spam e-mail service has launched called Bloggio, promising to help connect “marketers” with “Top tier bloggers”. Don’t bother looking it up by going to the dot com — these mofo’s went all non-profit ‘n shit, bypassing the .com for the .org — so you know they’re legit. Hey, the site, which redirects you to blogg.io once you click on the About page, says it was started by “3 guys” in New York who have 2 offices — one in the city and another up state… which, IMHO, is a lot of overhead to be carrying around for a 3 person operation. But I digress…
For marketers, the objective of the service is to help those inept at participating in the blogosphere to gain coverage with “top tier bloggers” by simply using a web-based, Word-esque editor, picking your vertical, paying $300 and viola! — you might get written about. On the plus side these guys aren’t promising you’ll get written about and have an ethics policy, unlike PayPerPost who was dragged kicking and screaming into the discussion. On the down side, well, you probably just wasted $300 and pissed off the “top tier” bloggers within a vertical.
Sounds great, right? I mean, how hard can getting a “top blogger” to write about your stuff be? Bloggio also provides tips to help you to get bloggers to write about your products! Gee willikers! I guess the only more useless link would be out to the PRSA web site so you can learn this brainless skill within minutes and call yourself a PR professional! [insert sarcasm here]
As with everything else in life, if it sounds too good to be true — it is. We’ve seen the downside of paying bloggers to write on behalf of your products. And if it was as easy as spamming the “top tier” bloggers to get coverage than anyone could do this without the help of the service. I mean, theoretically, you could go through each “top” blog, add their email address to your Outlook and BCC them all and save yourself the $300. You’ll also ensure a spot in these bloggers spam folder and still not get coverage. But at least you’d save $300.
Another reason this is a waste of money is that sites like Guy Kawasaki’s alltop.com and Technorati make it pretty easy to find a “top” list… so there goes the inaccessibility of finding the top blogs within a category.
Yet another reason this is a waste for marketers is that the art and science of pitching a blogger involves not only reading their blog and figuring out who’ll be receptive to a pitch, which is significantly different from selecting a series of check boxes on Bloggio, but also tailoring your pitch to fit with the content of their site. Never mind that whole “joining the community” thing that Jeremy talks about, or the whole “forming relationships” PR thing. Nope, this is straight up pay to play, except instead of playing you’re now a spammer. Welcome to Chris Anderson’s Spammer 2.0 list.
Finally, the biggest joke about the Bloggio model is that while it’s great to know the top tier bloggers within a vertical, the reality is that search and the multilogue have enabled bloggers outside of the “top tier” an equal voice. Want to know how to engage bloggers within your vertical? Take the time to engage. Start a blog. Have a voice, an opinion and join the discussion.
I’d love to hear from bloggers what they feel the benefits of this service are/will be. My initial thought is: “What? I can get more crap thrown my way for potentially pennies on the dollar if I write about it? Where do I sign up?”
Update: As a test to sign up as a blogger I received an “object reference not set to an instance of an object” error message. Klass.