June 30th, 2006

PayPerPost Will Taint Us All

by

The phenomenon called blogging has now been starkly divided into the pre-PayPerPost era and the post-PayPerPost era. I’m referring to a new service that makes an explicit business model out of what up until now has been an implicit accusation, often leveled without cause. PayPerPost enables companies to pay bloggers to say nice things about them — and as Marshall Kirkpatrick points out (and I share his disbelief):

There does not appear to be any requirement that the payment for coverage be disclosed. There is a requirement that PayPerPost.com must approve your post before you are paid.

Blogging has now been irrevocably tainted. No one can say anything even remotely positive about a company — or negative for that matter — without being accused of being on the PayPerPost payroll.

I encountered this the other day when I made some enthusiastic comments about Jellyfish, a new shopping search engine. I was accused, without cause, of being a “patsy” for Jellyfish.

Now it won’t matter if I say that I have no financial relationship with a company. The taint is there — the question will be ever present — is this what you REALLY think, or have you been bought and sold?

Blogging should have seen this coming. We all scoffed at the rigid, elitist hierarchies of traditional journalistic organizations — but now we know why they are so uptight.

We promoted the hell out of blogging as a revolutionary form of marketing — and now we see the dark side.

But the situation is even worse for blogging because many of us are just individuals with a personal point of view. It’s a lot harder to accuse an institution of being bought and sold, because that involves complicity among many people.

But to accuse me, Scott Karp, is easy.

It’s the Swift-Boating of the blogosphere. Once you’ve been slimed, there’s nothing you can do to shake it off.

All I can think to do, which is what I did when accused the other day, is focus on the analysis and the substance of what I have to say — that should speak for itself.

But even as I write that, I don’t believe it will be enough.

This is a sad, sad day for blogging, for publishing, for journalism, and for the new media revolution.

UPDATE

I realized that I forgot to ask how much BusinessWeek got paid to write the article about PayPerPost so that they could use “As Seen in BusinessWeek” on their site. Was it $1,000 — or $10,000 — or $50,000?

Or perhaps Jon Fine received a personal payment — what was it Jon? Cash? A gold watch? A golfing trip?

Let me be clear — I don’t really think BusinessWeek got paid. My point is — the taint is everywhere.

Comments (58 Responses so far)

  1. category so people looking for news blogs will know where to go, while people who want product pitches can quickly find what they want. Bottom line: PayPerPost is not evil, unethical or positive – and blogging has not been “irrevocably tainted” asScott Karp opines. (Karp also dramatically suggests “This is a sad, sad day for blogging, for publishing, for journalism, and for the new media revolution”) It’s a just a business launched by an entrepreneur who sees an opportunity to make some money. The one

  2. category so people looking for news blogs will know where to go, while people who want product pitches can quickly find what they want. Bottom line: PayPerPost is not evil, unethical or positive – and blogging has not been “irrevocably tainted” asScott Karp opines. (Karp also dramatically suggests “This is a sad, sad day for blogging, for publishing, for journalism, and for the new media revolution”) It’s a just a business launched by an entrepreneur who sees an opportunity to make some money. The one

  3. BusinessWeek で「ブログ界は汚染された」と題された記事や: ■ Polluting The Blogosphere (BusinessWeek) Publishing 2.0 で「我々全員が汚される」という記事が出ています: ■PayPerPost Will Taint Us All (Publishing 2.0)

  4. Scott Karp

  5. del mundo de la publicidad en mirar el mundo blog desde su lógica. Ahora, volveremos a la esencia: detrás de un blog hay personas, y la credibilidad del blog no es ni más ni menos que la que esas personas puedan tener para ti. ACTUALIZACIÓN:Leo en Publishing 2.0 que “a partir de ahora, nadie podrá hablar bien de una empresa sin que le acusen de estar en la nómina de PayPerPost”, y que “hoy es un día triste para el blogging, el publishing, el periodismo y la

