PRing Kevin

Kevin blogs about some cool iPod shuffle skins he received from the company after blogging about them. I bring this up because it feeds directly into a discussion we had in the capstone seminar a couple weeks ago. We had talked about whether it was appropriate for bloggers to accept gifts. In this case, and given the nature of Kevin’s blog, it seems pretty clear that they are offered as a way of letting Kevin do a review of the product. Nonetheless, I suspect he will like the company more, given the recent interaction.

Obviously, Kevin has done nothing wrong here, and neither has the company. The issue is, how far do they have to do before they (either Kevin or the company) move from opinion leadership to shilling?

As an aside, I saw one of these on the road last week, and it’s truly a beautiful machine. I wonder how well it holds up over the long run. (Worth a shot, no?)

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 6/25/2005 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree it can be deceptive. While it’s pretty common for magazines to receive “samples” from companies for review, in the case of bloggers, I think it really depends on the reputation of the blogger who puts up these reviews. If it’s a really “bad” product, there’s no way I would put it on my blog. Kinda reminds me of how “referral marketing” works.

    About the Elise, my neighbor in Singapore was a car reviewer for amajor motoring magazine and I got to see one up close in my parking lot. It’s fun and sexy, but it’s all sports and stripped of all usual comforts of most cars nowadays. I think I saw the same one in Buffalo as you.

  2. Posted 6/28/2005 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I had to check what “shilling” means :)
    It’s defined as “posing as a satisfied customer to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.”

    >>>
    The issue is, how far do they have to do before they (either Kevin or the company) move from opinion leadership to shilling?
    >>>
    Why would it be an issue, I wonder?

    In anycase, the inherent Blogosphere culture means the blogger would be exposed for the fraud that he or she is.

  3. Posted 6/29/2005 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    A little too close to home… blog-based shilling is now official. See http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2005/06/26/for_a_fee_some_blogs_boost_firms/?page=1

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