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A matter of concern..
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 04 June 2007 08:45

When making a purchasing decision many factors often come into play. What friends are using, what's done well by us in the past, even an educated guess, though we don't like to talk to much about those decisions.":O}

But I think most turn to reviews. We like to know what "The Professionals" think. We like to reach out to greater experience than out own. We like to have our hands held a bit, a lot of cash is about to change hands! Most often there's a matter of choice. Several or many competing companies making very similar products, often based upon the same root technologies. Motherboard chip sets and Video cards come to mind as well as sound cards, but there's a whole world of shared tech out there. So we like to see product reviews that compare several or many different manufacturer's products, usually pretty closely matched, same root tech remember?

When licensed tech is at the shared root of a series of very similar products, competition is going to be fierce.
We've all seen world class sprinters. They are all amazing in their capabilities. But how much real difference is there between them? Hundredths or thousands of a second?
So if you were trying to sell a sprinter to the world how would you distinguish yourself from the field?
More to the point, how do the people who would like to sell us our hardware make a name for themselves? Alas the answer is less worthy than we feared...

Daily Tech looks at On line marketing and the review of products by people we perhaps thought we knew.

Pay to Play: Uncovering Online Payola
Kristopher Kubicki & Gabriel Ikram - June 3, 2007 1:21 PM

A three-month study of the online technology publication industry uncovers pay-to-review tactics, viral marketing and a few beacons of light. During the 1960s a new term was born into the music industry: Payola. A combination of the words "pay" and "Victrola," payola represented an increasingly large problem in the music industry: record companies paid radio stations to play and promote new records.

The immorality of paying radio station disc jockeys to air music did not become apparent until investigations by Federal Trade and Federal Communication Commission. Several deejays from the era were eventually found guilty of commercial bribery charges and deliberate legislation was eventually proposed, and sanctioned, that specifically banned the practice of payola in the U.S., with stiff consequences.

Title 47 of the United States Code details specific federal legislation for radio, telegraphs, communication satellites, and cable TV, but it does not address similar payola schemes with regard to internet publications. There are no legal ramifications for online publications that accept profits in exchange for pay: online payola.

Jasper Schneider, owner of enthusiast hobby site and a practicing attorney at Schneider Law Firm, reflected on his experience in dealing with advertisers and his legal background. "Without any uniform ethical standards or statutory law governing the online publications, online payola certainly exists.” He continues, “If it doesn’t exist expressly, it is often implied when dealing with certain advertisers.”

Over the past three months, DailyTech put together a series of faux companies, product portfolios and trademarks. In a combination of phone and email correspondences, our team of journalists set out to find illicit and unethical review behavior in the English-print, computer hardware review industry.

Specifically, these journalists looked for publications that were:
Willing to sell advertisements (receive funds) in exchange for publishing content.
Willing to sell advertisements (receive funds) in exchange editor's choice awards.
Willing to offer viral marketing in exchange for cash and resale hardware.
Manufacturers pressure publications from all sides when attempting to secure headlines and positive reviews. No money actually exchanged hands during this analysis, and the working relationships lasted less than a week....MORE

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