  6. * Na hr.mag.bug news grupi tu i tamo zaluta komentar perceptivnog lurkera koji kaže da mu se čini kako su neke recenzije hardware-a u magazinu suviše pristrane. OK, svima je jasno o čemu se radi.Publishing 2.0

  7. Scott Karp’s comment

  8. [IMG] PayPerPost Will Taint Us All

  9. and trust… you pay folks to blog about a product and you compromise that. I would almost care about this, but it’s so obvious to everyone that this is either a joke or an idiot that there is nothing more to say.” Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0calls it the swift-boating of the blogosphere: “It’s the Swift-Boating of the blogosphere. Once you’ve been slimed, there’s nothing you can do to shake it off.” Brandstorming gives 6 reasons why they think PayPerPost.com is going to fail.

  10. 미국에서 블로그와 관련된 ‘ì„ ‘을 넘는 서비스가 나왔다. ì–´ë–¤ 서비스인지는 “PayPerPost Will Taint Us All”을 ë³´ë©´ 나와있다. 간단히 말하자면, 블로거가 ì–´ë–¤ 회사에 대해서 좋은 글을 써주고 돈을 받는 모델이다. 그리고, 돈을 벌기 위해 ê·¸ 회사 글을 썼다는 사실을 독자들에게 알릴 의무가 없다.

  11. (そして毎回結論が出ない) トピックではある。 しかしこの Payperpost 社もしたたかなもので、そのトップページには As Seen In BusinessWeek などと書いている。Publishing 2.0 などは I forgot to ask how much BusinessWeek got paid to write the article about PayPerPost so that they could use “As Seen in BusinessWeek” on their site などとまた辛辣な事を。

  12. PayPerPost press@blog 以下、関連記事 TechCrunch BusinessWeekPostbubble Cnet Publishng2.0 by Disaronno |Media, Mktg / Ad, Business, Internet | Comments (0)

  13. loša fora. Oni i njihovi oglašivači profitiraju u svakom slučaju. Da, treba reći da se ponude trenutačno kreću negdje između 5 i 10$ po postu. Što će se iz toga izroditi? Ja ne očekujem neke dramatične promjene u blogosferi, iako kolege (Publishing 2.0) smatraju da će takva praksa narušiti kredibilitet blogera uopće. Čisto sumnjam. Bloger koji zaslužuje kredibilitet sigurno ga se neće odreći za 10$ po postu. Crkavica je to koja će dobro doći onima iz mase. U svakom slučaju, ne vjerujem da

  14. really generate in a day. To clarify none of the blogs listed below were paid posts (except techcrunch… just kidding!!! Chill.). TechCrunch betont: “TechCrunch does not accept payment for posts.” Aber wird man das noch glauben? Ein anderer Blogger [IMG ]schreibt, dass die Blogosphere nach PayPerPost unter Generalverdacht verstehe: [IMG] Blogging has now been irrevocably tainted. No one can say anything even remotely positive about a company — or negative for that matter — without being accused of being on

  15. Obsessions

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  17. リスボンにいる2ndに代わりの大砲持たせてたことを思い出したあやにく。 今日はましゃいないけど、とりあえずリスボン帰ったらなんとかなるだろぅと思って帰ってたら [IMG 大砲破損!!] NPCに襲われて、さらに壊れたΣ(゚Д゚) どぅする?このまま沈められちゃう? 所持金107924Dの半分でネタ買っちゃう???

  18. PayPerPost Isn’t Evil; It’s Just a Business PayPerPost: Stupid and evil PayPerPost – Paying Bloggers to Post PayPerPost Bribes Bloggers for Positive Posts PayPerPost.com offers to sell your soul PayPerPost Will Taint Us All MindComet launches Blogger Mercenary Program Paid to Blog: Mountain or Molehill? A comment in the TechCrunch post (which I have just noticed Marshall is part of the fold…his tone blends in nicely to the TechCrunch tune) from Ted Murphy the creator

  19. recommending that they they tell us how they have, or will, address these concerns. Until we hear back from them, though, we discourage any and all of our bloggers from participating in any way with StyleHive lest they eventually by we feel will be an eventual scandal.

