According to Bloggers In Amsterdam, The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions is sending 26 bloggers to Amsterdam for five nights at the Lloyd Hotel or the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky — both five star hotels near the center of the city.
No blogging about the trip will be required. In exchange for the trip each blogger will [a] be interviewed about the trip (the Dutch Tourism Board may be using this for online/offline promotions), [b] give Holland.com one month of premium adspace, and [c] put the “Bloggers in Amsterdam” logo in their nav bar for one year, linking it to this blog post to disclose the nature of the trip. The mantra here is transparency.
If you can’t beat them, buy them. Traditional institutions and power structures, having realized that blogs aren’t going away, are co-opting the pajama-clad harbingers of the new era of journalism. And the bloggers are making it all too easy.
The latest example is the decision by Holland.com to send twenty-five American bloggers to the Netherlands. Presumably this is to promote tourism there. Indeed, if the Dutch wish to attract visits from tedious left-wing hairsplitters with all the social skills that passionate and frequent online argumentation implies, they’ve made a sound investment. Realistically, Holland.com just squandered a great deal of money for no discernible return whatsoever.