Now when it comes to making money online I’m no naysayer on every new idea that comes to the surface. I’m not one of those “Oh, man … the blogosphere should be free of the evil money.” Bah! Let’s get over it: You want to make money, I want to make money … heck, we all want to make money.
Fine. So we got that out of the way. We’re here to write and blog AND make money. The problem is that we’re still trying to figure out a way to make it all work.
But there’s one exception to my “lets all make money” rule: PayPerPost.
A few months ago when PayPerPost launched it attracted quite a bit of attention – lots of it negative.
This week they have “won” $3 million in venture capital and here we go again.
Personally, I don’t like PayPerPost.
Two things get me with PayPerPost. The fact that you don’t have to disclose and the fact that the advertiser can request a positive write up.
Yes, they argue that most advertisers don’t ask for it and ask for a neutral post. A neutral post! Boring! … “Product A is okay I guess but then maybe it’s not. It has these features blah, blah … but I’m not really sure. I’m being neutral on this one – End of Post.” Dear PayPerPost: Now pay me my $5.
That, sorry to say, is bullshit blogging. And then what of those who glowingly praise a product or service just for the money – ie: pimping their posts.
And I’m not the only one questioning this …
“…you will never read unbiased reviews when they are written by financially desperate bloggers. And how are we to know who’s strapped for cash, and whoring their blog space to make a few bob?” (via The Brown Stuff)
Now there’s this guy, Peter Wright, who has recently joined the company and who seems to have taken on the job of fighting the big fight for PayPerPost (me thinks part of the 3 mill should go to a pr firm to get err … better pr).
He’s the one that said we “WON” $3million in funding. Won! And here I thought that VC’s were more business orientated rather than a mere lottery machine. I may be wrong on that count though. If so, then hello Mr Bubble.
And now there’s already a spoof blog on PayPerPost by a bloger named: Paid Blogger.
Mr Paid Blogger says in his welcoming post “This blog was made to make money from PayPerPost.com. They pay me to blog about what their advertisers need blogged, so I’m going to make a sweet bunch of moola just writing about things offered in their system.Enjoy! And thanks for reading.”
Enjoy and thanks for reading. That is the crux of the whole matter. What am I reading? Am I reading the thoughts and opinions of an individual blogger or one that is being paid for his views?
I might as well just subscribe to the rss feeds of my favourite corporate press release departments. At least I know where they’re coming from.
I’m sorry if I’m a bit dated, but a bit of transparency would be nice when I give up my time and attention to read a blog. It also goes a long way to building credibility – but only if you want credibility.
Now don’t get me wrong … I’m no naive schmuck. I know fully well that such non-transarency exists in ALL forms of media, but heck why can’t blogging be different?
Credibility, integrity, compromised, selling your soul have been brought up in comments across the b’sphere ever since PayPerPost launched. The sad fact is that in the “real world” blogging does have a credibility issue. Lets not beat around the bush on this. Many snicker at this “citizen journalism” thing going on and see it as one giant cesspool.
Sadly, PayPerPost will only perpetuate this thinking.
So what happens when a “real” blogger uses this system? Without disclosure, it kills the blog, dead. And even with disclosure of an “ad”, they’re asking you to do the ulitmate no-no in blog advertising, which is to write the ad as if it is a blog entry. Not below the entry, not floating in the entry, but it IS the entry, disclosed or not.
That pull out quote from Jim sums it up for me in a nutshell.
Then there was TechCrunch’s PayPerPost.com offers to sell your soul…
“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. Wow.”
and in the comments the author writes:
“disclosure of financial interests related to what you write about seems to me an important first step in maintaining credibility.”
And this from a real life advertiser using PayPerPost commenting at TechCrunch…
“Trying to contact bloggers directly for ads is a huge waste of time, too much back and forth, since they are not professionals, and they have no clue what the value of their ad inventory really is, and they don’€™t even know how to write an invoice.”
Charming! Would like to know who this company is that thinks so little of bloggers. But if he’s right, then maybe serious bloggers should knuckle down and learn the art of advertising so that they can get their due rewards and not sell their credibility for $5 or so a pop.
Robert “The Scobleizer” Scoble doesn’t seem to hold much hope for PayPerPost and in fact see’s it in a different light – gaming Google.
My one main question I want to ask ALL bloggers. If you are using PayPerPost why don’t you fully disclose this on your sidebar or even footer? It will only take a few lines, something like: “disclosure: some posts in [your blog] are being paid for by PayPerPost.”
I don’t think that’s too much to ask or is it?
Martin Neumann blogs at The Blog Columnist