Technorati and the Scummy Paid Blogging Racket

Jeez it's tough to make a living on the Web. I respect bloggers and their craft. I do consider them journalists and quite possibly the most important dispatcher of news in the world. While big corporate news outlets are failing us, we rely more and more on the citizen blogger to reveal corruption, dig into world events and formulate opinions.

That's why I'm so disheartened by the paid blogging racket. Corporate influence is worming its way into your daily reading whether you like it or not. Recent FTC rules have made it a requirement to disclose payola or free products gifted to bloggers for review. However in this recent email from Technorati Media, there were no guidelines about this:

Hi Brian ,

Technorati Media is running a campaign for a global media company's magazine iPad application and would like to invite you and your blog to potentially participate in a Paid Post for the campaign.

We are looking for bloggers who write about music, travel, sports and culture topics to download the magazine iPad app, review it and create articles about the premium reporting, photography, video, multimedia and overall design and user experience of the app.

The magazine's content is focused on sports and entertainment-both nationally and internationally-and strives to deliver the unexpected, honor those who don't play by the rules, who push the limits, have a lust for life, swim against the current, and who have a passion for adventure and are not afraid to walk courageous new paths.

We'll provide you with access to download the free app and compensate you for your article. You must already have an iPad to participate.

The campaign's objective is to promote downloads of the free magazine iPad application and awareness of the unique editorial.

Additional potential benefits to you:
- Payment for creating your article and sharing it on your blog and social networks.
- Your article featured in a Technorati Conversational Ad (see examples in the scroll down portion of an ad at: slated to receive 4.4 million impressions to Music, Travel, Sports and Lifestyle sites.
- Company to promote selected articles to their Facebook page (over 21 million Likes) and retweet on their Twitter account (over 253 thousand followers).

So, not only will you be paid for your time, but also receive additional exposure for your blog and writing.

The first step is to "opt in" by submitting the form at the link below by
Wednesday, August 17 at 5:00pm PST:

We will then submit your blog information to the client for review and consideration for the campaign. If selected, we will contact you, gauge your interest and share more about compensation, the campaign and deliverables for your post.

Thanks for your participation,

[Name Redacted]
Blogger Outreach Manager
Technorati Media

It seems to me that Technorati, in soliciting these kinds paid posts without requiring disclosure may be in violation of the FTC guidelines - but perhaps the onus is on the individual blogger, and if that's the case - it's an example of a big corporation weaseling out of responsibility to pin the blame on a blogger stooge. Sad.

I just responded like this:
Please unsubscribe me from this unscrupulous racket. It's shameful and degrading to your company and the blogger.
If I find out what magazine engaged Technorati in this bullshit, sleazy campaign - I would like to name and shame them too.

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