The recent Microsoft/Claria intrigue brings about an interesting question from the Wall Street Journal: should newspapers sponsor blogs by their reporters? The answer is yes. The blog in question, SiliconBeat,
is a reputable source, well-written and well-connected. Opinion can mix
with fact on the blog - that is (more-or-less) the whole point of a
blog. The sponsorship by the San Jose Mercury News
lends the blog credibility and instant insider-status (a reason to
actually read it!). Readers know that the site is the straight dope.
Uptight editors afraid of the sacred wall between fact and opinion
being breached need not apply.