I was just about to do that, lol.
Shills gotta get paid, and pretend to be regular joes. Even still, people get around it. Guerilla Marketing and all.
The main thing is that some marketing is distasteful to some, and not others--things get testy in zero-sum conditions like business. Personally, I am not bothered by it. Whether employed by the maker or not, an edorsement does not mean anything to me unless I have a record of good endorsements to relate it to. I will trust Alton Brown's recipes, Harold McGee's fact-checking, Dave's sharpening advice/recommendations, and the Coen Brothers' films.
Even street teams get free merch.
If we are still talking about Shaun, he is not remotely close to appearing unaffiliated. He is the editor of the CKTG newsletter.
Originally Posted by Andrew H
Also, the fact that sales of one thing prevent sales of another thing is just an unavoidable fact of living in a material universe. There are plenty of customers out there that are oblivious to the fact that at some point in the future, they will be giving various parties their money. The majority of your income, unless you are close to retirement, is going to come from people who have no idea that you exist yet.
Originally Posted by ajhuff
My thread/topic? If so then it's kind of both a joke and serious. I guess that I find it funny that this is even something that could be discussed but then I'm also a guy trying to make a buck so maybe I could use a shill or two. I'm thinking it's best for my sensibilities to put it out in the open though.
On the subject of shilling I realize that the term is being used by myself loosely (well kind of) but I still think some people who do this fanboy stuff are being compensated even if not monetarily, they're getting themselves attention and/or acceptance from a community. So say a vendor doesn't officially ask for an endorsement (or pay for it) but they accept it (and use it on their advertising and/or sales sites) and by doing so they themselves return the favor of promoting the status of the individual through association. That is that the vendor's own credibility is (somewhat) endorsing of the individual "reviewer's" credibility by making the media accessible through their promotional/sales sites. This relationship is symbiotic, it works for both players even if only one (the vendor) actually gets monetarily compensated for it.
I'm not sure what's funny. I would like to try to do a review as an entry level type person. I have a video camera and basic skills with water stones. How do we start?
That is true, but no harm will come of it unless people allow themselves to be brainless buyers. You really can't expect a business to not take money from people for that. I mean, I work at a place that sells food, and people make assumptions about the food, and unless they ask, they are not going to be corrected--for better or worse. Some people think our food is all Freezer-to-Oven(it isn't), and other people think that there are "healthy options"(there aren't).
Originally Posted by Dave Martell
The only real problem would be that if someone who already has credibility starts endorsing a product, and never acting like they are on the take. Great example--Glenn Beck would terrify people about the market, and then tout buying Gold as the only solution. Then his commercial breaks were for gold dealers...which he is financially attached to.
Just ask Taco Bell to replace the Shun they are using in commercials with one of your knives. Instant visibility!
He might be the editor but I don't see any note of affiliation on his YouTube page, except him being subscribed to CKTG along with 16 others. If you found him through the forums or newsletter you would know he was affiliated, but not if you found him through YT.
Originally Posted by johndoughy
To the second part of your post, yes it is unavoidable. That does not mean that it is commendable.
Just watch a couple of his videos, he never says ANYTHING negative. For me, that's what makes someone a shill.
I don't think think you need a Shill Dave, quality speaks for it'self. Maybe a few celebrity tv Chefs on board wouldn't go a miss though.:D
Well, I am generally against "shilling," or the lighter versions that exist which are also suspect. Plugging products is generally looked down upon in the blogging world and forums. Chowhound, eGullet and many others don't even let you link to your own blog posts, let alone give a review of something a vendor has provided you. Product plugging has long been a problem in the blogosphere, and respectable bloggers always disclose that they have received a product to have or test -- even if they send it back and don't keep it.
My main problem is that when vendors encourage people to review their products, it crowds out other more valuable info, pictures, product reviews. Do we really need another Addict or Remedy review, or a video of those knives cutting and onion or tomato? It might be good for Mark's site (and that's fine), but for the forums it has a lot less value. And for every Addict review, I am sure that same person has a half dozen other knives we would rather see in action.
And then you have the latest "Free Sword" giveaway on KF. All you have to do is buy a KF sword for $20 and Mark will give you a $20 discount in return IF you put his link in your signature line. To me that is quite dodgy. There is indirect compensation, newbies will see a sword member promoting one vendor, and worst of all, it is converting members into low-level passive MARKeters in a very non-transparent way.
Vendorization of forums is tricky, but when regular members get involved it is often leads to nothing good. Full disclosure in any review, picture, etc. is a must IMO.