  20. PayPerPost Will Taint us @ Publishing 2.0

  21. he is, in fact, a really nice guy. I spent a good chunk of time last night talking to Murphy about PayPerPost’s origins, its business model (they pay bloggers to blog about products and services), and the flack he and the company have taken for tainting the blogosphere. While there are plenty of critics, Pay-Per-Post has resonated with advertisers. He said the company has 6,500 advertisers looking to reach out to bloggers looking to make a few more bucks than they get from AdSense. I

  22. I’m not so worried. There are plenty of print publications in the market that are chock full of unlabeled advertorial. And they always fail, because people can see right through it.

    I think the blog audience is even more sophisticated. Legit bloggers aren’t going to taint themselves, and the others won’t be read.

    I actually take this as a validation of the honorable and transparent blogging model.

  23. This crazy blog thing will create an awful lot of thick skins. Celebrities have had to deal with attacks, accusations and allegations for a long time… but what happens when everyone has to deal with it? 4.8 million E! True Blogger Stories on youtube?

  24. I don’t know. I don’t think anybody will accuse me of being a shill for some company. The people who continue to promote open source, open content, and a non-commercial basis for an online environment will continue to be credible. You can generally tell, I think, when somebody has capitulated to the commercial side of the house.

    It’s like when you say “We promoted the hell out of blogging as a revolutionary form of marketing – and now we see the dark side.” A lot of people out there weren’t really concerned about whether blogging was a new form of marketing. That’s something the commercial side of the house thinks is important. A lot of people thought about the conversations being created, the increased understanding being generated, the good that a free and unfettered flow of ideas and opinions could generate.

    Sure, if you are blogging from the commercial side of the house – if you are a professional blogger, say, or you are promoting the use of blogging for commercial purposes, then the emergence of a company that pays people to blog favorably about companies will dent your credibility. But let’s not fool ourselves. If you’re on the commercial side of the house, you already have a money-making agenda. It’s not like you were lily-white to begin with.

    Now I don’t know enough about this blog to say whether or not its reputation will be damaged. I haven’t followed it long enough to say whether it pursues an overtly commercial agenda. But the comment above isn’t reassuring, the fact that it jumped on the ‘2.0’ meme in the blog title, the ads in the right hand column – all of these suggests that the purpose of this blog is to make money. And if so, then anything said would be tainted by that fact, and not the actions of any external agency.

    But we’ll see.

  25. Mike, I’m saying this based on personal experience. I talked positively about a company. They didn’t pay me a dime. Hell, they didn’t even buy me lunch. And still I got slimed. There’s a reason why publishers formed organizations like the American Society of Magazine Editors to set standards — perhaps bloggers should do the same.

    Jim, my skin is sufficiently thick after 6 months of blogging. It’s not that it makes me feel bad — it’s a massive distraction. Instead of engaging in substantive debate, I have to waste time dealing with the slime. And it keeps away other people who want to have a debate, because it casts a shadow. Celebrities learn to deal with the distraction, but now bloggers will be distracted as well.

    Stephen, if only this blog were a way to make money. But you see, you are already drawing unfair conclusions — the ads on this site buy me a cup of coffee to drink while I blog. The reason I run them is to learn about online advertising by actually doing it. People too often draw conclusions from superficial evidence — it’s all about appearances. If you WERE a regular reader of this blog, you’d know that more often than not I get myself in trouble for voicing unpopular opinions, which is distinctly UNcommercial.

  26. It won’t matter to the chatters, because most such people’s blogs aren’t worth anything :-)

    The BigHeads always had this issue.

    Call it “the democratization of payola” :-)

    But I think it’s not a huge deal – what you’re missing is that payola follows power, and if you don’t have much power in the first place, you don’t have to worry about being mistakenly accused of payola – while if you do, it’s just a “cost of doing business”.

