Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blog sponsorships, SXSW, and more interviews

Jaffe posts that blogger Dan Klass of The Bitterest Pill has also acquired an iPhone in return for B-Movie Books sponsoring his blog. Here's the offer that Dan made on his blog:
Yes, if you sponsor “The Bitterest Pill” by sending Dan an Apple iPhone, here’s what you get:

* Your prerecorded sponsorship message (up to one minute, produced by Dan himself) in one month’s worth of new episodes of The Bitterest Pill (at least four shows), plus inserted into all the episodes from #102 on for that same one month period!

* Dan will pretend to like you, your company, even your parents!

* Your photo or company logo on The Bitterest Pill web site.

Offer ends September 17th, 2007

Congrats to Dan, and judging by the comments, his readers seem to be excited about this as well. I also like the idea of a monthly blog sponsorship because it lets both the company and blogger experiment with the idea. Try it for a month, if it works then do it again, if not drop it. But again, notice the ancillary effect: bloggers such as myself that aren't directly benefitting from the sponsorships that Jaffe and Dan are having, are still blogging about them, and indirectly promoting the sponsors. This is another example of how companies reaching out to bloggers creates a story in and of itself. I also wrote about this today at Daily Fix.

BTW I should also add that Jaffe, after getting a pair of iPhones via sponsorships with Across the Sound, then made a call to potential sponsors to offer him a Macbook Pro for a month's sponsorship. Richard@Dell saw this invitation and offered Jaffe a loaded Dell laptop instead. Great example of a company monitoring the blogosphere and engaging with bloggers, and in this case, a podcaster.

Speaking of Dell, we are down to the final hours of voting at SXSW's Panel Picker. I blogged about this last month, but here's the deal once again: Dell has submitted several panel ideas to SXSW, one of which is a panel entitled Future of Corporate Blogs: What's New and Next. The panel is tentatively set to include Dell's chief blogger and Digital Media Manager Lionel Menchaca, along with another corporate blogger, a non-corporate blogger, and myself moderating the panel. I think this will be a great discussion because we have finally reached the point where there are enough companies either blogging or considering blogging, that we can intelligently discuss where the space is, and where it's heading.

If this sounds like a panel you would like to see at next year's SXSW, please click here and vote on the panel and if inclined, leave a comment. You'll need to register first, which is free, quick, and relatively painless. If you are planning on voting, please make sure you do so ASAP, as voting closes Friday at 11:59 pm CST. Thanks so much, and I hope to see as many of you as possible in Austin next March!

Bonus Link: My interview with copywriting guru Jonathan Kranz is up at Marketing Profs.

Bonus Question: If you were willing to have a company sponsor your blog, what would be your desired terms?

Edit: Forgot to add the link to the post where Dan stated his terms. I added that in after CK noticed I didn't add it. Here's the post again.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Mack. Per your post, where on Dan's blog does it say:

"Dan will pretend to like you, your company, even your parents!"

Sorry if I missed it, I saw where it said he'd run the information but not that he'd "pretend to like them". Maybe I missed it?

While I won't run sponsorships or ads on my blog, you asked what my terms would be. My terms would most definitely be limited to products, services or groups that I authentically support. Not good at pretending--would feel like I'm doing my readers a disservice and I take their trust to heart.

Mack Collier said...

Sorry CK I forgot to add the link to Dan's post where he mentioned his terms, here it is:

Thanks for your answers. I asked the question on Facebook, and it seems that almost everyone agrees that they would have to believe in the products providing the sponsorship, that's a good thing IMO.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mack -- and phew (!) that the majority won't pretend. After all, pretending is just a form of lying.

That said, I'm sure the bookstore or whatnot that Dan is promoting is likable and has its merits. But when bloggers say that they'll pretend for anyone that gives them money (or stuff) gives off the impression that bloggers can be bought. Actually, it outright states it.

And bought for a $600 phone (unless they bought in in the last 2 weeks and now it's only $400). Is it that bloggers are too strapped to buy their own technology?

My respect--and readers' trust-- goes for a lot more money (in fact not all the money in the world could buy it).

And who's to now know whether a sponsor is one that he authentically likes, or is just pretend?

The solution is either not to take on ads/sponsorships or to keep the ads/sponsorships completely separate from the content. Simple, really.

Mack Collier said...

"Dan will pretend to like you, your company, even your parents!"

I don't know Dan, but at first blush, that sounds like a joke. Maybe everyone else sees it differently.

Anonymous said...


I think I am with CK on this. Dan's words to "pretend" anything creeps me out and sends the message that we bloggers can be bought for a trifle sum.

I am not liking this advertising trend. I would prefer paid advertising to the stuff you discuss in your post. When a client or customer pays a fair price to advertise, it speaks to the value of the blog, and the blogger doesn't need to "say nice things" about the advertiser.

Anonymous said...

Mack - yep, I too wondered if it was a joke. And it could be. But when it comes to anything resembling the mixing of content and advertising...I stay far away from it. Because if it makes people wonder, then you've lost credibility.

Another thing I don't understand is why bloggers are asking for "stuff" (iPhones) vs. money. Does stuff appear more credible, is that the deal? Just curious.