Monday, January 24, 2005

Silicon Valley 100

Om Malik probably probably one of the more concise posts on the Silicon Valley 100.  You can find the full Newsweek article here.  Here's the lowdown from Malik:

[The Silicon Valley 100 is] . . . this really exclusive group which will get a lot of schwag from companies hoping to create buzz around specific products. This will include venture capitalists, lawyers and bloggers as well. Auren Hoffman has set up this group, which is like the jet set society of the late 1980s. His idea is if thee people recommend it, well then others are going to buy it.

Dan Gillmore has this to say:

This is oddly creepy. Will the people getting this stuff will routinely tell people they've gotten it for free?

What bothers me is the lack of transparency . . . in this case. It's just an extension of a concept of what some call "buzz marketing" -- getting allegedly "regular people" to tout products without disclosing the practice.

What's funny is that in the Newsweek article, the organizer of the group says:

. . . he avoided adding career bloggers or journalists to the list. “Those people have a different standard and shouldn’t be keeping free products,” he says (journalists are typically required to return products they sample for review).

Unfortunately, many of the Silicon Valley 100 have very well-read blogs, so if the organizer is lumping bloggers in with journalists, shouldn't all of those people have to return the sample products?  I just find this interesting.

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