November 11th, 2006

A Dichotomy: ReviewMe and PayPerPost

This is a paid review.

Three months ago, I wrote a short article on PayPerPost.com, a blog-for-pay company that received a lot of flak for luring bloggers to dish about stuff they couldn’t care less about sans disclosure.

Yesterday, I received an email from TextLinkAds saying that my blog was “pre-approved” to join a new blog advertising system called ReviewMe. Skeptic that I am, I was just about ready to mash this one like a poor potato. Bloggers like me are always on the lookout for ways to cash in, so to speak, either to make ends meet or speculate on our next trip abroad or gadget purchase. Honestly, I make enough to support myself and my cravings. I don’t make money from this blog per se, but it is the coat hanger of my credibilty. Nowhere else can anyone express themselves better than through their personal blogs. PayPerPost and ReviewMe puts our dignity as writers on a balance — perhaps tipped more heavily on their end. Half a decade ago blogging was nothing more than a hobby for everyone. Now it’s behaving more and more like mainstream media. People nowadays are scouring blogs for opinions, or perhaps information in aid of opinions. That’s because the blogosphere is still relatively unadulterated compared to television and print with minimal extraneous influences and advertising. But all of that is changing. Like it or not, bloggers are gaining leverage in our day-to-day influences. From cooking to buying stocks, which roof tile to buy and who to vote for, blogs are giving bookstores and libraries a run for their money. As their influence grows, it is inevitable that the subject of making money comes into the picture.

Initially, many questioned PayPerPost for not allowing its members to mention that what they’re writing about is paid for. But looking at their site right now, they made some slight changes by allowing members to put up a Disclosure Policy page (much like a Privacy Policy) to “promote transparency” among bloggers. But the fact of the matter is, the nagging issue remains: these changes aren’t required plus bloggers aren’t paid unless their reviews are positive.

I’m guessing Andy Hagans, Patrick Gavin and Aaron Wall took the PayPerPost case as an example NOT to follow while brainstorming ReviewMe.

From Andy’s blog:

It’s not payola: bloggers are required to disclose that reviews are paid, and they are not pressured to make the reviews positive.

From Aaron’s blog:

Four elements which will work nice in our network to filter out bad products and bad offers are
– bloggers will disclose their relationship with the advertiser
– bloggers only review things that are interested in
– we encourage brutal honesty
– the comment sections on popular blogs will help keep advertisers and bloggers honest

I have been doing a lot of research and I can say I’m convinced that ReviewMe’s disclosure policy makes it the better choice than anything out there. Good or bad review, you still get paid. Freedom of expression prevails. Now, it is up to the bloggers to exercise sound judgment in accepting review requests while still staying within context of their blog content, and more importantly, to overcome the bias that always goes with being paid.

Posted in Sponsors


  1. 7 Comments

  2. Nice Ideas said...

    So much did ReviewMe pay you!??
    lol

    Nov 11, 2006

  3. Estranged Love said...

    LOL!!

    by the way, on ppp, if you don’t want to write positive things about a site, you don’t have to choose the opps which request positive tone. that’s simple 🙂

    Nov 16, 2006

  4. Amanda said...

    It really is always nice to see people bash PPP and assum e we’re writing positive reviews or that we’re forced. You’re sadly mistaken, most PPP posts have either positive or neutral (meaning you don’t have to be like “omg i love this product it’s so great!”) and you still get paid.

    Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to bash being paid to blog while you’re doing just that?

    Nov 16, 2006

  5. Andrew Ian Dodge said...

    Well my readers are far clever enough to tell when I am shilling for a bit of dosh or writing from the heart. I have posted my disclosure policy on my blog as well.

    I see nothing wrong with making money from your blog. Besides most people are so crap at writing advert copy its bloody obvious to all but the densest person they are adverts.

    Nov 16, 2006

  6. Beth said...

    It’s very hypocritical to bash one service while being paid by another. We aren’t forced to write positive reviews-if an advertiser makes such a request and I don’t find anything positive AT ALL about the service or product- I don’t take the opp. Simple as that. PPP doesn’t force us to do anything. Most opps are neutral. As for making a judgement on a service based on what you have read-you should confirm your sources before posting inaccurate information.

    Nov 16, 2006

  7. Nice Ideas said...

    And the good thing about PPP is that they don’t pay me to bash up ReviewMe..

    So cheap of ReviewMe to actually make you bash up PPP and still have enough guts to display ‘This is a paid review’ at the top…

    This is more of negative publicity..

    Nov 16, 2006

  8. Ben Richards said...

    I’ve just been paid the $15 for the post I did of Reviewme.com

    Yipieeee

    Dec 1, 2006

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