Izea (formerly PayPerPost) has launched yet another social shopping campaign, this time with bloggers given $500 to spend at Department store Sears and then asked to write about the experience.
The new campaign repeats the K-Mart campaign we wrote about twice yesterday, and captures an even wider list of well known and respected bloggers. This may not be the full list, but from what we can gather, those participating were Chris Pirillo, Tamar Weinburg, Aaron Brazell, Liz Strauss,Steve Spalding, Joseph Jaffe, Chris Heuer and Jim Kukral.
As I noted in my earlier post, that they have participated makes no difference to me, nor should it to others, but that ignores the reality that some will consider this poorly, and it will, even in the eyes of a few people damage their credibility.
Ted Murphy (Izea’s CEO) jumped in the comments on one of the earlier posts and argued that these campaigns don’t tarnish the credibility of bloggers participating, although his definition of credibility seems to be traffic; he argued that each participant recieved more links and traffic by participating. He also noted that these campaigns are Google friendly now, and pointed to a quote from Matt Cutts saying that as long as the links in the posts are marked nofollow, there isn’t an issue, so the Google risk factor is obviously less as well.
I can’t help but consider, looking at this list of names, that perhaps the tide has turned in favor of paid posts. I still consider the $500 small change to do one of these, but if guys like Chris Pirillo in particular who isn’t short of money feel comfortable enough to take $500, perhaps for some its just another way to make money from blogging which doesn’t come with the baggage of old.
What do you think? Are paid posts now acceptable on blogs? Leave a comment or vote in our poll.