7 Comments It’s Not Selling Out It’s Just Not Working For Free

Article written by the awesome Team Excess on the 19 Oct 2010

So there is still this whole debate going on, well not so much at the moment, but it always ignites at times of awards and stuff like that. While I’m not a fan of random advertising all over the place, I don’t mind if blogs have advertising or promote certain brands. Look, I had a dig at Cape Town Girl in THIS post. But to those of you who know me, you’ll know that I was just clowning around. Life doesn’t have to be so dull, we’re not all accountants and mathematicians!

But to people who seriously take this whole advertising thing seriously and call it ‘brand whoring’ and selling out, are just delusional.

Sure, if I was paying R100 per month to read a blog and I knew there were 25000 readers, and there were still ads all over the place, I’d know they were just greedy for money. The fact is, you don’t pay to read blogs. You don’t pay to read Dan, Seth, MyCityByNight and all the rest of the guys and girls. So you have nothing to complain about.

When last did you work for free?

Surely you taking a salary makes you a sell out? Get yourself together man, if you’re so passionate about your work, you should work for free, surely? According to the way people judge blogs, no one should take a salary at the end of the month.

I do feel like blogs such as Watkykjy have an insane amount if random and untargeted adverts that mean nothing to me, while 2oceansvibe and the like have an actual interest in the brands and products being pushed. And to me that’s the difference. I use regularly and I love the concept and I believe in them and trust them. I use, I use Obox for my Wordpress needs. These are all companies that I believe in and use.

I’m just saying, if you expect entertainment on a daily basis, and even have the nerve to complain when things slip, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Because do you expect to arrive at an airport and just catch a flight with no ticket, and no money? No. So don’t expect to arrive on a blog, pay nothing, and see no advertising.

virgin atlantic

Do we also want to fly for free now?

I actually wrote this because someone had mentioned on Twitter that the 2oceansvibe RSS Feed was not showing the whole stories, and you had to click onto the website to see the full story. Which makes sense, because if you’re simply reading an RSS feed, then your advertisers are getting no coverage. Greedy on Seths part? No. Just making sure that his brands get their coverage, which to me is more than fair enough.

It’s. Not. That. Difficult.To. Grasp.

Come on, lets support the local blogging community instead of taking what we want from it (Entertainment every day) and giving nothing back and criticizing.

Or am I being stupid here?


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Steve "O" vdP Website Reply

You’ve done it again! ARGH!
You are MEEEESING the point.

Look – there’s no issue with these people making some money from their blogs. No-one has an issue with that. It’s the WAY that they do it that IRKS people.

Seth is a great example of HOW to do it. Seth does things right. He makes no secret of how he makes his living – it’s from the blog, the radio, the ads etc etc. That is what 2OV is about. But it’s still subtle – it’s introduced with humour, with tact, with intell. i. gence.

Sadly, I have to admit, even though I am one of his BEEGEST fans, Seth’s blog (remembering that it’s not a blog any more, it’s now a “preferred news source”) did dip in quality towards the end.
But look what he did – he RECOGNISED that fact and moved on – started something else. Something (which although it’s really not to my taste) GOOD.

Then let’s take one of the other “sellouts” out there – CTG (because you mentioned it). (her). (whatever).

She doesn’t do it very well. I genuinely believe that she is imitating Seth – and that’s to her credit – but she doesn’t get it right.
Instead of being one of the gang and telling us, “hey – I’ve found this product and we should all use it – what a great idea.”, she comes across as being arrogant, stand-offish, aloof and superior.

That’s where the difference comes.

She has a job (a damn good one) and yet she still comes across as fleecing these companies for whatever they’ll give her. It’s IN YOUR FACE. It’s HOLIER THAN THOU. It’s NOT NICE TO HAVE TO READ.

And so we don’t. And she wins nothing at the SABAs.

And if I was paying the FAT FEES at her ad agency, I’d wonder why more of her talent wasn’t going on my brand, rather than popping up to Joeys to collect her iPhone4 (you may have missed that) or down to PayPay Genes to select her SABAs outfit. CHOOSE a dress to LOSE.

You just missed the point. That’s all.
Do it right and there’s no issue.

Do it like a CTG – iz not niiice.

Team Excess Website Reply

Hey Steve O

Ja look I don’t quite agree on the whole CTG thing and I don’t read her blog. I just don’t think it’s aimed at guys so much…however I obviously do have a few sneaky looks from time to time, guilty!

I’m not so sure if she is imitating Seth, I mean they are friends and all. I genuinely, genuinely don’t get CTG and the whole blog, but let’s not mistake ourselves…she is a very clever woman. She’s good at her real job.

