Monday, December 18, 2006

Why Did PayPerPost Go Full Disclosure?

The buzz is abounding on many blogging sites about PayPerPost's decision to go full disclosure, including a recent post I made here at Blogging for Money. Now I am in complete support of this effort by PPP and any other site that tries to go more transparent but I think there is much more to this decision. First, how did TechCrunch obtain PayPerPost's press release that wasn't supposed to be released officially until today? Second, why didn't PayPerPost just inform their bloggers of the change and subtly complete the transition to full disclosure?

I think the answer to both of these questions is simple, traffic. The more bloggers and exposure PayPerPost gets the more well known their service becomes. Sure, they could have been subtle about the change but why not go big and garner as much traffic as possible. Smart business move right? Well, maybe. With PayPerPost's increased exposure and users comes increased critics as well. There are a number of outspoken critics of the service already and this will likely only generate more of them. Sure some of them are now satisfied that their bloggers are disclosing their affiliation but many feel this just isn't enough.

Most want the service to be neutral and let their bloggers make an honest opinion on a product or service as opposed to forcing them to make a positive post about it. Now this is where PayPerPost runs into a lot of problems. How valid is a service if it require bloggers to make positive "opinions" about a product or service. Then again how many advertisers would use a service that might pay bloggers to bad mouth the product they are trying to promote. Not many in my opinion and this puts us where we sit today?

So what does the future hold in store for PayPerPost? I think the first thing that will happen is once the buzz from this moves settles down PPP will "announce" that they are no longer going to require bloggers be positive about a product or service. These moves puts them more in line with their number one competitor ReviewMe which allows bloggers to give their honest opinion and tell people they are paid to give it. With more and more competitors to PPP emerging, namely ReviewMe and Blogsvertise, the future of the company is still in jeopardy and the jury is still out on whether any of these moves will quell critics and gain a wider acceptance for the controversial program.

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