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American Express Hires Bloggers to Blog about Richard Branson Speech

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of October 2005 Other Income Streams 0 Comments

Dane from Business Opportunities Weblog has been presented with an interesting opportunity to make a few dollars from his blog by being paid by American Express to blog about a speech to be given by Richard Branson and to host a discussion afterward. Dane writes:

‘I’ve been hired, with two other veteran business bloggers (Anita Cambell of Small Business Trends, and Rob May of BusinessPundit) to be a part of the online blogging event….

Following the live event, the three of us will spend the rest of the week responding to Branson’s talk and writing about a variety of entrepreneurship topics relevant to the theme of the event. Clay Shirky, a professor and blogging pioneer, will be serving as our moderator for the online discussion.’

It’s an interesting experiment by American Express. Dane gets to post a disclaimer and gets to express his own opinions through the process. I wonder if we’ll see more of this in future?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I think it’s great – not only encourages debate and public discussion but also gives bloggers a way to pay the rent and develop credibility. Chances are, if AMEX picked these guys for the spot, then likely they (or someone very much like them) would have been commenting on the speech or its aftereffects anyway, so I don’t see a conflict of interest issue here.

    Also, I think this represents a big step forward on the ‘blogger as citizen journalist’ path, for those who are into such things. The ‘official press’ has been a part of such invitations virtually since the first press put out the first paper. That such big-name company’s as AMEX are starting to pull bloggers into the mix speaks to the credibility and viability of the platform as well as to the talents of the writers.

    Of course, as with all such things, there are always issues of selling out and so on. So it’s definately a ‘blogger beware’ issue – those who are or wish to be involved with such things will, like print journalists, have to learn to differentiate between specious justification and a truly quiet conscience.

  2. I think this is also a great step forward for blogging and bloggers, more so for the reporter/newsy type blogger.

    Will be watching very closely Dane’s experiences with this and hope all goes well.

  3. I was in a position to give a presentation to high level executives in the largest health insurer in the nation on the future of corporate blogging and podcasting.

    I spent an hour explaining the benefits of every associate, from the CEO down to the schlub on the phones, having their own blogs and allowing RSS aggregators that can be placed as add-ons in MS Outlook (like Newsgator). I explained how letting free-form RSS subscriptions throughout the organization would allow an organic social network to grow that could overcome The 150 Rule as described in the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.

    I basically handed them the way to maximize the efficiency of their internal and external communications and they sat and looked at me like I had just given a lecture on Chinese brush strokes.

    I was basically laughed out of the room, but I know that I was still right and the scrubs who won’t embrace these new tools are going to eventually be phased away like people in the early 90s who refused to make the switch to computers.

  4. Sounds like they are selling out.

    Maybe companies are getting smart about how to control bloggers. We need to not let this happen. or else blogging will become like billboards, everywhere and a pollution to our society.

    It has always made me wonder, why don’t we have giant billboards with art instead of adds…. ahh thats right….. because so much of our society is controlled by commercial not cultural interest.

    Keep the blogosphere cultural and independent. This is part of the reason I will be starting a new site called Bloghurt (Now with added culture, improve your digestion). The blogosphere is selling out.

  5. In most cases this would also create some problems because you would be restricted in what you can blog about. Blogging is about stating your thoughts and opinions and you do not want someone to control what you can say. But in this case it seems like a good deal because they put no restrictions.

  6. I am one of the three bloggers who is part of this event, and I am having a great time with it.

    In Miami on Tuesday I got to meet billionaire Richard Branson and anchorwoman Jane Pauley (he told me he’s never read a blog and she said she’d never met a blogger before — the account of the meeting is over at my site).

    And no, we’ve not been given any restrictions about what to say. Anyone who wonders what it is all about, just go over and read about it on any of the three blogs involved.


  7. I think it was a really smart move on AMex part to hire three influential bloggers and go underground with a very cool buzz campaign. It fits for Branson and Virgin. Smart and Cool…

  8. […] Darren Rowse, writing on the shamelessly commercial blog ProBlogger (tagline: helping bloggers earn money) calls the event “an interesting experiment.” Comments on Rowse’s post range from “a great step forward for blogging and bloggers,” and “smart and cool,” to “the blogosphere is selling out.” […]

  9. I hope everyone has enjoyed the blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

    Tyrell parkins


  10. […] Oops! The first entry that came up in both “American Express Blog” and “Amex Blog” was this – AmexSux.com. Not a very good thing to have listed first. Also among the entries are some commentary about misleading commercials and a ProBlogger.net entry about American Express paying bloggers to write. […]

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