This post about "payola" in the blogosphere says it all. Much like the book "Hitmen" that shed light into the nasty practice years ago of "paid" promotion in the record industry, the post over at TechCrunch about AppGate was a kick in the pants for me to write a post I've been thinking about for some time.
As long time readers know I don't have ads in my blog. For a short time I ran TypePad ads from SixApart but when that ended, I never really cared to make this an ad driven site. instead I chose to subsidize the $14.95 a month it takes to keep the blog running, and that way, not feel obligated to anyone, other than you, the readers, in what I write, when I post or what they are about. So please, do not ask me about running your ad.
When it comes to reviews, my approach is simple. First, did I use it? Do I like it? Does it solve a problem that needs solving? Does it replace something else? What does it compare best to--and is it better? And, most importantly, would my audience care to know about it. Sure I get lot of neat gadgets, early looks in beta to new and sometimes game changing technology, but more often than not, what I have to say about most of the things I'm asked to review are better said to the companies directly, because as many friends in the business already know, "no one breaks a product or service better" and that's a double entendre' of the first magnitude. Of course when a product is mature and has gone GA, I am quick to post the issue, as I did with Gizmo last week, as sometimes the megaphone approach works best, especially with Google.
As for guest posts, in the length of time I've had this blog, I think there has been one I posted. That was from Michael Robertson who has been a friend, and neighbor, and a success in just about everything he's touched. This is my blog. My opinions and my audience. I care about you the reader, and take care in what I post about (even the coffee cups and their secret meaning) so for those who want to guest post, in the words of the Sopranos finest, "forget about it."
Now regarding my clients. I have two rules. One, mention that they are clients of my agency, Comunicano. And, two. Give everyone else who we share news with the opportunity to post first, and even then, I may not post at all. It's not because I don't have a perspective on what my clients are up to. Quite the opposite. But because so much of what we do as an agency is more than simply publicity and tried and true PR or social media, and often time what we are doing falls into the product strategy and business development aspects of a client's business, as well as leading their overarching communications strategy I'm better off keeping silent and letting others do the story telling so as to not come off as any company's shill.
Thanks for being a reader......I really do appreciate it.