Today PayPerPost launched. It's a service where bloggers are paid to blog about products, and here's the kicker: disclosing that they are being paid to blog about a product is completely up to them.
The end results are obvious before this even gets started. Bloggers are huge on transparency, and any sort of dishonest shilling such as this will not only toast the credibility of the blogger in question, but all of us as a group, by extension. And sadly, this is just the type of trainwreck that the MSM is waiting for, as BusinessWeek has already jumped all over this new service, and how it will 'pollute the blogosphere'. Shel Isreal was even more venomous, but no less accurate, when he said that: "I hope this nasty, cynical, ugly idea crashes and burns swiftly.".
But of course, the true reason why it will fail is because the passion of these 'citizen marketers' won't be for the product and the communities the product is aimed at, but for getting the $5 or whatever they are getting paid to hawk some product they had first heard of when they opened their email 5 mins ago. Any time the sole motivator and passion for your marketing is getting paid, you have lost the game before the kickoff.
When your marketing passion is the community, you're set. When it's your wallet, it will likely always be your wallet, because you will never be very good at what you do.