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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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07 December 2004

Comments

Eric Rice

My advice on this (if you don't read any of us Marquis bloggers normally) is to check back and look at the collections of posts in say, a month. Would you be able to look at what has been written and analyze the level of disclosure and the credibility deeper in the project? Does everything reek of sunshine? Is it 'fair and balanced'?

Just some random ideas.

Neville Hobson

Thanks Eric. I do read many of the Marqui bloggers (including you) and I do plan to do precisely what you suggest. I think where I have a slight feeling of discomfort about this whole concept is related to the notion of blogging as a vocation or a personal calling - even a labour of love, if you will - rather than as a commercialized activity. It seems a bit stealthy. Equally, I can see that this kind of thinking is now woefully naive with how blogging is rapidly developing.

I suppose what I'm really saying here is that I don't believe I'll be able to read any Marqui blogger from now on for the independence, personality and style of the blogger (which are among the things I love about the different blogs I do read) as that will have been largely compromised by the commercial arrangement.

I've asked myself the question: would I enter into such an arrangement with any company? While it would largely depend on which company and what product/service, I don't think I would on my own blog (this one). I might, though, do that on an arrangement-specific blog. Perhaps even as Allan Herrel has done: his Marqui writing is on a new blog. Now that, to me, makes the commercial compromise disappear. But I wonder if it defeats the sponsor's (Marqui's) goal, as I guess they want a blogger who already has an established blog and therefore all that goes with that in Google ranking, established readership, etc.

Maybe Jason Calacancis should just do a Marqui blog on Weblogs that everyone contributes to! No, I can't see that working.

Just some more random ideas.

richard

I'd actually like to see the concept expanded a bit, to include more than one product in the same vein... so that they could be compared and contrasted. With multiple targets from multiple vendors, there should be less likelihood of any impropriety... in theory at least. So far I've seen some pretty decent write-ups, and I have yet to see anyone attempt to pretend they weren't being paid. It's not "So, I was poking around the internet and stumbled on marqui.com so I thought I'd try it out!" it's "They're paying me, even though I might have checked it out anyhow."

I don't know if anyone else has posted negative comments yet, though.

Eric Rice

Richard, I'm gearing up to allow multiple vendors to sponsor me. When I created a special category specifically for this kind of activity, I realized that for me, it's about my real estate and attention, not some big editorial ethics quandary. While I perform the requisite posting-of-what-I'm-supposed-to, I've found that I'm doing the blogger thing, and editorializing on top of it; I'm speculating on ideas and concepts. I'm blogging and this company's product is at the center of my attention--not the center of my message.

I call it "Attention for Hire". I'm building on Canter's idea and taking it to MY next level. Your mileage may vary. ;-)

Neville Hobson

Interesting article in the Toronto Globe and Mail on Dec 7 about Marqui and paying bloggers.

Snippet:

"The company, formerly Maestro CMS, might not be able to control what its bloggers say, but efforts to boost its presence in the blogosphere are working. According to Intelliseek's blogpulse.com, references to Marqui on blogs have increased tenfold over the past month -- partly because of the ethical debate over blogging for pay."

Full story: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20041207/RBLOG07/TPBusiness/TopStories

Roland Tanglao

hi nev:

i signed on but cancelled because i don't have the time to do this much as i'd like the money and also to explore this as an experiment

so i will not be blogging for Marqui

Neville Hobson

Thanks, Roland. I see they've now taken you off the bloggers list on their website.

Evelyn Rodriguez has a very interesting post on her blog re programmes like Marqui (she talks about Marqui as well):

http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/crossroads_dispatches/2004/12/i_continue_to_b.html

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