Lindsay Beyerstein of Majikthise explains why turned down the opportunity to work for the John Edwards campaign:
And aside from the risks to the campaign, I wasn’t sure this arrangement would be healthy for my blog. With this responsibility weighing on my mind, how could I continue to deliver the independent perspective that my readers value? If I were suddenly on a candidate’s payroll, yet still posting my own “independent” thoughts on Majikthise, what would my longtime readers think? Would they still trust me? Should they? Full disclosure wasn’t going to solve the problem of divided loyalties.
In the end, she makes a Yochai Benkler-esque argument about bloggers and campaigns that sounds about right to me:
In my opinion, though, the real lesson of the Webb campaign is how effective bloggers can be when they’re outside the campaign. I think the candidates who benefit the most from the netroots are the ones who can inspire bloggers to do their work for free. They create unpaid, unofficial surrogates. Webb is a netroots success story because his team captured the imagination of independent bloggers and online activists.