My Top 10 Books of 2006
Part II
Jumping on the Oprah Bandwagon

Smart Man Online: Ted Murphy

Who said 2007 could come so soon? Was anyone else just totally unprepared? Oh, not for the celebration - we were way ready for that! But, for the whole "new year" kind of stuff? Like, writing 2007 on your checks? I have it on good authority (my local weather man's advice) that if you write 2007 on ten or twenty checks right now, you'll be safe. I'm also not ready for those resolutions. I'm not big on making resolutions in the first place - but this year, Tom and I decided we had to look 'back' in order to look forward. Which meant making some goals for the new year...and, I guess goals are a lot like resolutions, aren't they? FYI: you'll see some changes here.

After I write this post and introduce you to Ted Murphy of Pay Per Post (a controversial not-so-new blog advertising service), I'm going to hop over to Toby's blog, and Rosa's blog, and Jill's blog, and Susan's blog, and Kirsten's blog, and Suzanne's blog, and Jory's blog, and Jory's Mom's blog, and Michelle's blog, and Holly's blog, and Chloe's blog, and Mary's blog, and Stephanie's blog, and Elisa's blog, and Jane's blog, and Laura's blog, and Marti's blog, and Anita's blog, and Andrea's blog, and Benecia's blog, and Evelyn's blog, In Women We Trust, and a few dozen other blogs - to see what's up with their New Year's resolutions.

On to Ted: interview.

I was contacted by Ted's PR person, forgive me for not remembering who that was/is...but, the result was a nice chat with Ted about the whole Pay Per Post idea, and how his service works. Here goes...

Yvonne: How would you describe Pay Per Post?

Ted: It's a conumser generated content site. There are bloggers, videographers, and podcasters. The idea is to allow advertisers to promote products and services and get exposure. After all, blogs are a really big part of the Internet these days.

Yvonne: But, why should bloggers care? We don't blog to 'serve' advertisers.Dollar_sign

Ted: No, not all bloggers do. But, some bloggers aren't adverse to earning a little something for their work. I see that you have Blogads on your blog. It's not the same thing - but, Blogads was the start of using blogs for profitability.

Yvonne: I guess so. How does Pay Per Post work, though? I mean - if some company contacts me and says, "Hi, Yvonne, we like your blog. If you write about us, we'll pay you..." that seems like selling out.

Ted: It's not meant to work that way. Our system gives bloggers a choice. YOU have the freedom to choose whatever ad you want to write about. AND...though advertisers might suggest what to write, they know it's your blog. You should just write whatever you would normally write. The goal is for bloggers and advertisers to work together to make those decisions.

Yvonne: So, how did you get started doing this?

Ted: I used to own an interactive ad agency. I learned from experience how to work with advertisers, and that the Internet is the place to be. There was a lot of back and forth, give and take. As I watched blogging take hold, and I noticed that some bloggers were giving up on Blogads... I thought there might be another way. Pay Per Post is that other way.

Yvonne: What's the biggest misconception about PPP?

Ted: That you have to say something specific. That's not true. Obviously, the advertiser wants recognition - but the blogger gets to write what he or she wants. It's not a case of, put this on your blog or we won't pay you. With our service, companies learn the truth. A good product gets good things written about it. A not so good product - well, it might get some negative press. But, isn't it better to learn that up front, right away? It's better than not knowing - which is what happens in old-fashioned advertising.

Yvonne: How would I get paid, I mean...if I signed up?

Ted: We use Paypal. That works well for us.

Yvonne: Sounds worth exploring. Any last thoughts?

Ted: I'd like to invite your readers to visit us and give us a try. We're especially interested in women bloggers. As you know, Yvonne, women control a lot of spending in this country. Their blogs are worth money! If anyone has questions, they can contact me, directly.

Yvonne: Thanks, Ted. I learned something today. I'll be watching...

So, it the wave of advertising future? Or, is this just another good idea that will hang around awhile and then peter out? Blogads seems to favor the "elite" blogs...not those of us in the Long Tail. Will Pay Per Post be different? What do you think?


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I've been tempted several times to sign up for PPP, but I couldn't seem to pull the trigger. I worry about seeming disingenuous. But I enjoyed reading this interview, and may reconsider! Thanks so much, Yvonne!

Ted Murphy

The PayPerPost marketplace is a business model unlike anything that previously existed. Our decisions about disclosure have to do with our desire to listen to users and potential users and shape our business in accordance with the feedback. Isn't that one of the wonderful things about the blogosphere and Internet? Bloggers and advertisers spoke and we listened. In our short 5 months of operations we have made some pretty radical changes and continued change should be expected in the future.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but I can tell you that I actively monitor feedback about our service and it does impact our roadmap. I believe making assumptions about issues as heavily debated as disclosure prior to launch would have been presumptuous.

Yvonne DiVita

Evelyn, thanks for the input. I can't see Stowe's point - if getting paid to do good is bad, why do non-profits exist?

Paul, excellent questions. Let's ping Ted and see if he's willing to chime in with some answers. I personally think that's up to the blogger - and I don't know any bloggers who wouldn't be authentic and transparent. I know they're out there, we read about them now and then... but, in my circle, my friends - like you - are too honest to do something like that. So, I don't see anything wrong with accepting ads, of some sort.

Paul Chaney

Yvonne, you threw him some pretty soft pitches. How about harder questions like those having to do with full-disclosure and why they didn't require it, what the motivations were for eventually moving in that direction, and what they have to say in response to the overwhelming controversy surrounding the company. Now, those would be questions I'd love to see answers to.

Evelyn Rodriguez

This whole 'controversy' reminds me of when Marqui was paying bloggers. I think it mostly fine because it 1) it's transparent 2) and the bloggers are mostly folks the company wants genuine feedback from. Yes, they got buzz too, but having met VP Marketing Janet Johnson, it was also about learning about what real live people had to say about it which is so vital to improving products.

Now I say 'mostly fine' because I saw people like Stowe Boyd writing eloquently about how being paid for links does defeat the authentic social aspects of social media... it sways the googlejuice, technoratijuice, etc when word-of-mouth isn't simply coming from passionate, enthused users -- with nothing in it for them -- without strings attached.

It may take some digging through to find the post re resolutions, I've been ultra-prolific lately. My resolution (I'm calling it more like a 2007 theme/intention) is to speak love fluently.

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