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Did Chris Brogan sell out?

15 December 2008 No Comment
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Erm..no.  Not by a long shot.

There’s been lots said all over the blogosphere and in Twitterland about Chris Brogan’s sponsored K-mart post. Many of the Twitteri are calling him a sell out. So I don’t need to go on about at any length, but want to add my two pennies worth.

No Chris is not a sell out.  And anyone who knows even the slightest thing about social media will understand that.  There are very few online personalities who are as transparent, genuine and honest as Chris.   I can’t think of a single person who is more generous than him in terms of sharing the learning.

Anyone who thinks his $500 K-mart shopping spree makes him a sell out, should spend some time reading his blogs.  You’ll quickly see that  his K-mart post is an excellent example of blogging best practice, and he should be admired, not vilified.

Advice to Chris?  DLTBGYD.

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  • Michael Buechele said:

    I agree. As long as there is disclosure and the product or service is a good fit for the community that the blogger represents, I don’t see a problem with it. I’ve spoken to Ted Murphy at IZEA, and he gets it. Plus I think they offer a great service to bloggers to showcase products and merchants that fit with their community. Be honest with your community and there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • David Jones said:

    This isn’t the Catholic Church. Disclosure doesn’t absolve you of anything. It’s obviously critical in situations like these, but it isn’t the answer to whether or not this is an appropriate thing for a blogger who has built trust relationships with his readers based on valuable content.

    Call me a purist, but I like the fact that blogging is grassroots and authentic. Real people sharing insights and expertise on shared topics of interest. When a blogger cheapens that relationship by breaking out a sponsored post, it just seems a little anachronistic. It’s the way the old media acted. Aggregate an audience and then sell that audience to another party who’s trying to reach them. Not very new media at all.

    Maybe it’s the PR guy in me, but I’d much rather Kmart earn their way into blog posts by being newsworthy than by buying advertorials from well-read bloggers.

  • sherrilynne (author) said:

    I see your point David, but I see the K-mart post as being kind of like an advertorial. And in the end, the risk is all Chris’s. If his community doesn’t like it, they’ll vote with their feet and that is what social media is all about.

  • sherrilynne (author) said:

    Michael, thanks for your comment. I think your point is a good one. As long as everyone is on the same page, that is they all know it’s a commercial initiative, all is fair.

  • David Jones said:

    Absolutely. Readers will make the call. I’ve voted with my feet in several occasions due to antics like these.

    I just find the while thing off-putting when guys who talk about the new media, joining the conversation and building relationships within the social media community then turn around and say that companies could just buy their way into the conversation with advertorials.

    What do you think about pay per post? Would you ever recommend it to a client?

  • sherrilynne (author) said:

    David, I’ve been in PR most of adult life. I have a fundamental bias against ever ‘paying for it’. So I can’t see myself ever advising clients to use pay per post.

    But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with PPP; it has its role to play. I don’t advise my clients to buy advertising, but advertising does have a role to play in communication. It’s just I’m not in the advertising business.

  • Kmart Reaches Out to Bloggers to Lift Exposure said:

    […] Did Chris Brogan sell out? […]

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