The other day I was giving my friend Andrew Bennett, aka BenSpark, guff. He had been featured in a post at the New York Times, “Approval by a Blogger May Please a Sponsor”, and didn’t tell me. Seriously? So, I just had to rib him. As the lashing took place via Twitter, he pointed out the fact that he didn’t have my digits…
Well, he asked… So I gave it to him. But alas he didn’t call
Like a school girl waiting for the potential prom date to call, I’m still not over it Mark Sampson, I waited and waited…. Holding the phone in my hand, afraid I might miss the call. A telemarketer selling, oddly enough, “Home delivery of the New York Times…” called and a slew of other boring “people”. But no BenSpark. Luckily other tweeps joined in, putting pressure on him… Thanks @ShellyKramer and @cresoft 😉
When I had given out all hope and resigned myself to never hearing his sexy voice… the phone rang…
“Evan?… This is Drew.”
“Who?” That’s me trying to play it cool.
“Drew… you know… BenSpark.”
“Oh… right.” Hehehe…
We bantered for a bit… struggling, like blind dwarfs at a Nordic buffet, to find a common ground. When we started talking about my favorite topic. Me! We chatted about some of the, shh, secret projects I’ve been working on and why I haven’t posted in FOREVER. Don’t worry… You will find out more about that soon. Promise 😉
Then we got back to the article in the NY Times. It was a great article that you need to read, after you finish reading and commenting on this post, hehe. The article deals with how bloggers make money from advertisers and “sponsors”. Mostly, how some of us get things free from companies that want us to share our experience with the product/service with you, our devoted readers. This is coming up in the news a lot lately due to the FTC’s push to clamp down and regulate these types of advertising. Btw, most of us who fall into those type of deals, think that some regulation is a good thing. I for one want you to know when I’ve been paid to review. Because, I will ALWAYS tell you what I really think about the product. Even if it blows chunks! I wont steer you wrong… well maybe for a $100k 😉
Any ways, this led to another article that had featured Bennett. Yes, another one! I guess traditional media folks have figured out that this guy is the cat’s meow. But I’ve known for some time… Hugs. But I digress… He told me about the second article written by Laurie Burkitt, at Forbes “Blogola” (witty name). I was like holy snake poop Batman… “You were in a Forbes article”… envy you! Then he peed all over my corn flakes…
The article at Forbes was a trash piece attacking the über blogging hero and IZEA Inc CEO Ted Murphy. Why anyone would want to attack Murphy was beyond me. Bennett told me how he was misquoted and that they even got the url to his site wrong. I was astonished, to say the least. I gave Bennett my word that I would dust off my blog and write this post. Ted Murphy needs bloggers to speak the truth on this, he has earned that!
We wrapped up our conversation and applaud each other’s work… then said goodnight. (I miss your sweet voice already… please call back). Then I got to work.
I didn’t just want to write a retaliation piece. Setting out to do more than just attack Forbes back. Instead of my normal recounting of the facts and figures… I’m just gonna tell ya like it is!
First of all Ted Murphy is NOT a scam artist. He started his network to help bloggers make money without suffering the Google Smack down. See, Google drops the PR and indexing of blogs that write “Sponsored Reviews”. Why? No fraking idea. Some suspect that it’s because Google wants to control ALL advertising streams. Others think it’s because “Sponsored Reviews” hurt your reputation, thus Google thinks you’re a sell out, HA! Either way, it really sucks.
So, Murphy developed a system that ranks blogs based on readership and authority, which is how it should be done. Then he developed an ad system that works with that ranking. Offering different types of ads including reviews.
Murphy was also meeting with the FTC the very day that the Forbes article was posted. Forbes made it seem like the FTC was watching him… ready to ponce on him! Why? It makes no sense at all. Because Murphy has long championed the idea of regulation and practical Disclosure Policies. These tools would only help the reputations of honest bloggers and swiftly deal with the dodgy bloggers.
The Forbes writers seem to think that because bloggers are getting paid to review things, this makes them liars. Since Murphy is helping us get the reviews… That makes him the king of liars? But most of us tell our readers in a Disclosure Policy which reviews were paid for and how they were paid for. Meaning, I will tell you that the company sent me the product for free or they paid me cash to review them. Either way I will tell you. I may not tell you how much they paid me, hehe. But I will always tell you if and when. I will also always give a 100% honest review.
That’s what Forbes fails to see. They think that we, bloggers, are being bought off. That we can’t give an honest review once we’ve been paid. Well, what about them? Are they unable to write a factual article on a company if that company is also one of their advertisers?
Their logic just doesn’t make since to me. Why would I want to fudge a review? If I was to give a glowing review for a crappy cheap product that breaks… Would you trust my opinion next time? It would only hurt my reputation. So, you can buy a review from me… but you can’t buy my integrity or my reputation!
Btw, I am really starting to think that the folks at Forbes just down right hate bloggers… Read the article “Attack of the Blogs”.
Be sure to go and tell them ALL what you think.