Advertising and the Blogosphere

TechMeme and the rest of the blogosphere is going crazy over the recent disclosure of an advertising campaign through Federated Media and Microsoft. Personally I couldn’t care, advertising is just that advertising, a way to pay the bills for these blogs. As long as people disclouse the difference between ads and their acutal content there isn’t a problem from my point of view. There is that one fishing device that a fisherman sponors, somehow I doubt that means that he acutally uses that device. It’s an ad, the same as Michael Jordan promoting Hane’s, being in an ad doesn’t mean that you think the product is the greatest thing to hit the market. What the people actually even said about the products isn’t even promoting the product – Microsoft’s slogan “People Ready”. Instead those involved with the adversting campaign were asked the the question “When did you know your business was people ready?”. Those involved with the campaign made a short statement answering the question a couple of sentaces for most, not an endorsment for Microsoft. The statements were then turned into an ad that ran on Federated Media associated sites and the people were then paid on the basis of CPM.

There isn’t anything controversial about this other than Valleywag seeing again how much trouble it can cause in the blogosphere.

Listing of all the people involved in this and associated articles (and there are many more):

http://www.crunchnotes.com/?p=409 – Mike Arrington
http://gigaom.com/2007/06/22/on-the-microsoft-ad-campaign/ – Om Malik
http://www.federatedmedia.net/blog/archives/2007/06/conversational_1.php – Federated Media
http://flickr.com/photos/scriptingnews/593801597/ – The actual campaign ads
http://valleywag.com/tech/federated-media/microsoft-pays-star-writers-to-recite-slogan-271485.php – Valleywag’s intro article (started this whole mess)
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/people_ready.php – Richard MacManus
http://www.wordyard.com/2007/06/23/federated-advertorial/ – Scott Rosenberg
http://www.scripting.com/stories/2007/06/22/didMicrosoftPayStarWriters.html – Dave Winer
http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2007/06/why-is-nick-den.html – Fred Wilson
http://www.buzzmachine.com/2007/06/23/buying-their-voices/ – Jeff Jarvis
http://scobleizer.com/2007/06/23/if-you-are-going-to-sell-your-soul/ – Robert Scoble

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Justin Yost is a full-time Software Engineer and a part time educator. A graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in computer science, Justin relishes programming and learning more about anything and everything. When not working, Justin occasionally gives talks at the local PHP Meetup. In his free time, Justin enjoys backpacking and reading science fiction books.


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