Dr Mumbo

Tech In Asia’s back-pedal on charging blockchain companies to ‘keep the lights on’

Dr Mumbo likes to think of himself as something of the marketing industry’s friendly neighbourhood Spiderman – and no, that has nothing to do with his fashion choices.

Instead it’s when he feels like he has done a good deed – like when he pointed out to Tech In Asia their announced ‘blockchain collaboration’ looked suspiciously like they were selling editorial space.

Although TIA hurriedly changed the copy following some querying, it just so happens Dr Mumbo managed to find the original text in Google’s cache.

“Tech in Asia’s involvement in the blockchain scene is only going to increase as the community demands more attention. We have seen the number of blockchain startup pitches exponentially increase. As the pitch quantity increases, it becomes harder to decipher between good and bad projects.

We are now faced with two options: Cover every blockchain project, or a select few. We chose to do the latter, because we respect our readers’ time. We aspire to uncover good blockchain projects and produce stories that educate and intrigue readers.

For those we choose to cover, Tech in Asia may want to play a bigger role to help them succeed through our range of advisory, content, events, and recruitment services. Just like how we’ve previously worked with companies such as LINE, KPMG, and Baidu, we are looking for blockchain projects that fit these criteria:

  • Nice and honest founders
  • Strong mission and purpose
  • Good blockchain use case

In exchange for our services, we will charge (likely in tokens) to keep our office lights on and keep doing what we love. Any commercial relationship will be visibly and transparently disclosed in the content that results from the arrangement.”

After, Willis Wee, TIA’s founder, performed a rather swift U-turn and changed the copy, he then issued following statement to Mumbrella: “The editorial team, which has always functioned separately from the business team, will continue to provide independent coverage of the blockchain space (and any technology subsector for that matter), regardless of whatever commercial arrangements we may or may not have. The original announcement has been amended to clarify the matter.

“For any content created as part of a package for blockchain companies, we will disclose the commercial relationship at the top of said content. The content will be executed by a separate team and not the editorial team. We have always been transparent with our branded content, as you can see here.

“As such, the editorial team will continue to do coverage with our audience in mind, while the business team will collaborate with companies that require our services. So we are still very much an editorial platform at heart. In fact, we are expanding our editorial team to accommodate more tech coverage.”

For the absence of any doubt, he added: “We could’ve stated more clearly that editorial coverage will continue as per normal. We don’t charge for editorial coverage.”

While Dr Mumbo is grateful to Willis for clarifying the title’s editorial-advertorial lines, he does feel somewhat reminded of a certain line from Shakespeare: something relating to a lady protesting too much.

For now though Dr Mumbo’s spider senses are sated and the superhero suit can go back in the closet, much to the relief of his neighbours.


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