A few years ago, the marketing world was rocked–ok, at least nudged–when multimedia content pioneer and social networking entrepreneur Marc Canter floated the idea of paying bloggers to blog about specific products. The shock! The horror! People were aghast, or pretended to be, at the notion of bloggers writing for pay (while disclosing their affiliations and paycheck sources), violating ironclad journalistic principles.
One leading practitioner was content management system vendor Marqui, whose paid blogging squad posted buttons prominently stating “I get paid to talk about Marqui.”
I think you can tell that I think the outrage was a bit misplaced, to say the least. To my knowledge, over the past few years this practice has become fairly common, with herds of low-paid writers churning out product information. I don’t think anyone confuses it with “journalism” (in the paid-to-be-neutral Associated Press sense).
Now, ProBlogger author Darren Rowse suggests, in an April 1 post obviously intended to be an April Fool’s Day prank, that he’s organizing a “PayPerTweet” ad network which would organize heavily subscribed-to Twitter users to mention products and services to their legions of followers. He even introduces the notion of a Cost Per Thousand Follower fee structure. I know, funny stuff…or is it? Maybe not.
As I see it, Rowse has given us some nice food for thought, even though he may have had his tongue firmly in cheek here. Think about it; if you’re a Twitter user, don’t you absorb a lot of new information by clicking on links supplied by others you follow? And if that “leader,” if you will, posted items now and then which were somehow tagged as ads, might you still not click now and then? As with the paid blogging, leaders wouldn’t be forced to praise the product or service, only to mention and comment on it. Seems to me that this could actually work in some form, even if the scheme Rowse lays out is mostly for fun.
Honestly, Tweetvertising sounds like a neat idea to me. Hey Darren, sign me up for as many impressions as you can sell me at $10 CPTF?
Like what you see in What Matters Online? Want to stay up to date on the latest in Web 2.0, social media and old-school interactive marketing? Get notified of our latest updates by e-mail or RSS. I will never sell or exchange your information, and I won’t deluge your inbox — I promise!