Corporate influence on blogosphere coming in for criticism, car industry singled-out

The rise of blogs as an alternative news source will come as little surprise to anyone reading this. In fact, most readers are likely already well aware of the spread of corporate influences among automobile-specific blogs... even going so far as the explicit creation of a number of manufacturer outlets. From General Motors' Bob Lutz's FastLane missives to DaimlerChrysler's Firehouse blog for journos, to Mazda's fictitious hip young blogger that touted the automaker's offerings, it's becoming increasingly hard for even discerning readers determine what is genuine editorial content, and what is Shinola.

How has the seeping of corporate spin into the blogosphere changed the way you surf the internet, or process information obtained from the web? Are there any particularly noteworthy examples of people/corporations doing things the right or wrong way in the automotive industry? What do you make of efforts like Lutz's FastLane... do they provide valuable insider perspectives, or do you simply treat them as unlabeled advertisements?

[Source: The Chicago Tribune via TMCnet]

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