I know I have been talking a lot about Ford and cars lately, so if you hate cars than I am sorry. But this is more about blogging and bloggers in general, it just so happens this topic was sparked by the 150 bloggers that Ford brought to Detroit. Apparently, since Ford paid to bring me out, paid for my hotel and fed me an obscene amount of food (which I gladly ate a ton of), that means they are buying my voice. Buying my opinions on their vehicles. That could not be further from the truth.
While we were all enjoying the Ford press conference and reveal of the Ford Fusion, we were also all tweeting like mad. It was fun and engaging. Then a Twitter argument started. I don't do drama, I don't have time for it. But while I didn't participate in the debate, I did follow it and read a long. All the time becoming more and more aggravated. Aggravated that people don't consider bloggers to be true journalists. That they think we can so easily be bought.
Just because I receive a product for "free" does not mean I will automatically praise it with a stellar review. First of all, I put a lot of time and energy into my reviews, so its not free. Instead of paying with money I pay with my time. I am picky when it comes to review items. I will only review something that I know my family will enjoy and use. So generally you won't see an all out negative review, but I will indicate any negatives of a product within my review.
And just because Ford flew me out to Detroit and pampered me does not mean they bought my voice. I had a blast out in Detroit. I met some new people who I plan to keep chatting with and engaged with a brand that clearly values social media. Ford did not give me talking points. Ford did not give me expectations of what they wanted me to tweet about or blog about. In fact, I wasn't given ANY expectations. We were able to walk freely around the auto show to look at other brands. We weren't held hostage in the Ford area. In my mind I went their to learn about their vehicles, their green initiatives and if I found it interesting, I would share it with my readers and followers. And that is what I did.
Of course a question was also raised about why Ford chose to bring mom bloggers to the show. Its not bad enough that Bloggers in general can get a bad rap, but then within the blogging community, mom bloggers get even less respect it seems. Why would a mom be an important person to show new cars too? Hmmm. Well, as a mom of 4 children I am the parent who does 90% of the transporting of said children. So myself, and other moms, play a HUGE part in the purchase of family automobiles. Mom bloggers as a whole have large followings and reach, so to me bringing out a few mom bloggers makes complete sense.
So anyway, my point is that my voice is just that: MY voice. No one can buy it. No amount of food and chocolate covered potato chips can change how I feel or influence what I say.