Paid Bloggers Are Shills and Create "Buzz Marketing" For Social Networks
Are paid bloggers really shills? The FTC questions these things, but in this day and age it just makes sense for companies to do this. Now then, if a paid blogger does not state that they are blogging for a particular company and getting compensated in some way, then indeed, one could legitimately say that they are involved in "Buzz Marketing" and / or are actually shills. In this case they are paid testimonials, but have not told anyone. How bad is this problem, well, actually it is not that bad, but it does still exist.
Not long ago, I noticed several individuals on a Blogging Network who were busy touting the network and its ability to provide leads and generate business for the various participants. In each case these individuals were rewarded with special placement of their blogs and extra points moving them up to a better position to be seen by the general public, thus helping their individual businesses. In a way they are being paid through free advertising for touting the network as shrills.
Some may not see the problem here or even notice what is going on, unless they too have participated in this online business blogging network. It appears to be a slippery slope and it shows how difficult it is to maintain integrity on the Internet and reminds us that some of the information written on Blogs is clearly not worth the blog it is written on. Where do we go from here? Well, it would be nice if social networking entrepreneurs would hold themselves to a higher standard rather than attempting to engage in buzz marketing to make something out of nothing.