Get Them Blogging!

by Karoli on October 20, 2006 · 6 comments

Here’s an interesting concept — broadening the scope of bloggers who receive products to review. Essentially bloggers fill out a questionaire to be included in a registry accessible by PR firms and companies interested in consumer feedback.

Now, given the debate over PayPerPost, which still rages on even today, will this idea find its way into the Calacanis axis of evil, too?

Rather than spew my own opinion here, I’d love to hear yours. (Don’t assume mine is predictable though — I might surprise you. :))

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason October 20, 2006 at 10:27 am

Getting a product to review is fine provided you send it back after you’ve used it for the review. The New York Times, NPR, WSJ, all have ethics policies for this kind of thing and we follow them.

Now, if you’re a user you could take this stuff and keep it and maintain a lower level of ethics, but still be ethical if you were 100% up front that you kept the product. For example, if you got a free trip to Paris and were 100% up front with it that would let the reader make the decision to trust your blog posts about it.

this is all about honesty… if people are very upfront and honest–AKA transparent–it’s all good.

no one wants to be deceived–do you?

2 drumsnwhistles October 20, 2006 at 10:43 am

Hey, Jason, welcome back to the blog. Before I address your questions, I do want to let you know how much I loved your Adam Curry imitation on the Gillmor Gang this week. I haven’t laughed that hard at a podcast in forever. Well done.

If you visit the link I posted, they’re actually suggesting people start blogs for the sole purpose of entering this registry and reviewing the products.

I keep thinking there must be a better way….I really don’t want to read sixty blogs with the same product review on them.

If you look at my Blog Principles you will see exactly what my position is on being up front. I agree — 100% transparency is the only way these models work.


3 dawn October 21, 2006 at 10:41 am

I just want to be clear that we do NOT tell people to start a blog just to review stuff. For one, why would a PR person want access to a blog without an audience??? I do appreciate the reminder that bloggers should say that this was a product sent expressly for review. Our PR faq also reminds PR folks that they can’t dictate what kind of review they get — only where it links and whether or not they include an image.

Jason, consumer mags often keep samples provided they’re inexpensive and it’d be a bother to send it back. Make-up? Books? CDs? I’ve reviewed a lot of smaller things for magazines and I’ve never been asked to send them back. Furniture, electronics, and high-end clothing? Yeah, that goes back. These are the kinds of products I expect people to get (like the Kashi granola bar promotion that just went on — why not send ‘em out to bloggers into nutrition?).

4 drumsnwhistles October 22, 2006 at 1:31 pm

Hi dawn,

We really agree more than we disagree, though I’d swear I read something on the site about getting your mom, aunt, etc. to start blogs and register them. If not, my bad on that one.

I don’t see any reason why marketers shouldn’t broaden their scope to a wider blogging audience and as long as disclosure is made it shouldn’t be a big deal, but then, I didn’t think PayPerPost was a big hairy deal either until it blew up in the outer blogosphere.



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