OK I’m still processing this one because I have a lot of things going right now. Apparently BzzAgent is the target of some backlash from their successful PR and marketing efforts. Which is interesting, because they only have one PR guy (Joe Chernov) and no one officially in charge of marketing (I think).
A few different ways to look at this. It’s a credit to the power of their business model. They espouse leading-edge WOM ethics yet operate in a gray area. WOM marketing is more than agent networks but because of the first two points, BzzAgent gets a great deal of press.
Last time I checked, BzzAgent was operating a .com site. (Balter owns the .org as well). So what incentive does the firm have to throttle their success in order for good of the industry? They’re certainly not dominant in WOM of Microsoft-like stature…yet.
It’s strange yet entirely appropriate that this dirty laundry about WOM would be aired by WOM in a WOM channel. My guess is that it’ll just die on the grapevine and people will buzz about it in the industry, but there will be very little impact otherwise. I’m sure most people have already deleted this post and moved on already.