I don’t begrudge anyone whom Marqui is sponsoring the opportunity to get paid a few pence. If Mitch or the Lemur or someone started rhapsodizing about the virtues of the new sponsor, I’d size up the tenor of their comments in the contest of what I’ve known about them over the long haul, and decide whether in this case my long-term online friends were shooting straight or shilling — but it’s their prerogative to decide whether to take the money, and theirs to decide what (if anything) they want to say about Marqui (about whose services, as of this writing, I know absolutely nothing except that Marc is consulting with them).
Nothing’s intrinsically sullied by bloggers getting paid. None of us is simon-pure to start with, and good-hearted bloggers with integrity don’t turn into soulless flacks just by receiving a check. Some bloggers sold out ages ago for the price of popularity; some A-listers can’t be spun no matter how much money they’re offered. Some Omega-listers couldn’t be corrupted for any price, and some have no integrity to sell in the first place. Those of us who never act on mixed motives can throw the first stones.
In the meantime, let’s stand down for a moment to see what happens when the cash starts flowing.