An new project: 25 Bloggers in Amsterdam
Thursday, January 26th, 2006
Late last year Sebastian Paauw, a cool young guy at the Netherlands Board of Tourism, approached us about buying ads on blogs. There’s lots of interesting blogging going on in Holland, so I could turn my normal sales pitch off and listen to Sebastian enthuse about how influential blog readers are. After some brainstorming and number-crunching Sebastian came back and asked about bartering blogads for trips, saying they normally had a pile of plane tickets for journalists and that it would be fun to see what happened if these went to bloggers instead. Sebastian suggested that we could, as part of the deal, interview the bloggers to capture some of their experiences for posterity, and then use some of their insights in the bartered blogads and other marketing.
We all agreed from the beginning that asking bloggers to blog about the trip should definitely not be a condition for going. And agreed that the project should be as transparent as possible, with all bloggers linking to a disclaimer explaining the whats and whys of the project. (While we’ve heard of companies giving freebies to bloggers, there has been no standard yet for how to disclose the nature of the gifts and whether there are any quid pro quos. We hope this project helps to highlight the question of best practices on disclosure. I’m sure we’ll get some feedback on this and look forward the discussion.)
After some further brainstorming with my colleague Justin Abbott, we decided to pull the blogger interviews and any other ephemera around the project into its own blog-style site. (Taking a page out of BL Ochman’s playbook with UpYourBudget.) What exactly is going to happen? We’re still trying to figure it. I have to say that Sebastian and his crew have been amazingly laissez-faire in their outlook.
Having originally started talking about five tickets, Amsterdam has gradually bumped the total number of invites up. Which brings us to 25 BloggersInAmsterdam!