Greg was pointed to an earlier post he had made in April 2004 by a reader;
Blog Advertising Dilemma April 27, 2004
“To conclude, I don’t think the issue is ever really about the author selling out, as realistically business is business and expenses need to be managed. The tricker, finer detail is actually related to how the author implements that compromise and how effectively they manage user perception and impact.”
More Fuel For The Marquis Fire Dec 6, 2004
“I don’t know that my opinions on the matter have really changed much. The Marquis approach is certainly unique at this point in time. The problem, however, is it does set a precedent that may be quite difficult to untangle. The current crop of supporters seems fair and balanced, but that’s certainly not a guarantee for future participants, nor is the overriding principles and derived legal documents.”
That’s the big danger; that participants might prove to be unethical, or that they might make an effort to decieve the public. I admit that’s a danger, but part of the way of preventing such an occurrence is to pay attention to the people taking part in the program. You can’t just open something like this up to the extent that Google’s Ads are – bad bloggers would hurt much worse than bad reviews by good bloggers. Bad reviews of your product are the least of your worries if you have people acting like BzzAgents.
I think I need to write an entire post about the BzzAgent thing – I signed up for it just to see what all the talk was about. It’s not a PR thing, it’s not marketing; I think it’s a CULT. I think that they’re sending me out a package with my new Nike shoes, trackpants, and a package of instant pudding. Everything on their pages is BzzThis and BzzThat. It’s like reading PR written by Smurfs.