Some folks gave Scoble a hard time for speaking at the PayPerPost conference in Florida in June (I’d be surprised if they were still in business by then to be honest–but hey, you never know). Getting a speaking fee isn’t covert and unless your a journalist covering that space or company there is generally not an issue with getting one.
For example, Malcolm Gladwell gets paid huge speaking from what I understand (like 25k a pop I’ve heard) and there isn’t an issue with the New Yorker. Now, if Saul Hansell of the NYT or Walt Mossber of the WSJ got paid a fee to speak at say—ummmm—- Apple or Microsoft you would certainly have a problem. OF course, those folks would never dream of doing anything like that because their reputations have value to them and they are highly ethical folks.
I think what folks are upset with is the fact that Robert would take money from a company that he didn’t believe in, and that so many folks believe is pissing in the town well.
Now, I myself would certainly give a keynote at the PayPerPost event and let them donate $10,000 to charity to hear me explain the ethics of blogging and proper disclosure (as opposed to the faux disclosure PayPerPost advocates through their faux disclosure organization!).
Note: Someone asked me when I would stop beating up on PayPerPost and I explained that either a) when the force disclosure in the first sentence of the post and make their marketplace 100% transparent, or b) when they go out of business (I’m guessing q4 2007/q1 2008).