When partnering with advertisers, content sites need to be careful to avoid conflicts of interest
This column appeared in the Dec. 31, 1998, issue of The Industry Standard. Here’s the version on the Industry Standard site.
These are the Web’s Woodstock days. From small startups to corporate behemoths, the name of the game is to bed as many partners as possible.
It’s finally dawned on online publishers that they can’t just put up some wickedly cool content and expect the world to beat a path to their Web sites. Without distribution, you’re dead. Which is why companies are hopping into bed with one another faster than you can say Powered by AT&T WorldNet. Check out the roll call of recent partnership deals: Lycos with Barnes & Noble. Mindspring with CNN Interactive and CNet. Excite with Music Boulevard and SportsLine USA. Yahoo with everyone.
But what happens to your editorial credibility when you build a virtual love shack with a major business player?