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Ontario Empoblog

Ontario Emperor Blog
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Friday, November 26, 2004

Delta Flight Attendants Are Urged to Sign Up
As Ronald Reagan once said, "Well...."

I previously wrote about Joyce "Troutgirl" Park's new job. One of the people who congratulated her on the new job was Marc Canter (who is slightly better known in online circles than Ontario Emperor). I surfed to his blog, which discusses an offer by a company to pay outsiders to make comments - positive or negative - about their product. Check the FAQ (or is it FAQs? I'll ask Marc Canter):

Marqui's Blogosphere FAQ

"We're creating an opportunity based on trust." Stephen King, Marqui President and CEO

Isn't this evil? Why the heck are you doing it?

Let's face it. People are getting more sophisticated as consumers and as marketers. Our targets are marketers and communicators. Our solutions help them communicate more effectively in the online world and in the "solid world."...

We've decided to set a new standard in marketing by offering ongoing sponsorship to leading bloggers. We believe that these voices are growing louder and more influential every year, and could be the best investment in marketing the Marqui name.

As soon as someone says Marqui sucks, you're going to cut them off, aren't you?

You can read the complete agreement between Marqui and paid bloggers here, then judge for yourself whether this is a program based on trust and transparency. We're paying bloggers to blog for three months. Period. We hope they'll honor their commitments, because we're going to honor ours....

We put no limits on what these paid bloggers can say about Marqui; we only require a badge on their site, a weekly mention of our product and a URL link in the body of their blog. For their own integrity factor, if they want some sort of disclaimer on their blog, they’re more than welcome to acknowledge that we are paying them to blog with a frame, background, language, etc.

If bloggers paid by Marqui want to do more, whether offering criticism about our products and services or adding their personal endorsement, we welcome it. Criticism is helpful in our development process and it is always better to be talked about than not.

In the future, we will be introducing additional incentives to bloggers, but today we are just happy to help these talented people spend a little more time doing the blogging they do so well....

We’re looking for marketing and business bloggers, because they speak to our customers every day. If you’d like to participate in the program, let us know by e-mail and we’ll take a look at what you are blogging to see if you might be a good fit. We look forward to talking with (and hearing from!) all of you....

No, I'm not signing up - I don't believe that this Empoblog is one of the leading marketing and business blogs in the country (unless the business is marketing Krystal Fernandez). However, I'm obviously intrigued by the idea of a company encouraging unrestrained discussion about its product.

(Off-topic aside: after several years of an overreaction to the legal issues of Napster v1.0, I've finally song of my own songs into Windows Media Player. Playing right now: "Call of the West.")

A few updates:

Krystal Fernandez picture links. Hope that helps.

And I'll probably announce this formally at some point, but I've officially made more money from blogging than I have in my illustrious recording career. Yowza.
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