It's not about gaming is about engaging the system

There's been a lot of debate recently about marketing disclosure. Jason Calacanis -- who is a bit late in returning my emails (yes, jason that's a nudge)-- has been leading the charge against payperposts lack of disclosure. Now, Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 has a good post about the topic and the role of the FTC. Worth reading.

This topic is relevant to me right now because just this morning I was talking with Erin - our head of marketing -- about how to be more aggressive with marketing online. We were talking about what our policies should be in working with our city editors and expert shoppers to encourage them to get the word out about Judy's Book.
So where are we coming down on the topic:

  1. Being deceptive about online marketing is stupid, disingenous, and while effective in the short run -- fails in the long run.
  2. Being smart about engaging with digg, reddit, and netscape makes tremendous sense. We haven't figured out exactly what we want to do here but we will.
  3. At the very least, we are going to educate our city editors and expert shoppers about these services so they know how they work and undersand them.
  4. We're going to want to make sure that consumers know that we do compensate our city editors and expert shoppers. City editors receive small promotions -- usually on the order of $10 to $20 per month gift card.  Our expert shopper program is just starting up and we're likely to compensate those users but haven't figured out exactly what the amount and nature of the payment will be.