Patting oneself on the back isn't a bad thing. I have been known to do it myself. But starting a separate "independent" company whose main job seems to be patting you on the back is something else, especially when you make the assumption that people will either not find out or will not care.
The creation of an artificially inflated food chain in an environment like the web is begging for public humiliation. The transparency of the web is real, and the Lincoln adage that "you can fool some of the people all of the time..." may well be passe in an environment where, when they have not heard of you, they can google you in a heartbeat...
TechCrunch references a survey from PR Sourcecode that ranks the tech blogs allegedly used and preferred by PR agencies. The only problem is the #7 ranking...Meritalk, which is owned by the same company that owns PRSourcecode.
Follow the interesting discussion here:
Draw your own conclusions.
Not hat I have an opinion.