I was watching Tivo on my Sony TV tonight while browsing the TechCrunch and The Loose Wire blogs on my Dell D600 laptop when what I read almost made me gag on my deliciously chewy Snickers bar. Apparently, some bloggers are being paid to promote products in their posts! I chugged a hit of pure energy from my refreshing Red Bull and read on.
PayPerPost.com is linking advertisers to bloggers with Maxim-like lubriciousness. Bloggers can find advertisers on the PayPerPost site who are offering to pay bloggers if they link to a site or review a product, and are sometimes only offering to pay if the blogger’s product review is positive. Thinking that I could learn more, I clicked on a graphic that declared “Easiest. Money. Ever.” on the TechCrunch site, but it only took me to a website trying to sell advertisements to bloggers.
I paused my Tivo, just when I was about to find out which team on The Apprentice was going to win the contest to create the best XBox 360 display at a Wal-Mart store, so that I could focus more on the story that laid beside the Intel Xeon Inside ad. I was shocked, shocked to find out that any of the 40 million bloggers out there would modify their content for money.
Seriously, buyer beware. This isn’t a case of “you get what you pay for,” because many of the free blogs that I read are of excellent quality and present trustworthy opinions. Still, don’t be naive, read with a critical eye. Would you be surprised to find out that people blog to promote their agenda, their book, their company, their friend’s company?
By the way, what are people being paid to blog about by these shameless capitalists? Looking at the PayPerPost list of opportunities, it looks like I could get $5 to post 50 words about public transportation, $5 to post 20 words about the TV show Hell’s Kitchen (which is god-awful…does this mention qualify me for the money?), and $10 to post 20 words about the May 20 release of the Spider Man 3 movie (damn, three words short…wait, now I’m over the twenty word requirement!).