    That is, sure, the “slope” of the curve has changed a tiny bit, but the basic shape of the curve remains the same.

    Google’s AdSense was a far, far, bigger *social* effect.

  27. I don’t know. Yes, you got slimed but the fact is I would bet 99% of your regular readers could see that the accusations were totally baseless. Unlike the past, you were slimed but you were able to defend yourself clearly and accurately. That is two way communication, where you take the good with the bad and engage your audience. I can say that as your audience, I didn’t believe the shill comments, but I read them, and I read your response, and I was satisfied with your denail. You’ve built up a lot of credibility and your attacker had none.

    As for the rigid hierarchies of traditional media being guards against this, I can only say pshaw! There is an enourmous amount of undisclosed advertorial in virtually every major magazine. And unlike blogs, it’s totally opaque to the average reader.

    Also, unlike traditional media, on a blog people have the right to say, “Hey, this is lame.” Just because they can be wrong, or may have their own agendas does not mean that the ability to call people out is not a larger good. And, as with your specific experience, you too are able to defend yourself and say that without a doubt, the allegations are baseless.

  28. I think Mike is correct in that blog audiences will just stop visiting ‘morally-flexible’ blogs. Only splogs and low end blogs will be left and advertisers will see minimal ROI and a great deal of brand equity loss. I am surprised that iTunes is one of the campaigns, you’d think that they were more brand savvy.

  29. In the end I don’t think it matters. To be honest if I don’t read you blog I never even know about the service (but that’s not the point). In the end, the key is whether or not your readers believe what you say and find you a trustworthy source. If in fact you do get paid to say great things about a company, so be it. I as the reader have the choice of how much emphasis to place on your opinion. In terms of what happened with jellyfish, yeah, people jumped on you but I think that came largely as a result of your making very positive comments on a company based on their ideas of where they want to go as opposed to what they had actualy delivered (not that there is anything wrong with that). While I did not agree with you assessment of that jellyfish, I never thought you were paid by them…I just think you drank their Kool-aid. :)

  30. [...] Insightful thoughts are offered by Scott Karp on the emergence of PayPerPost, which will connect bloggers with advertisers who will pay them to write about their products. [...]

  31. I do think that what folks say on blogs about one another can have a long term serious impact. It’s nothing to scoff at. And when a number pile on – it can be devastating and resemble nothing short of a mob. But that’s the case for any form of media.

    I’ve been accused of such things as payola myself in the past. One of the reasons I don’t use my personal blog to attack anybody. Also one of the reasons why it’s a bore :)

    Hopefully you don’t consider my criticism slime Scott. One of those things about human nature is that those that attempt to be ‘for’ something, instead of ‘against’ tend to get criticized a whole lot. I’m familiar with it. Believe me. So keep on looking for new things and getting passionate about them. But yeah, watch that Kool-aid.

    As for PayPerPost -“the democratization of payola”. Yep. You put it well as always Seth.

  32. As the person who accused you of being Jellyfish’s patsy, I would like to make it very clear that I never at any time accused you of taking money from Jellyfish. To imply that the accusation was about money is either spin, or you still don’t get the issue.

    Yes, Scott, you may try to take the moral highground by stating that you do not accept money for posting, but corruption comes in many forms. Journalists and bloggers should simply be aware that, rather than using paid methods, clever marketers will use, and have always used, indirect methods of influence. Free invitations, bonds of friendship, pre-release looks, and a host of PR tricks are all ways to gain the favor of the media.

    Regarding the credibility of blogs in general; It only takes a click for readers to access multiple sources to verify information. If a blogger is seen to be unduly influenced the situation can be discussed in the comments. Whatever the issue, hopefully the blogger (and audience) can gain understanding of the issue and be more wary next time.

    I don’t blame you for getting sucked in – Jellyfish simply used you to get a free ride. It would certainly be a mistake to judge the entire contents of a blog by one seemingly tainted post, or to judge the entire value of blogging as a media because of the effects of any inflence. It’s just something to be aware of, deal with, and move on.

