It was a kerfuffle for the ages, the great FON disclosure ruckus. Stowe Boyd put together an HTML-based form for displaying conflicts of interest, such as board seats, advisory roles and financial investments, that might influence what one says about a company.
It isn't pretty, but it's the right kind of idea. Eventually this sort of thing, with different formatting or in XML, that allows readers to quickly check on the writer's involvement with their subject.
Welcome to the transparent society. It's not as though everyone at a feudal court or meeting in an American town square didn't know everything about their neighbors, too.
In related bloggage, Tristan Louis has a good round-up of the whole debate. He cautions that getting involved in a debate requires you take time with the people involved, which is certainly the case. Just like life the life of a courtier or a country politician in the 1840s, participation today demands attention to the details of people's lives and ideas. Not a TV-generation kind of mindset.