Disclosure rules for webloggers who are also professional journalists have been much discussed by Doc Searls and many others. My two cents: When I'm doing my day job, I have a code to follow if I am to maintain credibility--no travel paid for by possible subjects, no freebies above the value of typical convention schwag, etc.
Do the same rules apply to me as a weblogger? That's a tougher issue. The benchmark established by the first round of criticism over Doc's trip to Mobius is that as long as I disclose that I'm getting compensated for attending an event sponsored by, say, Microsoft--a player in the enterprise computing business I cover for Baseline--I should be OK. But in real life, it's not that simple. What if bloggin' Ed gets comped and schwagged by Microsoft (or Oracle, Siebel, et al), then magazine Ed favors that company over a competitor in an article six months later? My disclosure at EdCone.com doesn't pull the arrow out of the disgruntled competitor's quiver.
The situation for a professional journalist with a weblog is very close to the situation facing a politician with a weblog, as I discussed last month: "Is there a difference between a campaign weblog and the personal weblog of a candidate? In theory, yes. In practice, no." That's the hardline view, but when your reputation is on the line, the hard line may be the one to take.
I Am Your Dog
I love you I love you I love you I love you. But this business of cheering for me when I take a crap is a little humiliating, don't you think?
Steve MacLaughlin's equation for the new Kmart logo is right on the money. Fix the stores and the systems, and the signs will not matter too much.