  33. Don’t be sad. This will crash and burn so fast the skid mark will not even stick.
    Pay Per Post Send Money! Send Product! Send Hookers!

  34. Now Mark, you are insulting Scott’s intelligence. What is so wrong with him liking Jellyfish? He has the right to state his opinion. If he tried the service and liked it, great. If you tried it and didn’t like it you can disagree with him. Tell us why you didn’t like the service but don’t insult the man’s intelligence by telling him he is sucked in by marketing.

  35. [...] Then Marshall Kirkpatrick posted about it on TechCrunch, saying it entices bloggers to “sell their soul,” and all hell broke loose. My pal Scott Karp got his knickers in a royal twist over the idea, saying that the whole concept of blogging has “now been starkly divided into the pre-PayPerPost era and the post-PayPerPost era” and that blogging has “been irrevocably tainted.” [...]

  36. If you already have been accused of being “paid to post” then having an actual paid to post doesn’t seem like it will cause you any more pain. People are already accusing you. Now they can go to Pay to Post and see if the advertisement is on the list before they accuse you.

    Looking at the list I’ve watched a couple of the shows on the list and have blogged about them previously. Is it tainting the industry to add their link to my existing post? Too bad people will abuse this or the idea might just work.

  37. You said: “Blogging should have seen this coming.

    Pay per post (the model, not the site) has been around for years in one form or another. And the debates have been going on for just as long, so, we’ve “seen this coming” and seen it going, and back around again since the beginning. It’s the same old story and gets the same reaction every time.

    PayPerPost.com and Businessweek is getting a free ride from hundreds of bloggers right now for an old story/issue that’s been exhumed once again and a new spin added.

  38. Man, chicken little much here?

    I signed up for it, and it doesn’t look that bad. If you’re honest with your readers, tell them what you’re doing up front, pick topics you’re interested in, and then post honest comments, at the very worst it’s harmless, and at the best you could give your readers useful information while getting paid for it.

    If you’re dishonest with it, your readers will be able to tell, and they’ll go away. A self-correcting problem.

    As a test, I posted about three paid things. PayPerPost itself, the Superman movie, and the Spider-man movie. All things I’m interested in. All things I had an opinion on. And I made it clear I was paid to do it (as an aside, I also posted a picture of Brandon Routh posing with some women that work with my mom, they were his teachers in gradeschool. So I really was planning on saying something about Superman, this PayPerPost thing just happened to coincide with it).

    BTW, it should be pointed out that they don’t force you to say nice things. At its heart PayPerPost is selling links on blogs, not buying favorable reviews. I kind of doubt a live human is even checking every single post, so even if they did try to enforce the tone of the post, it wouldn’t work. And if you’re not enforcing tone, then how is this ultimately different than being paid to review movies, cars, or anything else for a magazine or newspaper, when those same things are featured in the ads that pay your salary?

  39. [...] For instance Darren Rowse says that he’s left feeling uneasy about this concept while Jason Calacanis bluntly calls it stupid and evil. Business Week, Techcrunch, Naked Conversations, Post Bubble, Publishing 2.0, Inkblots and more blogs are clearly not making life easier for PayPerPost.com whose chances for growth seem slim to none thanks to the bad rap. [...]

  40. To begin with, I want to remind this keyword: Infomercial. A marketing technique as old as the NYTimes. I guess you already saw some of them mainly within the paper edition of women press, Elle Magazine for instance.

    Obviously, PayPerPost proposes quite the same technique to advertisers, blending some commercial information within a personal/editorial post on a weblog.

    But at some points, to impact on the blogosphere, bloggers will have to set their own brands. If they mess up with their readers, luring them into buying something without clearly explaining it, they will loose readership, and on top of that, credibility.

    Magazine clearly say when the article hasn’t been written to inform but to sell (although some of them just put a tiny infomercial flag in the bottom left of the page).

