Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the future of blogging?

So this is what we've come to - from our humble roots of diary-like ramblings to puppets of the marketeers.

Reader beware, the current state of play is that of blogger as "reviewer", event spruiker, freebie slut and hired gun.

This arrived in my inbox today.

Do you love to blog, try products, have an opinion? Looking for people to join "The blogger axxxxx"

The Blogger Axxxxx is a service that connects brands and bloggers. Our members get the chance to live a brand experience through different kinds of activities (testing products or services, invitations to exclusive events, video spread, sponsored posts...).

We are looking for bloggers in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the USA!

Email your details, blog, visitors, and any information that you would like to share and let's get you blogging.

We have heaps of both paid and unpaid opportunities! Just depends on the brief!! Get into it!

From freebies to paid content, usually without the words "advertorial" or "advertising feature" blazened at the top, treat with suspicious any rave reviews for products or events you encounter via blogs that you do not know well.

This was a hot topic at the food bloggers conference in Melbourne earlier this year, with the participants falling into very divided camps on the role of accepting free food, drink and products. Some of those who spoke on the day have a call out on their site for items to "review" and proudly show off the latest cookware or events they've been gifted. Others have a huge sense of discomfort or actively eschew the practice. Phil Lees even went as far as a public about face, drawing up new ground rules as well as naming and shaming local food bloggers who have accepted cash or incentives to write blog posts in the past. That certainly has ruffled a few feathers.

But out here in the non-food blogging realm beware of guns for hire, especially in an election year when there are many axes to grind.

Have you come across any local blogs that you suspect are "living a brand experience"?

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Anonymous Lene said...

"live a brand experience"??? Is it just me or is that the most pretentious way of saying "try our product" you've ever heard?

2:40 am  
Blogger Jaime Santos-Prowse said...

I used to review products of a different sort, and the whole premise of the blog was to review products honestly and with very high expectations so that no wasteful bullshit leaked through. So we didn't mind accepting free products. In fact, we wrote several very bad reviews for free products, and most of the companies continued to offer us merchandise for review. There were a few occasions when a company wanted to see a "draft" of our reviews before being published, and that was absolutely not acceptable to us. We turned them down flat.

I think it's slippery, certainly, and I have a hard time trusting many bloggers, especially those who seem very product oriented. I mean, if you want to get paid for doing something you do anyway, that's great for you. However, you're the only person who can keep your own integrity in check.

11:55 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lene - marketing speak is another language aint it!

Jamie - welcome. There's always a place for unbiased consumer journalism. In Melbourne there are no real anonymous print-based food reviewers any more, so getting a taste of actual service and the usual food that comes out of the kitchen is rare. Bloggers are still largely anonymous but so few know how to accurately do a restaurant review (myself included). It's so much more than having our personal preferences met.

...and on a more upbeat note - read Lisa Dempsters lovely piece on the rise of professional blogging http://www.lisadempster.com.au/?p=3059

8:39 am  
Blogger Melba said...

Hey AOF yes I've seen it on some local fashion blogs I like to read. It's distasteful and while some commenters have called the bloggers on it, it still happens. It makes the blogger look cheap and sad, even if they do disclose. And if they don't disclose it makes them seem they are treating their readers like idiots.

The most jarring example for me was a Melbourne vintage fashion blogger reviewing dog food. It was so obvious and turned me off her straight away. It has damaged her credibility and likeability for me, and I imagine other readers.

11:24 am  

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