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When did I become an agent?

posted by DL Byron on December 29, 2004

David Byrne, writing about agents in his blog (December 6 post), asks, “When did I become an agent?” Byrne continues to compare agents to a Philip Dick world and how damn scary that is. I covered agents in my, You can’t front on that post and Jason Calacanis posted BzzAgent: What people are really saying and BzzAgents Suck.

As Nat Ives writes for the NY Times, the Determined Detractor is the flip side of blog marketing. In one form or another, shills have always pitched product. The risk of an agent-type program is that once discovered, determined detractors will slam your company. Fortune’s article, Why There’s No Escaping the Blog, covers how a product can be boosted or destroyed.

One of Marqui’s goals for their Blogosphere program was to “engage the nerds” and that’s been a success. There’s been a boost (see my post on Google Suggests) and at the same time public detractors, as Stowe Boyd documents and Tony Walsh deconstructs.

The difference between agents and blogging for Marqui is that there’s no deception about the agenda. There should be no question as to when a blog is an agent or not. Despite the detractors, Marqui is engaged. They’re not hiding behind a Kid Halloween or receiving secret messages from VALIS.

Later this week, Clip-n-Seals will be available on Amazon.com. We’ve been quietly working on that for the past month. We could ask our friends to post positive product reviews, but we won’t do it because that could backfire and cause us pain. We will blog it, promote it, and let our customers speak for themselves.

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