    Some other notes:

    – As a comparison, Pheedo and other RSS ads vendors have brought standalone ads within feeds. They claim to have a higher CTR, which is not surprising. PayPerPost is based on the same infomercial technique.

    – Technically, and I haven’t checked the PayPerPost price rate, but as a blogger, I may think that writing a long post for just $5 isn’t enough.

    – Sad day for journalism, not sure. For citizen press, a bit more. But at the end of the day, people will notice that there are some good blogs, that has done many efforts to set their place, and infomercial blogs. In some ways, that means there will be a kind of bubble bursting in the blogosphere.

  41. At the same time, I see this “sad day” as a begining of a flurry of opportunities for new businesses. For example, Swede file-sharers can now buy insurance to protect themselves from gov’t fines (http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6090266.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnn)

    Just like that, maybe we can see an emergence of new businesses that are more dedicated to “protecting” individuals on the Net in a world where individuals are gaining more influences and powers, even invading some areas that were dominated by corporations in the past.

    Just a thought.

  42. [...] Wow. The blogosphere is flipping out ninja-style about PayPerPost. Notably TechCrunch and Publishing 2.0, both blogs I have a lot of respect for, and that I read regularly. InkBlots had a few things to say too. Since everyone has got their undies in a bunch over transparency and disclosure, I should say I left comments on all those blogs, and dumbly forgot to hit the CoComment button before posting to the first two.Here is my opinion in a nutshell. Everyone should shut the hell up. All this nonsense about the reputation of the blogosphere being tarnished is ridiculous. Readers are not children. They are aware that people get paid for stuff. They’re aware that all of you professional bloggers are getting paid, one way or another, to blog. They’re aware that all of the not so professional bloggers are in it for something, whether it’s recognition, or narcissism, or just an obsession for writing. Having PayPerPost pay people to mention things isn’t going to cause millions of people to suddenly wake up and realize there is no Santa Claus. They saw Mom and Dad putting the presents under the tree years ago, and keeping up the charade now is just embarrassing.Would it have been nice if PayPerPost had a less sleazy name? Yes.Would it be good if it was more clear that you don’t have to give a good review to get paid? Yes.Would it be nice if all posts that were tracked through PayPerPost were marked as such? Yes.Is this the end of the internet, blogging, innocence, or apple pie? No.Are we all clear now? Can we get back to freaking out about whatever half-baked garbage Google is announcing this week, instead of this nonsense?Disclaimer: I’m in it for something. Yes, it’s true. I like to put my thoughts in written form, so I can see what they look like outside my head. Because I have a lot of thoughts, and things get crowded in there. And I figure if those thoughts bring some benefit to the 10 or so people that read this thing, that’s a bonus. And if there is someone out there that wants to hand me ten bucks for mentioning something, then that’s good too. [...]

  43. Karl, everything you’ve ever said here has been most welcome — disagreement is great, because it leads to debate, and as I’ve said many times, that is why I blog. You can call me an idiot. I don’t care.

    But to suggest that I’m doing anything here other than express my honest, personal opinion — that I will object to ever time.

    Mark Devlin is of course back to reiterate that I was unduly influenced to by Jellyfish, suggesting that I am weak-mindedly susceptible to “Free invitations, bonds of friendship, pre-release looks, and a host of PR tricks are all ways to gain the favor of the media.” Now I have to decide whether to waste time AGAIN in a futile effort to counter this Swift-Boating, or just ignore it.

    I suppose the only tenable position that will maintain my sanity and enjoyment of blogging is to ignore it.

    Paul, payola may not be new in the blogosphere, but PayPerPost puts it over the edge by institutionalizing it in public and giving everyone a branded focal point.

    J. Jeffryes,

    I kind of doubt a live human is even checking every single post, so even if they did try to enforce the tone of the post, it wouldn’t work. And if you’re not enforcing tone, then how is this ultimately different than being paid to review movies, cars, or anything else for a magazine or newspaper, when those same things are featured in the ads that pay your salary?

