Bloggers bash Microsoft again, but where’s the disclosure?

by Lee Hopkins on December 31, 2006 · 10 comments

in Uncategorized

Stuart (the) Bruce once again provides a voice of reason in the whole Microsoft/payola unscandal.

As Stuart points out, having a go at Microsoft is always easy, but disclosing that one has received a review copy is essential (and not everyone did, nor detail their intentions as to the future of their laptop.)

I thoroughly enjoyed the honest and forthright engagement between Shel and Neville on this issue in the last F, and agree with Neville that all would be well as long as the bloggers themselves disclosed that they had received a review copy (the blogosphere is quick to point the finger but slow to accept any personal responsibility, it would seem; let us not forget that whenever you point a finger there are three more pointing back at you).

Envy and Jealousy would appear to be the triggers for much of the hoo-haa. And like Stuart, I’d love to have a machine fast enough to run Vista; I too enjoyed my Office07 trial (except for the stupid PowerPoint ribbon) but would miss my WOPR (unless an 07 version is released — it would appear not).

Says Stuart:

Bloggers bash Microsoft again, but where’s the disclosure?

Yawn. This Christmas many bloggers are once again engaged in their previous past-time of Microsoft bashing. And once again many of them are failing to grasp the reality of life outside of their own little blogosphere bubble.

In their eyes Microsoft has committed the sin of offering some bloggers an Acer Ferrari laptop so that the bloggers can write about the new Windows Vista. The posts accuse Microsoft (and poor old Edelman) of ‘astroturfing’ and ‘payola’.

In reality Microsoft has done nothing wrong. The email from Microsoft says:

“…while I hope you will blog about your experience with the pc, you don’t have to. Also, you are welcome to send the machine back to us after you are done playing with it, or you can give it away to your community, or you can hold onto it for as long as you’d like. Just let me know what you plan to do with it when the time comes.”

It strikes me that the moaners and whingers either just don’t get how the world works or are simply jealous that they weren’t one of those honoured with an invitation.

As Eric Eggertson says in the comments to Stuart’s post, it IS highly redolent of the fuss that younger siblings make when an older sibling is allowed to stay up later at night.


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  • Mike Sueter

    Greetings from Germany. Concerning Edelman there’s breaking news: http://handelsblatt6.blogg.de/eintrag.php?id=1052

  • Mike Sueter

    Greetings from Germany. Concerning Edelman there’s breaking news: http://handelsblatt6.blogg.de/eintrag.php?id=1052

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Argghh! There’s where not paying attention in my German language lessons has me undone — I can’t understand a word of it!

    Translation, Mike! What are they saying??

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee Hopkins

    Argghh! There’s where not paying attention in my German language lessons has me undone — I can’t understand a word of it!

    Translation, Mike! What are they saying??

  • http://commonsensepr.com/ Eric Eggertson

    Lee: I don’t think Microsoft/Edelman did an elegant job of handling this. I agree with Neville that the biggest issue about this is disclosure, which was left to each blogger to think of and do something about.

    As for whether it’s a bribe, or a legitimate way to get their product in front of influential writers, it seems like a hybrid to me. A lot of people don’t have computers that can handle Vista well, so equipping reviewers with the right machine avoids some of the “I tried it and it was awful on my computer” comments. I think the whole thing would have gone under the radar if they’d asked people to return the PCs, or give them as prizes or to charities/non-profits.

  • http://commonsensepr.com Eric Eggertson

    Lee: I don’t think Microsoft/Edelman did an elegant job of handling this. I agree with Neville that the biggest issue about this is disclosure, which was left to each blogger to think of and do something about.

    As for whether it’s a bribe, or a legitimate way to get their product in front of influential writers, it seems like a hybrid to me. A lot of people don’t have computers that can handle Vista well, so equipping reviewers with the right machine avoids some of the “I tried it and it was awful on my computer” comments. I think the whole thing would have gone under the radar if they’d asked people to return the PCs, or give them as prizes or to charities/non-profits.

  • Mike Sueter

    Mike, the translation is at the bottom of the article. Here it is:

    Edelman PR und Technorati end their – at least in the German blogsphere – intensely debated partnership. Wolfgang Luenenbuerger-Reidenbach, the head of online conversations at Edelman Germany (and a blogger himself), confirmed my information that both companies won’t renew their partnership which is about to run out at year end anyway.

    What he couldn’t confirm are informations I got about a meeting in which Richard Edelman got very angry about technical problems at Technorati.

    In the German blogosphere the “Most Influentiel Blogs”-list, published bei Technorati and Edelman was furiously dismissed because of obvious and stupid faults. Strangely enough this pr-desaster could have been avoided, at least in Germany. Local blogger Popkulturjunkie did a similar and more accurate list based on Technorati, the German Blogcharts.

    As a German blogger I wonder what exactly they’re doing over at Technorati. The number of faults und blackouts is growing day by day. Many people wonder: Are they just holding out to wait for someone to buy the whole thing?

  • Mike Sueter

    Mike, the translation is at the bottom of the article. Here it is:

    Edelman PR und Technorati end their – at least in the German blogsphere – intensely debated partnership. Wolfgang Luenenbuerger-Reidenbach, the head of online conversations at Edelman Germany (and a blogger himself), confirmed my information that both companies won’t renew their partnership which is about to run out at year end anyway.

    What he couldn’t confirm are informations I got about a meeting in which Richard Edelman got very angry about technical problems at Technorati.

    In the German blogosphere the “Most Influentiel Blogs”-list, published bei Technorati and Edelman was furiously dismissed because of obvious and stupid faults. Strangely enough this pr-desaster could have been avoided, at least in Germany. Local blogger Popkulturjunkie did a similar and more accurate list based on Technorati, the German Blogcharts.

    As a German blogger I wonder what exactly they’re doing over at Technorati. The number of faults und blackouts is growing day by day. Many people wonder: Are they just holding out to wait for someone to buy the whole thing?

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Eric: I still think that MS did the right thing by giving out tools that were powerful enough to give a fair review of their software, and give those tools to powerful ‘sneezers’ (as Seth Godin would say).

    I still think it’s more a case of sour grapes and envy, or as you eloquently put it, small children whinging that their bigger siblings get to stay up later.

    Mike: thanks for the translation. I use technorati for my ego searches, but I’m still at a loss of what to make of it as a business model; I think you may be right and they are waiting/praying for someone to come along and snap them up a la YouTube. It’s probably the same hope for Linden Lab with Second Life… now THERE’S a service that desperately needs an injection of major capital!

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee Hopkins

    Eric: I still think that MS did the right thing by giving out tools that were powerful enough to give a fair review of their software, and give those tools to powerful ‘sneezers’ (as Seth Godin would say).

    I still think it’s more a case of sour grapes and envy, or as you eloquently put it, small children whinging that their bigger siblings get to stay up later.

    Mike: thanks for the translation. I use technorati for my ego searches, but I’m still at a loss of what to make of it as a business model; I think you may be right and they are waiting/praying for someone to come along and snap them up a la YouTube. It’s probably the same hope for Linden Lab with Second Life… now THERE’S a service that desperately needs an injection of major capital!

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