THEN: The PayPerPost Virus Spreads
Two new services that are similar to the controversial PayPerPost have announced their launch in the last few days: ReviewMe and CreamAid.
PayPerPost, a marketplace for advertisers to pay bloggers to write
about products (with our without disclosure), recently gained
additional attention when they announced a $3 million round of venture financing.
The PayPerPost model brings up memories of payola in the music
industry, something the FCC and state attorney generals are still
trying to eliminate or control. Given the distributed and unlicensed
nature of the blogosphere, controlling payoffs to bloggers will be
exponentially more difficult.
Our position on these pay-to-shill services is clear: they are a
natural result of the growth in size and influence of the blogosphere,
but they undermine the credibility of the entire ecosystem and mislead
NOW: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
The title, which is a quote from the movie casablanca, is what came
to mind tonight when I read the complete train wreck occuring on TechMeme over advertisements that contain a written message from the publisher. The whole thing was started by Valleywag of course.
The ads in question are a staple of FM Publishing - a standard ad
unit contains a quote by the publisher saying something about
something. It isn’t a direct endorsement. Rather, it’s usually an
answer to some lame slogan created by the adveriser. It makes the ad
more personal and has a higher click through rate, or so we’ve been
told. In the case of the Microsoft ad, we were quoted how we had become
“people ready,” whatever that means. See our answer and some of the
(I think it will be hard to find this text controversial, or anything
other then extremely boring). We do these all the time…generally FM
suggests some language and we approve or tweak it to make it less lame.
The ads go up, we get paid. This has been going on for months and
months - at least since the summer of 2006. It’s nothing new. It’s text
in an ad box. I think people are pretty aware of what that means…which