Want to get noticed by bloggers? Hire some: American Express is paying Anita Campbell, Robert May, Dane Carlson and Clay Shirky to participate in an “online-offline event” that includes blogging an interview with Richard Branson tonight and doing some follow-up blogging for the next three days.
My take: Welcome to the world of custom published blogging. I think it’s beautiful. And, despite the suggestion by one the bloggers, I don’t believe it’s unprecedented as PaidContent.org has done this several times, including now.
I think this is a great model as long as its handled with the transparency of these examples. Indeed, I find it no different than a blogger or journalist or author or any type of expert being hired to make a presentation to a group and then blogging about it. I find it no different than a trade association paying someone $250,000 to come tell them they’re a bunch of jerks. Again, the transparency of the relationship is the key for me.
As long as American Express is not placing constraints on what the bloggers write and the bloggers are being forthright about the gig, this is great stuff.