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Len Kendall
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@Joe Absolutely. Many critics keep pushing the concept of being open and authentic. I don't disagree but there is a fine line between being open and "covering your butt." Just because a blogger tells his/her readers over and over that a post is sponsored isn't going to make the reader respect them more. It's going to annoy and insult them (as you mentioned). Generally people are reading blogs in the first place are pretty savvy. They can tell if something has been influenced with a brand message just like people now know that the cars in Top Chef aren't randomly selected and the Coke cans on American Idol don't just happen to be Paula, Simon, and Randy's favorite drink. Let's let the consumer decide how much brand exposure they want to have. @Ken Couldn't agree more. More and more we are seeing bloggers offer up incentives (from the brands) to their readers. Do you think contests drive readers down? NO WAY. Anyone who has worked in marketing will tell you people go insane over giveaways. Obviously it's not something you want to do all the time (as it degrades the quality of your readers) but if a blogger has built up enough credibility, I believe his/her readers would really appreciate being part of the blogs "monetization." Len
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The fine line is one that will ultimately be decided by readers. If a blogger is presented with an opportunity to participate in a sponsored conversation he/she must do it in a way that will not alienate their readers. If they do it the wrong way, their readers will leave and subsequent opportunities will go away because the base is now smaller. So basically, economics will drive us to the sweet spot of balancing authenticity and influenced.
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A while back I took on the similar task of aggregating brands on twitter and I used (as well as my own thoughts) to certify them: Curious to hear your thoughts. Len Kendall
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2009 on Branding + Tweeting = Twanding? at Jaffe Juice
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