I came across the ghost blogging debate the other day and I'm not talking about the supernatural kind. I'm talking about people who hire other people to write their blog content on their behalf. And it is perfectly legal. My initial reaction was, 'you have got to be kidding me.' As an aspiring writer, I cannot fathom the idea of asking someone else to write my posts for me, no matter how bad they can be. And frankly, it never even crossed my mind until I crawled out from under my rock and stumbled across the online debates.
But if I can accept the idea of a ghostwriter, (even though I don't like it) then why do I have such a problem with ghost blogging? Well, part of it is because I tend to think of blogs as more personal, almost like I could pick up the phone and call. The commentary, personal accounts, and comments all contribute to building trust between blogger and reader. After a while, a connection is created when readers can relate to the fears and insecurities, triumphs and letdowns of their fellow blogger. Eventually, they may even become emotionally invested. You don't build that kind of connection to the author by just reading their book. If I ever found out that one of my blogging buddies hired a ghost writer, I'd feel disappointed and misled. Not to mention I'd lose trust in them as a writer and fellow blogger.
But what if I give a different example, say the CEO of a large corporation? Say this CEO wants to maintain a certain proximity with her employees by publishing an article to their online newsletter once every couple of months. She gives her secretary the main points she wants to make and lets him do all the rest. Is that okay? It doesn't feel as bad, but I'd still feel misled if I were to find out.
So where do we draw the line? What do you think about ghost blogging? And are there times you think it's acceptable?