Bambi Francisco tells investors this:
Bloggers turn into merchandisers
“Just as Google turned bloggers into walking billboards, Yahoo will increasingly turn bloggers into salesmen. Yahoo’s “Shoposphere” — where it can harness the opinions of bloggers — will gain some traction. The shoposphere allows bloggers to create personalized shopping lists around specific interests or groups that other people can relate to. For instance, there’s a shopping list for “Bachelors,” created by a bachelor, or a shopping list for “Foodies,” created by someone who likes to cook. The power of personal selling isn’t exactly a new idea. We can remember those Tupperware parties, right? And, the idea is also similar to what VStore had in mind. VStore — which launched in 1999 and is now defunct — enabled Internet users to create their own personalized stores, and get a cut for everything they sold. Of course, fewer than 5% of Internet users were on broadband. Now, with more people online and finding ways to make money online via advertisements, why wouldn’t they try to sell stuff too?”
We are already there, but now it is more noticeable to the business world. The reason shopping and blogging dovetail so well is because we bloggers act as consumer reviewers and watchdogs. Blogs are the number one consumer report mechanism, IMO. It costs us, too- in whatever we invest in our online services. So it isn’t surprising that bloggers look for ways to offset cost while providing the service that they like- whether it is advice or just enthusiasm for a certain products or hobby interests.
Is this selling out? I don’t think so… not if it retains the personal integrity of the blogger, and is not sellling just to sell. Then it could cross over into the used-car salesman mentality, I’m sure.
But the nature of the blogosphere tends to penalize that, so there is something of a peer review. In the meantime, we should formulate our personal policies on this. I have long been looking into things like Zazzle and Cafepress because it seems like I could actually activate my long dormant interest in creating art in the utilitarian forms I prefer. Mastering the medium is something I haven’t accomplished yet- mostly because I have this inner compunction to sell only something of high quality. I’d be a killer salesman for something I really believed was worthwhile. I like quality.
But I hardly ever sell anything because I don’t feel I can guarantee its delivery. Still working on figuring out printing processes and PNG graphic formats, etc.
Not that I have a basis for believing y’all want ‘truegrit’ products, though;) I can’t even get uniformity in the name! TrueGrit, Truegrit, truegrit have all been used….. -so,hey,I like choices, but it isn’t exactly branded is it? I think I unconsciously resist branding.
segue in… Born free, as free as the wind blows …As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart…..