Unpurple Cows: On Paying For Posts, For Links, For Buzz

Yet another solid Joel Spolsky essay, this time on bloggers accepting gifts. Recommended. One word summary of Joel's essay? "Unethical." Paying for posts is inappropriate, and the FTC agrees. Link-building contests -- for example, John Chow's "review my blog and possibly win a MiniTV USB" -- also rubs me the wrong way. (I have no qualms with link games like hat-bait, the z-list, and blog tag.) Call me old fashioned, but I agree with Seth Godin's purple cow thesis: the right way to capture attention, mindshare, ink, pixels, word-of-mouth, buzz, links, and general PR love is by having a remarkable product or service. A hundred times harder than writing checks or running games or linking tricks, yes. But, at day's end, this is really the only way.

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