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Thursday, July 12, 2007

ReviewMe Advertorials

Patrick Gavin’s ReviewMe service in the past allowed bloggers to create paid reviews of websites; though you didn’t have to write anything positive in your review, these services are controversial. (Disclosure: I consulted Patrick on the ethics/ non-ethics of paid blog post ads in 2006.)
They now have a new additional service at ReviewMe called RM Advertorial. Wikipedia defines “advertorial” as “an advertisement written in the form of an objective opinion editorial, and presented in a printed publication – usually designed to look like a legitimate and independent news story.” There’s some differences to the old ReviewMe style:

I don’t think I’d want to use such a service, but I think it might actually be better than paid blog posts where the blogger has to say something... because here, at least it’s a clear-cut thing (provided the blog template makes it very clear who’s the author of a post). It’s an advertisement, period, and not aiming to be “natural conversation.” The blogger’s opinion isn’t needed, and perhaps the blogger decides that one paid post every other week is less annoying to readers than lots of AdSense, or affiliate links, all around every post.

Still, I have a suspicion especially those using RSS readers won’t like to have one more channel of noise to enter their info world. While RSS ads may become the norm – e.g. Google didn’t buy Feedburner just to be nice and make it free, but likely also to include AdSense – at least “normal” RSS ads don’t pop up as unread items.

[Thanks Patrick!]


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