Om Malik is absolutely spot on with this comment.
If you give access to 'editorial independence' for the price of 'expert commentary' - you shouldn't be surprised that your news site reads like a series of corporate blogs. It's ruining the information ecosystem, which in turn is ruining the quality of public debate.
News sites don't have to behave this way. And neither do experts.
In Walter Isaacson's excellent Benjamin Franklin biography - he tells a story about the young publisher Franklin, who was offered a very big commission to publish an advert he disagreed with. Franklin asked for a day to think about the offer, went home - and slept in his clothes on the floor of his unheated kitchen. In the morning he woke up in good shape and committed to never publishing anything again that he did not personally agree with.
So, for news sites - If you're hoping that your platform is going to rake in the cash - you'd better have something worth paying for. Chasing short-term ad-dollars with corporate 'shill' money might work this quarter, maybe next - but before long readers will get smart, and they will leave in droves - and won't forgive you.
And for corporates, if your PR agency says they are going to use guest blogging as a 'thought leadership' strategy, you had better make sure you agree with what they are saying on your behalf, that you're proud of the content going into the world, and that you're adding to the quality of the debate for your audience.
Otherwise you're not just killing the goose that laid the golden egg. You're polluting the entire landscape.
Today’s guest posts are nothing but self-serving PR. Like I said last night on Twitter, “Can we agree that when you want free content as guest blogs, you get free crap.