Conflicts of disinterest

This post is about one of the paradoxes of blogging credibility that’s been on my mind on and off throughout the years, more on than off lately.

There has been much discussion in the blogosphere about conflicts of interest. The norms are pretty well established. For example, if you write about a company that you’ve invested in, it’s okay to heap praise on the company so long as you disclose your interest to the reader. Similarly, if you write about a company that competes with a company you’ve invested it in, it’s okay to criticize the company so long as you disclose your interest.

Trickier is how to handle what one does not write about: people you’d rather not promote, companies that you have a hard time supporting, and so on. To properly disclose your disinterest you’d need to put up a page listing out all of the people and companies you’re going to neglect. But if you do so, you’re drawing attention to those very subjects.

That’s the paradox.