The Payperpost Mess

Filed as News on July 1, 2006 10:52 pm

Payperpost has ignited quite a controversy in the last 24 hours with its offer of paying bloggers to write about specific topics as a form of advertising.

Payperpost is a new advertising company that is paying bloggers to write pieces promoting the wares of its advertisers. After posting a piece, a blogger can be paid what is currently $5 – $10 or so per post on the topic. It boasts a simple and clean interface.

But is this really a controversy worth worrying about?

There are some who wish there wasn’t any advertising on blogs at all. Even as recently as this morning, Dave Winer was complaining about advertising monies earned by Firefox on Google referrals.

The reality is that any of us that stakes a claim in the blogosphere as a “problogger” earns money for writing about something. It’s not a far leap to go from there over to paying bloggers to write about a specific topic – or even a topic proposed by an advertiser.

I fail to see the issue here as long as the blogger is properly disclosing whether or not its an ad.

And yes, we were paid for writing this piece.

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  1. By Chartreuse posted on July 2, 2006 at 8:36 am
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    the usual complainers are complaining. Payperpost will be popular.
    The real question is will folks disclose their posts are ads.
    I doubt it.

  2. By colbert posted on July 2, 2006 at 9:26 am
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    in the end, if no one earns enough money to keep their webhosting up, we’ll just be stuck with boring old websites like Geocities or Tripod. Oh dreadness

  3. By Mike posted on July 2, 2006 at 12:15 pm
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    I’ve said it 2-3 other blogs so far, and I’ll say it again – We’re all just paid, or wanna be paid, writers.

    Whether you admit it or not, if you have any form of text link advertising on your blog/site, you are doing exactly what they are asking you to do.

    You can try and delude yourself and take some imaginary high-road, but you’re still selling words for dollars and I’m all for that.

    Whether or not you use their particular service changes nothing.

    I may not use their service, but I’m all for being paid to create content, in whatever ways I can find.

    Complainers complain about complaining about them complaining, so tell ‘em to get a life… one far away from me, if possible.

    I’m here to be a tax payer, a big one if possible, not a tax burden to society.

  4. By David Krug posted on July 2, 2006 at 12:48 pm
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    I took the money.

  5. By Jim Kukral posted on July 3, 2006 at 8:14 am
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    I think you miss the point. I’ll tell you what, if you go ahead and write a post about Nike shoes because Nike paid you to write it in a favorable light with thier guidelines, I lose trust in your blog if I know about it.

    Ask yourself this question, why does a reader want to read an advertisement when your blog was supposed to be something else? Writing a post in such a manner is exactly that, and totally different than having links and other things “around” your content. Yeah, and of course if you fully disclose you’re writing ads, your readers might not care, sure.

    Again, I’m not against it. I just don’t think blogging is ready for it yet.

  6. By Shel Holtz posted on July 3, 2006 at 9:03 am
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    The problem is that Pay Per Post does NOT require disclosure. While there are plenty of us advocating blogs, there are as many, if not more, decrying them as untrustworthy. As bloggers now pitch products without disclosing they’re being paid for it, the reputation of blogs in general is likely to suffer. It’s a very bad idea.

  7. By David Krug posted on July 3, 2006 at 9:09 am
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    I think blogging’s largely white middle class hierachy isn’t ready for it. I think a lot of average folks who use blogging to supplement their income is ready for it.

    Jeremy Wright was doing sponsored posts 2 years ago. Back then no one cried and threw a fit.

    Now you have the leadership of the blogosphere coming out and saying that the whole concept should fail. And bloggers are sleezy for taking the money.

    You are only sleezy if you don’t have a disclosure statement on your blog, or within your post.

    That’s my 3 cents. And I’ve defended Ted 2000% percent more than I probably should have and the reason for that is I want to see this program succeed.

  8. By Jim Kukral posted on July 3, 2006 at 11:47 am
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    “I think a lot of average folks who use blogging to supplement their income is ready for it. ”

    right, so all 0.001% of bloggers then David.

    We’re talking about “real” bloggers here, not us.

  9. By Simon Owens posted on July 3, 2006 at 6:08 pm
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    Please tell me you’re joking when you seem to imply that having ads within your content is no different than having ads outside your content.

    Even if you fully disclose the fact that you’ve been paid to write about the content, how do we know whether or not the opinions you’re expressing are your own? For instance, at the end of this post, you say “And yes, we were paid for writing this piece.”

    I don’t know whether or not you’re joking, but let’s say that you’re telling the truth. How do I know that the opinions in this entire post are your own? I don’t. Do you really think that it’s not that big a deal? Or were you paid to write that?

    What happens if a post that you write that you weren’t paid to write contradicts an opinion in one that you were paid to write. Are we allowed to hold you accountable for the contradiction?

    Just by writing this post you’ve really hurt the integrity of your blog.

  10. By Megan posted on July 3, 2006 at 8:11 pm
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    Let’s be real here- five to ten dollars per post for things like coloured bubble-wrap and pinic baskets is not what I would consider ‘supplemental income’. Especially when some of those offers require a ‘positive’ review. I’m a writer, and I want to get paid as much as the next guy, but quite frankly, I blog because I can express my opinions as freely and as creatively as I want. I can strut my professional writing stuff on my blog and it comes in very handy when I want to show a prospective employer the things I’m passionate about as a writer and how much I’ve honed my skills.
    Given the variety of opportunities available on that list, there may only be two or three of those a week that I actually want to blog about. And forcing myself to blog about some of those things just so I can get five measely dollars just seems kind of, well, sleazy. I already work in a job where I write about things and in ways that are kind of stupid. I already don’t particularly like it, and I get paid a lot more than that.

  11. By John Mudd posted on July 3, 2006 at 10:23 pm
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    I recently joined Payperpost, and while I haven’t found anything that fits my blog to blog about, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Advertorials and PR pieces are run in newspapers all the time, and sometimes you can’t tell the difference between a news article and an advertorial in some papers.

  12. By steve posted on July 6, 2006 at 10:30 am
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    After I checked it out, the facts are as follows; a) you’re not required to say that you are beign paid, but you’re also not required to hide it – as a blogger it’s up to your own “morality” to decide what you want to do, b) if you don’t want to be forced to write positivly about a subject, then don’t accept the offer to write about it – you aren’t assigned jobs by payperpost, you get to pick what you want to write about (so nothing is beign forced on you), c) it’s obvious that the system wasn’t set up to compensate “pro” bloggers, it was designed for a different style of blogging and advertsining than what they use – you just can’tcompare apples to oranges like everyone is trying to do

    the people who are decrying payperpost are making dollars from their sponsorship and that’s great, but to lable payperpost as morally wrong or sleazy would be like saying Nike ahould stop paying athletes for wearing their hats and shoes because it’s wrng to hock their products. I agree with Matt (the original post) that this isn’t worth worrying about – but give credit to the company, if anything, there approach has people talking and that’s advertising that no amount of money can by.

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