I would hope its simply a coincidence that after the FTC announced it may be looking at the gifting and paying of bloggers, I find one very happy puppy who doesnt mind leting us know about some gifts he has received.
Have a read of this blog: http://vasudevg.blogspot.com/2009/07/thank-you-gift-from-windows-7-starter.html
Here the recipient seems very happy with his Windows 7 notepad and ball game. A little thank you gift from Microsoft? I’m sure, but the next part of his post makes for disturbing reading (IMO):
“But the big one, which I had received from Windows 7 team, a couple of months back is yet to be posted about. Will blog about it soon :)”
Which makes you wonder how much of this persons opinion has been based on “the big one” to date?
In the past I’ve covered the blogger who recieved a laptop from Microsoft, and breaking from the norm (since I havent seen many similar disclosures) he was more than happy to mention it. You can read that blog here:
Heres another user who recieved an offer of one and decided to disclose it:
So lets for a minute forget about Microsoft. What do you think the average computer blogger would do with a free gift. Would they a/ Post honest held views about the companies products or b/ Post favorably about the company out of gratitude and the hope that more gifts would be forthcomming? I will leave you to decide which you think is more likely.
Here, the concept of Microsoft giving away free laptops is covered: http://www.istartedsomething.com/20061227/microsoft-free-ferrari/ and the author comments:
“But if you write about Microsoft, they might even give you one for free. Is it ethical? Probably not. Is it worth something to hard-working sweat and tears bloggers? Hell yeah.”
Having said that, there are others who appear to have the same opinion as me, David Flynn said at the time:
“Any blogger with pretensions of being considered an independent voice and a ‘professional’ in their field or even their attitude, not to mention a sense of ethics, should be returning this ‘gift’ laptop to Microsoft.”
Now what are you thinking about that glowing praise a blogger is showering on Microsoft? Its not rocket science, the enticement of something for nothing and the hope that you may get more is a very tempting offer is it not?
In my opinion, this practice has got to stop and if the FTC can do something about this in the US then that is a start. When I exposed the Optionetics imposter (who was trying to promote Microsoft Stock) I was offered a token of their thanks which I refused (you can confirm that with them, you have my permission for full disclosure) I don’t post here for any other reason than honest held belief in what I say. I am not interested in gifts/payments/offers and if I received any I would refuse and then highlight them here. If you notice, I have no adverts on my site (a pet hate of mine) and I don’t believe in trying to sell you anything.
That, in my opinion is what a blog should be about, people should be able to trust that the opinions expressed are that of a user who has similar needs and expectations as themselves. It should not be a means for proprietary firms to pimp their products under the guise of an honest opinion, no matter who that proprietary company is.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org