A couple of days ago I (grudgingly) brought up the Playboy Hottest Blogger contest to spotlight one of the bloggers who I thought was talented and largely unrecognized (Brigitte Dale just to give her that much more promotion).
Well apparently, not all the bloggers are happy with the attention...
So it turns out that at least a couple of the women bloggers featured in a recent Playboy article that asked “Who’s the web’s hottest bloggers? Vote now and we’ll ask her to pose for Playboy.com!” aren’t very happy about the feedback they’re getting. In particular, they aren’t happy that Playboy says they’ll invite the winner to pose nude for the magazine, or that they are being compared to the other bloggers via a poll to determine who’s most attractive.
Now, the important thing to remember here is that the bloggers were contacted by Playboy and asked if they wanted to be part of the Playboy feature. The only thing they weren't told was that (a) Playboy would ask the winner to pose nude and that (b) the article in question would be a poll.
On the posing nude...I mean...its Playboy. If you have some moral objection to women posing nude than you aren't going to want to be featured there in the first place. I could understand if they insinuated the winner "had already agreed to" pose nude but all they've said is that they will "ask" the winner so that isn't the problem.
Much more likely, I think the issue is with ranking.
That's the point I wanted to address here, or more accurately, the point...<dramatic pause>...behind the point. The blog world is built on this idea of Transparency (popularly chronicled in a book by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel entitled Naked Conversations). There's this idea that if we're all transparent than everyone will know everything and the world will rejoice in all the honesty.
But here's the thing, Transparency is a trick. It doesn't work. Not only doesn't it work it generally does more damage than anything else.
That's where we get back to the Playboy thing. People don't want to know how they rank against others. Even if they say they do. A 40 year old woman will often tell her husband she wants him to be able to "tell her anything" but I assure you she doesn't want to know he thinks his 20 year old secretary is more attractive than her. Concealing things isn't always a bad thing.
Excessive transparency is built on this 1960s era idea that all things are concealed for a nefarious purpose but the truth is we conceal things to benefit others around us more often than not. In fact, under the theory that most people aren't bad, concealing things usually benefits others more than it does the person doing the concealing because they have to bear the burden of whatever is being concealed alone.
Surely its a judgement call on each person's part and some will choose to conceal things they shouldn't but that doesn't justify an all or nothing approach to transparency.
Anyway, there's nothing that can be done here. Playboy certainly can't remove people mid-poll and the bloggers who have objected have no leg to stand on because they were informed in advance (they actually have less than no leg to stand on because they've already reaped the benefits of the click through traffic for about 2 weeks). But its a lesson for anyone wanting to do such a poll in the future.