Is giving influencers $3k laptops bribery, PR-as-usual, or both?

It’s a slow week in the tech world, nestled between Christmas and New Years, with nothing to read but insipid the-year-that-was technical review rehashes and pundits pontificating their predictions. But wait! A newsflash! Microsoft is trying to influence their unpaid champions, by slipping a couple of loaded laptops out there for “review,” no strings attached. Bribery? PR? Same old thing? In Bribing Bloggers, I think Joel nails it with:

This is the most frustrating thing about the practice of giving bloggers free stuff: it pisses in the well, reducing the credibility of all blogs. I’m upset that people trust me less because of the behavior of other bloggers.

eWeek opines “Microsoft’s Laptop Giveaway Rubs Some the Wrong Way” I think Microsoft’s retreat on this is about the worst thing they could do, nearly admitting some wrongdoing.


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