Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 22, 2007 6:43 AM

Ghost Blogging Continued...

I'm starting to deep dive more on the fascinating topic of Ghost Blogging. You can read my original post about it from a few days ago here: What's Wrong With Ghost Blogging? Or Insights From Inside PR #59.

The following thoughts were sparked by a post on the Blog, Zest Media - Social Media In Australia, called: The Difference Between Ghost Blogging And Speechwriting (I have cross-posted these thoughts there as well).

I'm glad Zest Media - Social Media In Australia picked up on this meme. I think it's a fascinating one.

Let me start off by saying that I don't think Ghost Blogging is a good idea (as I stated in my initial Blog posting). That being said, I also don't think it's a good idea for someone else to write your speeches or make up quotes for you. I think if you're in charge of a major (or minor) corporation, one of your key skills should be your ability to speak, write, communicate, etc... But, that's a whole other conversation.

What I keep reading are thoughts like:

"My own take on it is that the difference between employing a speechwriter and a ghost blogger is that at some point a speaker has to have read the speech that was written for him. The words may not have come from his pen but at some point they have to come out of his mouth. At that point he takes ownership of the content and it becomes immaterial who wrote it."

What if we flip this formula into Blogs? A writer meets with a CEO, gets what's on their mind, writes up a few Blog postings, has the CEO give it all a quick once-over and posts it. Why does it matter at that point if the CEO did, indeed, write the Blog posting?... and more, importantly, do we need to disclose who the true Blogger is?

Again, I am one hundred percent against using a Ghost Blogger. I just think that there is a double-standard, and it seems based on two principles.

1. The other stuff has been going on for so long that it's acceptable.
2. The public knows that the person giving the quote or delivering the speech didn't say those things anyways.

Either way, both of those don't fit the models of Social Media where authenticity, human voice and transparency are the cost of entry.

I'm not questioning the activities of Public Relations or Communications. I am questioning why, as media consumers, we're fine with made-up quotes and speeches that were written and delivered by a different person, but we're taking huge issue when that same formula is applied to Blogs.

By Mitch Joel