Hold the presses: Bill Gates is now a Hooters VIP

I've been wanting to weigh in on the whole pay-per-blog controversy that is swirling around the Web as of late. This news tidbit gives me a way-in. (Plus, when will I ever have a chance to get the words "Bill Gates" and "Hooters" in the same headline again?)

Bill Gates may be retiring from his day-to-day duties at Microsoft next year. But he'll always have a place to go to get free food (but not drinks), thanks to his brand-new Hooters VIP card.

(Yep, that sure looks like a real photo of a bored and annoyed-looking Gates and buddy Warren Buffett posing with the Hooter gals for a Christmas card.)

Why am I posting this on a supposedly enterprise-tech-oriented blog? I've been wanting to weigh in on the whole pay-per-blog controversy that is swirling around the Web as of late.

Yes, ZDNet bloggers are paid based on our page-view traffic. No one's trying to hide that fact. But the way I am paid for my work here hasn't led me to downplay less-than-sexy topics, such as service packs and application-programming interfaces, in favor of obvious click-bait.

(And hey, when will I ever have a chance to get the words "Bill Gates" and "Hooters" in the same headline again? Just kidding. Sort of.)

I try to choose my topics for this blog based on readers -- Microsoft customers, partners, competitors (and even employees) want to know. Sure, bloggers (including myself) being provided with Vista Ferrari laptops or Microsoft seeking a less-than-forthright way to alter the Wikipedia entry on ODF vs. OOXML might bring in more clicks than stories on potential Vista-application incompatibilties.

(Question: Who would make a judgement about which office suite to buy based on an incredibly dry and lengthy Wikipedia entry about file formats? Just wondering....)

I figure if someone wants to read that kind of stuff, there are lots of places s/he can go to find it. 

More and more journalists and bloggers are being paid on the basis of their traffic. Anyone who thinks traditional mainstream-media authors are -- or have been -- immune from similar metrics is wrong.

So what should I blog about next? How I got Lebron James' autograph at the Vista launch? Or the inner workings of Dynamics SL? Hmmm. Tough choice ...