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PayPerPost Solicits Gizmodo, Gets Wagged

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PayPerPost offers bloggers payment for writing reviews of products or services. Their business model has drawn criticism from sites like Valleywag, which just happens to be under the Gawker Media umbrella with Gizmodo.

Marketers take note – a little research can save the company some embarrassment when making a pitch. If the recipient is already hostile, trying to break through might work, but it could backfire. Valleywag has engaged in substantial PayPerPost mockery, with several posts consistently making the same point: Nick Denton and company don’t like the company’s business model:

The problem with PPP isn’t that it’s not effective, assuming it is effective versus other kinds of product promotion. The problem is that it’s sleazy manipulation, pure and simple. You either recognize that sleaze for what it is, or you don’t.

Now that Denton is back to handling Valleywag’s editorial duties after a break, he was probably delighted to see that Murphy had provided him a little grist for the morning posting mill. Murphy dropped a note in the Gizmodo mailbox, asking about their interest in working with Pay Per Post. Denton promptly reposted the email at Valleywag with accompanying commentary:

One would have thought that the attitude of blog publishers, including Gawker Media, publisher of this site, was clear: Pay Per Post, the blog marketing scam backed by Tim Draper, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is payola journalism. Disclosure does not absolve those publishers which take bribes from Pay Per Post clients such as Hewlett Packard.

Not everyone agrees that a paid review is tantamount to abducting homeless people and selling their organs on the black market. Andy Beard blogged about his experience in writing about Volusion for another pay-for-review service, ReviewMe:

There is not even a hint of the paid review affecting my opinion There is no question of bias towards the product I have provided what I feel is constructive criticism that will hopefully help improve the service for both new and future customers Asking a blogger for a real opinion about a product, and being willing to pay them some compensation for the time invested is a very worthwhile method of gaining feedback, and is not buying opinion.

Allen Stern at Center Networks thinks Murphy would benefit from a shift in business model:

Become an advertorial company. Do what TV, print and radio does… charge for a slot. So for example, you could buy a full page post on Gizmodo, CN, TC, BB, anywhere that will allow it (I am not saying these will/would). Then the advertiser provides the full content for that post, title, links, etc.

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PayPerPost Solicits Gizmodo, Gets Wagged
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  • Anonymous

    While I understand the criticism involved here. I highly disagree with the use of the word “scam” in reference to PayPerPost. A scam is something that intentionally rips people off. PPP does NOT do this and the word scam is just negative and not at all relevant to what’s being asked.

    If you sign up to be a blogger you do not pay any fees ~ you GET paid! And there is plenty of proof out there that PPP pays, daily, and on time.