, we\’ll still know that our Ritchie is special and important, won\’t we?
To borrow a phrase from the Septics, short bus special.