I was amused, puzzled, and mildly annoyed by this post at Prawfsblawg:
You may have noticed a recent "sponsored post" on our feed, and there were some questions from our valued readers about it. We're happy to provide some information.
We were pleased to reach a sponsorship agreement with West in spring 2014. Occasional sponsored posts, written by prominent law professors, are part of that new relationship, and have appeared intermittently since last spring.
We welcome West on Prawfsblawg. But we should make clear that West provides the content of those posts. They do not necessarily represent the views of the other writers on Prawfsblawg, although their subject matter is consistent with this blog's conversation about law schools and legal education.
- They can't be making that much money off the deal, especially as split 13 ways. Consider that when the Volokh Conspiracy was sponsored by the Washington Post, Eugene wrote that: "Our hourly rate for our blogging time will remain pretty pathetic." The sponsorship deals I've been offered over the years would barely keep Toby and Bella in their high-priced kibbles for a couple of months. Conversely, costs aren't that high. I've spent more on a bottle of wine than I spend in a year to pay for my blogging.
- Independence is a big part of what makes blogging fun, special, and useful. You give that up when you take on sponsorships. Even if you retain full control over what you say, you lose control over the content of the sponsored posts.
- I still like the ethos that motivated blogging in the beginning: A guy in his PJs spouting off about stuff as it occurred to him for the joy of writing. The amateur ethos. It's why I stopped taking Blogads and Google ads.
Seems like they've swapped their birthright for a mess of pottage.