Yawn. Blogosphere Up In Arms Over Microsoft Federated Media Campaign
Oh, the horror! Here we go again. It seems the blogosphere - that square, internally mirrored box in which opinionated blowhards spew forth mindless drivel, their commentary ricocheting off the inner wails of the enclosed box for every other blogger to see and respond to while everyone else outside the box ignores it like children in a sandbox at a backyard cookout - is up in arms...up in arms, we say, over...over...wait for it...comments bloggers have made about - and as part of - Microsoft's new "people-ready" slogan.
In what has become a cyclical favorite among those who love to dish in the sphere, it seems an uproar has arisen over a Microsoft campaign served through Federated Media which, along with advertising, seemingly encouraged popular bloggers to comment on Microsoft's "people-ready" slogan on a customized site for the campaign. Federated Media says bloggers were not specifically paid to "join the conversation" about the software giant's new campaign theme and that it was a separate component of a parallel, paid campaign appearing on the blogs. FM also states "people-ready" conversation joining only took place on the customized site and not on individual blogger's blogs.
As is usually the case with these new fangled conversational marketing thing-a-ma-bobbers, the shit has hit the fan and, in true fashion, nary a blogger can hold back an opinion because, well, that's what a lot of people like to spend their day doing.
Yawn. No one cares. It's advertising. But, yes, you should be clear to your readers what is paid opinion versus organic opinion. Yes, the rules are changing and the old ones don't work so well anymore. No, Federated Media's Microsoft campaign won't harm the industry or reader's trust of media any more than they've already been by countless other shenanigans well before conversational marketing took the stage.
We remain undecided as to whether Federated Media should have made it any more clear to readers of the customized campaign site that bloggers who were accepting money for the campaign were also part of the seemingly organic conversational action. What's your opinion? That is if you can muster one before you yawn and head to your next dreaded meeting with the client who you know is going to shoot down every great idea you have to present just as they have during every previous dreaded meeting.