Pay Per Post – The New Spam?

payperpostStowe notes that Jason Calacanis didn’t ask him for his opinion on the ridiculous pay per post business and then gives his opinion anyway.  Good for Stowe, as he has a long track record of (mostly) finding the right side of an argument.

Jason didn’t ask me either, but like Stowe, I’m always interested in adding my two cents, and here it is.  All you need to know about this pay per post nonsense.

When someone is engaging you solely in the hopes of making money, then the entire basis for a meaningful exchange of information is nullified.  No one trusts people who are trying to sell them something, and no one should.  There is an irreconcilable conflict of motives.

When you walk into a store, you, in effect, are inviting the people who work there to try to sell you something.

But when your so-called friends try to leverage off of your friendship to sell you tupperware or Mary Kay or whatever, you have not invited that selling opportunity.

When you fire up your email and some dumbass somewhere has sent you spam, you have not invited that selling opportunity.

When a blogger you read posts about something for pay, you have not invited that selling opportunity.  It’s even worse when the payment is not diclosed.

This pay per post business is the worst of both worlds.  It’s using a preexisting relationship to make money off of you, without even telling you.

Even the friend hawking tupperware has to eventually show his hand.  It seems that the pay per post folks can hide their motives- thereby disguising commerce as journalism.

So ask yourself…

So what do you want the blogosphere to be, a place for the open exchange of ideas and information where no one is secretly trying to make money off of you, or an online free-for-all where anonymous people are paid to write bullshit they may or may not believe in exchange for a buck?

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