Till these hearts keep flowing, my love for you will keep growing. (explored), originally uploaded by .neha.
No, not the Nelly/Kelly song that ruled my first year of Uni.
The lovely Young (if you’ve never seen her blog, what. Go over there now and admire her photography. I’ll wait for you) asked on Twitter a few weeks ago*:
(* Yes, it’s taken me this long to try and get my thoughts on this down in a coherent manner!)
It’s a question that’s got me thinking a few times but not one I’ve actually thought to answer. Personally, if a blogger I admired posted a picture of them smoking (or using a cigarette for a prop) then I’d be disappointed that they thought this was a good image to project to their readers. Even if its just being used as a prop, by using a cigarette in a picture, the blogger is implying that cigarettes are cool (At least, thats how I see it). However, I probably wouldn’t say anything to them, because I would be just one voice. (I know, not the right attitude to have!)
Natalie (another awesome photographer, you should look and admire her stuff too.) mentioned that she found bloggers who talked about the free stuff they got “tacky” – that it made the “person’s life seem artificial/bought by a corporation.” I agree with this to an extent – as you’re probably aware, I’ve been given opportunties by companies like Aussie and 3MobileBuzz to experience a product and then if I wanted to, I could write about the experience. The reasons why I’ve blogged about it obviously vary on the event, but with things like the Aussie Events, I write about those because they’re always such fun, and an experience I wouldn’t normally have. With 3MobileBuzz, I’ve written about how I’ve found the MiFi’s that I’ve been lent in the hope that it will help someone make a decision on whether the item is a good choice for them. Also, there are some blogs that just wouldn’t work if they weren’t offered freebies from time to time. Think about the best make up blog you read (for me, its the lovely lipglossiping.com) The more items that a blogger recieves, the more they can review them, and then (in theory) the more people that will go out and buy them. I’m fully willing to admit that I’ve been influenced by Charlotte to buy make up items I wouldn’t have thought about before – a good example of this are the Revlon Colorburst Lipsticks.I’ve bought two of these lippies and have found them to be amazing. I probably wouldn’t have bought one (never mind both of them) previously because Revlon always seemed an older age groups sort of brand.
However, with all the good bloggers that will give good reviews (and provide good images as well), there are the ones of course who will happily accept the free products sent, and give a vague review or worse, just have a blog which reads like a collection of PR releases. There are the companies who will inundate bloggers in the same circles (Eyeko, I am definately looking at you here) with the same products, of which not much can be written about. Once you’ve seen one review of a new nail varnish, you’ve seen 95% of the others. The companies whos product ranges are at a higher price range sending out review items to people who then write (and I’m paraphrasing/reading between the lines, of course) “I’d probably use this product, but its too expensive for me”. (This actually annoys me more, because if a product is that amazing, then the price shouldn’t be that much of a factor – this obviously depends on the persons situation, but even so)
I think I’ve gotten a bit lost here now. I think that it is a great thing that bloggers are asked to trial and review products and services, but disclosure is important, as is a unbiased, original review.
How do you feel about items being sent to bloggers? What do you like or dislike about sponsored posts? Tell me your thoughts – I love to hear both arguments :)
I have nothing against bloggers who review things that they were sent for free, provided that, like you said, the blog doesn’t start reading like PR releases, and that they stay honest with readers about what they like.
But I’d agree with Natalie, I’d stop reading a blog if it got too much about free stuff. I used to read a theatre review blog that was quite good and informative, but as it gained more recognition, the blog writers got invited to after-parties and got more and more free seats, and the ‘reviews’ became less about the shows and more about the famous people they met, what newspapers had mentioned them etc. I didn’t say anything though, I just unfollowed them, as I don’t really think they’d have cared that much!
The Girl says
I don’t think it’s something I’d say something about because at the end of the day, a person can write about whatever they want to on their blog, I’d just stop reading.
It can get a little too much when there is just post after post after post about things that are going to make the blogger money. But then personally I’m not a fan of ‘review’ blogs – they don’t float my boat so I tend not to read them anyway.
But I think as long as you’re clear – like you are – about the times when you’re blogging about something you’re being given to be reviewed, or it’s something that’s going to make you money – then it isn’t too much of an issue for me.