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  • Joe Duck

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this and why I was so concerned and upset by the initial reactions from you and especially Mike Arrington. I found Tony Hung’s detailed analysis the most insightful about all this and realize that the people who see this clearly are the *outsiders* who are not feeding their kids through blogging. As blogging comes of age we need to strengthen, not weaken, the separation of real speech and commercial speech.

    In current form FM’s “conversational marketing” has opened a pandora’s box where many “intellectually unacceptable” things are starting to become acceptable to the blogging elites. The first is that participants will lose credibility as shills *whether they deserve it or not*. They did not deserve it in this case but they lost it anyway.

    But FAR more importantly the approach seeks to drive a stake in the heart of what makes blogging so rich and powerful – it seeks to define the conversation of the day around the topics (and the quotes about topics) that are set by the rich and powerful and elite. That distorts the quality conversation to such a degree that I’m now convinced I don’t want to help fix “conversational marketing”, I want to help kill it before it metastasizes into the discussion killer called … traditional marketing.

  • John Battelle

    Thanks Joe, but don’t toss out the baby (new approaches to marketing) with the bathwater (the campaign in question where author’s integrity has been questioned). There are tons of other approaches that I call conversational marketing – companies running RSS feeds of their own blogs in campaigns, the Dice rant banner, the integrated campaigns Intel did with Digg, Ask with Ninja, etc. – that are totally great and have nothing to do with this particular example.

  • Joe Duck

    John I will try to stay open minded while you keep the newly birthed conversational marketing baby afloat and I certainly agree that there’s plenty of room for new ideas … in all things online and offline.