The authenticity of blogs,specifically. It shouldn't be a foregone conclusion. Case in point.

So my question is this: should we have to ask each time we are reading a blog, whether the content is spoon fed by the PR department? Or does the word "blog" imply a certain level of authenticity and transparency?

If you are hanging around here, you know my opinion. A blog is a blog, a corporate PR site is a corporate PR site. And never the twain shall meet. Uh, unless I link you to a PR announcement for some actual, like, corporate treatment on a subject I am not qualified to comment on. Happens. The thing is, you know when you are on my blog and you know when you are on a PR site.

But the idea of acting as a messenger of our PR department makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. It's the inauthenticity that bothers me. It's not that there is anything wrong with PR. It's necessary; vital even. But I am not a PR person, not even close to being qualified for that job (and I should know because I used to hire those folks). And PR was never the goal of my blog (let's hear it for a PR department that does not feel the need to control employees' opinions). They are over there, and I am over here writin' my blog. When I started my blog, I intended to serve up my own crappy opinion. And that has been clear from the beginning. And that opinion is not sanctioned by Microsoft. Not signed off on by PR. Frequently. I type it as it runs through my little brain. Microsoft may own my blog, but I own my opinion.

So yeah...Google. You know, maybe this is an isolated incident, and maybe it is indicative of a blogging environment that is not as authentic as it seems. I have a tendency to always question whether things are as they appear to be, to poke things with a sharp stick. I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.