I guess I should not be surprised that Adam Curry has been given a platform from within Apple iTunes to promote podcasts. He is doing this via a new show on iTunes called PodFinder. It disturbed me though that he promoted a high percentage of shows that are under contract, and or aligned with Podshow.
It was obvious before, and has become even more evident now that his motives are to promote companies, and shows that he has a financial relationship with. Obviously the first podfinder show highlighted some shows that are not part of Podshow Network but he covered at least 3 shows that receive paychecks from him!
Adam role in the community is beyond commercial, he has become the voice that is representing the entire podcasting community. His message has become severely tainted, and I automatically wonder what his motive is when he promotes sites. If he is going to be Apple’s spokesperson than I think a few things should be done when he is promoting shows. I am sure it will never happen but here is what I would hope he would implement.
First full disclosure every single time he promotes a show that is contractually aligned with him, so that people that have not been exposed to podcasting can understand he has a financial interest in making sure those shows succeed.
Second full disclosure every time he promotes a website that he is financially involved with, or under commercial contract he should disclose this as well.
Self promotion of groups, and websites one is aligned with is good we all realize that. I promote shows I am aligned with but do so with full disclosure. I think so long as their is disclosure that a financial relationship exist then most of us don’t have a issue. This builds integrity and allows people to trust the recommendations at a higher level.
Apple has given Adam, or Adam has paid to be on their platform which I have no issue with. I am all for business, and enterprise but I think when you are promoting shows to a unsuspecting audience, then the audience needs to be aware that either the shows have paid for placement or that a business relationship exist.
I am sure I will receive a lot of flack on this but when I heard the PodFinder show today I tuned out, as soon as he started promoting his business partners. Left a bad taste in my mouth.
The good part of blogging and podcasting is this, we can say what we think and how we feel. The message may not go worldwide but if we can expose these types of really underhanded tactics then we have done out part in trying to keep the landscape a clear and level playing field.