I think the thing is, blogging is pretty new still in SA, and there is no blueprint for how to run a blog. Maybe one day people will see our blogs and base theirs on ours and where we went wrong. There is no right and wrong way to blog, and I suppose that’s the beauty of it all, nothing is wrong and nothing is right. We can do what we like.

But you know what? I’m over hating blogs. I’m one of the biggest fans of SA blogging, because people are out there doing their thing. And while some people may be mentioning brands, selling stuff, they are all doing it because they love it and are passionate about it. CTG is not doing it for money, because she already has a high powered and no doubt a high paid job.

While I don’t enjoy the blog, it’s not really up to me to decide if it’s good or not. I was one of 2OV’s biggest fans when it was in its old format. And even then, some people hated it (Jealousy no doubt)

I started blogging some 4 years ago just because I was bored, I had read 2oceansvibe, I was studying journalism and just wanted to have a laugh. I don’t claim to be a source of real media, I just give people stuff to read. They can if they want. If they don’t want they can read other SA blogs or read the news or read any one of the other millions of sites out there.

I just, to be honest, don’t take blogging that seriously…it’s not on my mind all day, my real job is. Blogging doesn’t have an extremely important function in the world. It’s not really changing the world. And I realise that.

Nice post – it’s about time someone made the simple statement:

“It’s Not Selling Out It’s Just Not Working For Free” and that’s fact.

I skim over at least 30 blogs each day including 2OV, CTG and this one and I couldn’t care less if there are adverts! If there is information or entertainment that appeals to me I’ll read it. If there is an advert, advertorial or a blatant punt that interests me I’ll click it to find out more or maybe even google it. AND if people punt something I disagree with I will say so.

Steve O – I too prefer a more subtle approach to brand affiliation and product exposure but at the end of the day half of what bloggers do in their private lives is strangely appealing to me. I don’t really care what their day jobs are (at least not in the cases above).

Nothing beats a success story and that’s what I’ve enjoyed most about 2OV over the last couple of years (and I’m not even from CT). But success doesn’t come without failure and that’s what entices me about CTG (guilty too! And not that she’s a failure in the blog space either) – the real success is bound to come regardless of whether it’s delivered in a humble or edgy manner.

Remember, we don’t have to read these sites. If we do we have no right to complain.

Cock! Balls!
Loud Noises!

Amod Munga Website Reply


I don’t think taking a salary for working is selling out. That’s just making a living.

I think the point is that if you’re gonna be a shill, people aren’t going to take kindly to it.

The reason blogs are so popular is because they’re written for the most part by real people…not brands. It’s a media channel that we control, where we can destroy the PR bullshit line.

So as soon as someone starts punting products on her blog (which readers follow out of good faith built on the sincerity of the blogger), everyone starts suspecting the same thing: how much is the blogger getting paid to pitch me? “Paid” in this context can be money, products or services in lieu of free advertising.

And that’s selling out…

That’s why I don’t read 2OV. To me, the blog just isn’t credible. Why would I buy anything from someone who’s paid by the brands to say nice things about them? And that doesn’t just extend to products. It’s information, opinion, in fact any content off such a blog.

In contrast, in your article on the Fudge products you talk about buying the stuff. And if it’s that good that you’ll spend your own money on it, then I’ll consider it. That’s not selling out. That’s being a mate, one of the group, someone with credibility. And that’s difficult to hold on to.

In that context, for all her vapidity, CTG is one of a group (of equally vapid individuals). Sure, I can’t stand her blog. So I don’t read it. She’s not talking to me anyway. And yes, she’s a shill…and yes, she’s lousy at being a shill…but she has a sense of credibility (at least among her set of TFK pals).

Bottom line: someone people sell out, some don’t. Decide how comfortable you are with being pitched, shilled and trusting someone who’s clearly on the take. Then sub the RSS feed or close the window. There are always better blogs out there.

Marc Perel Website Reply

Steve – You’re funny bro, made my morning. I love the use of CAPS and “eee” instead if “i”. Awesome.

Just going to quickly jump to CTG’s defense here Steve, CTG is a persona, it’s meant to be the way it is, it’s all on purpose.

The fact that brands sponsor her blog is just a testament to the way the site has been created (for example, her last blog MyBrandedLifeTM was hilarious, but not as easy to associate with from a brands perspective). I’m with Sean on this, I don’t believe on a free world!

Team Excess Website Reply

Couldn’t agree more there Marc, what people don’t realise is that blogs are little snippets of peoples lives, and in CTG’s case, a persona. CTG isn’t my vibe at all, but crisis, a lot of things aren’t such as the Financial Mail, sour milk, accountants and brussel sprouts.

It doesn’t make them bad! And as you say, it’s a persona. Other blogs also have alter ego’s and other names ;)

Some people just don’t understand blogs and what they’re all about, but that’s fine as well. Not everyone has to get them. But to put across pointless arguments is just stupid.

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