An Issue of Credibility: OpinMind vs PayPerPost

Ok, it seems like I’ve really opened a blogstorm around the whole topic of paying per post. I was the one that broke the news about PayPerPost and reported it to Techcrunch. There are several people that violently disagree with this like business week, and Aneil.

No, I do not work for PayPerPost or OpinMind –I have a day job and they have nothing to do with the web. (wow is this what it’s going to come to?) There’s a comparison of OpinMind and PayPerPost eBquity –since I know both CEOs, I think I’ll expand on the issue just a bit more and provide some recommendations.
Recently, I had lunch with James Kim, the CEO of OpinMind. This is a website that aggregates opinion of users, and maps them out on two columns. I’ve even done some analysis on a few of the social sites using OpinMind.

PayPerPost on the other hand, destroys the purity of what OpinMind is trying to harvest –by having paid advertorials it’s difficult to tell what is a true opinion and what is paid for.

Recommendations for PayPerPost

  • I recommend that PayPerPost have an indexing system that lists all the people that are creating reviews, and it lists each of the reviews (Which is no different than a review site)
  • I also recommend that all reviews be forced to disclose they are being paid for it, and perhaps they can have some type of widget that is embedded in the post that links back to the aforementioned index page of paid writers
  • Lastly, I hope everyone is not too surprised at this happening, it was just a matter of time. Marc Cantor’s Microformats would eventually be commercialized and capitalized –people, this is what us Humans do –it’s been happening since the beginning of time and it will never end.

Recommendationsfor OpinMind

  • Figure out how to disclose or at least isolate the paid reviews created by PayPerPost, this could damage the credibility of your systems and it’s findings.

Lastly, I must disclose again: I’m not paid for ANY of my blog posts.

  • Jeremiah,

    I’m glad you broke the news about Pay-Per-Post and just wanted to clarify that I don’t violently disagree with it at all. I actually have very little emotion tied to it and my main point (Postbubble style) was to take a look at pay-per-post from the perspective of whether it will float or sink.

    I’ve added a bit of clarification on Postbubble which I hope will help people see pay-per-post as less of a threat and more of an opportunity that just needs some tweaking.

  • jeremiah_owyang

    Thanks, I saw your comments –You have a very business like analytic response –and that’s one response.

    I see a sign on the road “Blogosphere, Curves Ahead”

  • And there’s the problem – now honest bloggers have to start putting out disclaimers that we don’t take money for our opinions.

  • Jeremiah,
    I’d have to agree with the “curves ahead” sign. Good way to put it, hopefully Pay-Per-Post can follow the road and not end up in a ditch.

  • Everyone… I appreciate the feedback and honesty. I knew what I was getting in to two years ago when I started this project. I didn’t think I would be called the devil, but I knew I would turn some heads. I am thinking of putting together an advisory board to help with future product development, perhaps some of you might be interested.

    Please note the site says “BETA”. This concept is a work in progress. I will tell you that this idea is taking off in a big way. Even today we are seeing advertisers signing up. It’s not going to go away, I’ve got too much heart and soul into this project.

    I will do my best to make this a win for both advertisers and bloggers. I love the (constructive) feedback all of you are providing (both negative and positive). You are helping shape the future!

    Jeremiah I especially appreciate your honesty. Thank you for having the ability to step back and look at the concept objectively rather than simply bashing it. It’s much easier to throw stones than it is to help build something and you took the high road. Fair, unbiased, not afraid to share both good and bad. That is why you da man!

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  • Ted

    I’ll do my best to give my honest opinion, thanks for being so respectful of my opinion.

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  • Great dialog and good food for thought. At Opinmind, we’ll still continue to display the opinions that we find and work to discern candid/paid opinions if disclaimers are used in the future…

    Our mission stays the same…to display the uncensored opinions of bloggers on every subject imaginable. It’ll be interesting to see how the PayPerPost pans out.

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  • Good information, thanks for sharing.  I personally think PayPerPost is an ok idea.

  • To make sure that the “pay per post” service or tactic is credible and efficient, I suggest a company/affiliate/advertiser should search for their middleman towards quality content. There are companies who can find qualified writers to advertise a product/service. No more hassle on the part of the advertiser!