I was asked to to be interviewed on an industry-specific Podcast this past week (name and url withheld). I did some basic research – I checked out who was linking to it, who else has appeared on the Podcast, how/if it ranks in Technorati, etc… My final decision was to take part even though there was no significant traffic or links. I liked the initiative and figured it would be another way to support a company that is trying to use social media to connect with their consumers. I even took part in a quick phone conversation to make sure that my content was relevant, and to discuss which issues/topics they wanted to cover.
Then, yesterday, I get an email that says:
"When we spoke earlier, I forget to mention that since we do not charge anything for the interview, we require an anchor link on your blog roll."
Two key points:
1. I don’t know many people who pay to be interviewed, and if they do, it’s not an interview… it’s advertising (and should be promoted as such).
2. Requiring to be placed on someone’s Blogroll is a ridiculous and silly request.
That one line in the email is a clear indication of everything that could go wrong with the Podcasting channel if we’re all not vigilant. Asking people to pay to be interviewed is wrong on many levels. Asking to be placed on someone’s Blogroll because you don’t charge for the interview is almost as ridiculous.
Combined everything sounds highly unethical.
If you’re considering to start a Blog or Podcast, keep in mind that people should never pay to be interviewed by you. It’s really quite the opposite, you should be honoured that anyone has agreed to take their time and effort to help you create content for your community (you owe them, they don’t owe you). And, if you would like to get on their Blogroll, you should not have to ask. They will naturally put you there if you create compelling content that is relevant to them (and their community). Telling someone that this is "required" demonstrates that you do not understand how these new channels really work.
My guess is that this specific Podcast didn’t even take the time to check out a previous Blog posting of mine titled, How To Get On Someone’s Blogroll.