    This is the key question, isn’t it — it’s all about control. Will companies pay money and cede control? I doubt it. I they find they can’t effectively control the message, then they’re not going to continue to pay for the service.

  44. scott,
    i think you’re being far too dramatic. journalists (and i’m part of the camp) like to think blogging should be a pure communications medium for news, analysts, thoughts, etc. well, my friend, isn’t not that kind of animal. blogs will become anything they want to be – news site, advertising vehicles, personal rant platforms, etc. to suggests “this is a sad, sad day for blogging, for publishing, for journalism, and for the new media revolution” is way, way over the top and smacks of elitism.
    that said, i can appreciate where you’re coming from but you need to stop thinking blogging is a uni-dimensional activity. there are low barriers to entry so anyone can do what they want. at the end of the day, companies such as payperpost may inspire someone (google, technoratic, yahoo?) to create a new blog service that “divides and conquers” or labels the blogosphere so you’ll be able to find the “good” blogs (depending on your definition of good) or, for that matter, blogs that simply shill products and services.

  45. Mark,

    What’s the difference between a blog that runs off of PayPerPost and advertising as it has traditionally been defined — it’s all paid messaging.

    And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    The problem arises when it becomes impossible to separate out the paid content from the non paid content. The whole thing becomes a whole stew laced with marketing. It’s fine if people want to make blogs that are pure advertisements. But it will now be very difficult for the average person to separate the advertisement from the non-advertisement.

    By Mark Devlin’s definition, just TALKING to a ANY commercial interest automatically turns you into an advertisement.

    I’m not suggesting that the walls can or should stay up — this is inevitable. My point here is that the world just got a whole lot messier and difficult to navigate.

  46. [...] Publishing 2.0 The Convergence of Media and Technology « PayPerPost Will Taint Us All | Home | [...]

  47. Scott, every newspaper in the free world gets accused of the same taint on their reviews. They just don’t have an instant feedback mechanism that displays the complaint to the world, unedited.

  48. Scott

    This is the key question, isn’t it — it’s all about control. Will companies pay money and cede control? I doubt it. I they find they can’t effectively control the message, then they’re not going to continue to pay for the service.

    This is another self-correcting problem. If companies try to exert more control, the most valuable bloggers — the honest ones — will stop posting their links. Those companies will then get low return on their marketing spend, and they’ll stop using the system, eventually leading to only companies that understand they have to allow the bloggers to control the message putting up requests for links.

    When you really look at it, PayPerPost is nothing, NOTHING except a sponsored link, placed inside a post that is related to the link. The main difference between a “paid post” and a Google ad on your blog is thte PayPerPost link appears next to something interesting you have to say about it.

  49. scott,
    no doubt, you’re right the blogosphere is becoming “mess-ier” as entities such as payperpost enter the fray. i would argue the blogosphere gets more difficult to find the good stuff each and every day simply because there are thousands of new blogs created. it’s like going to a grocery store and finding the shelves and overflowing with merchandise to the point where you can’t find the kraft dinner. hence, the need for a tool/service that can figure out or suggest the good stuff.

  50. By Mark Devlin’s definition, just TALKING to a ANY commercial interest automatically turns you into an advertisement.

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I neither said, nor implied this.

    You did much more than talk to a commercial interest. You promoted a company as “revolutionary” without even seeing their site, and without giving your readers enough information about the service to comment about it. In other words you promoted Jellyfish at the expense of your readers.

    So far in your defence of the issue you have used ad hominem attacks, issued a vague threat about what happened to others who have crossed you, suggested I had an external agenda (including possibly owning stock in Google Adwards, or stock in a Jellyfish competitor), suggested that I have sour grapes because you didn’t mention Crisscross on your blog, implied that I accused you of posting for money, and falsely attributed a definition to me.

    I hope you will let this go now, as your defence tactics are, to my mind, harming you more than the original issue.

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