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Warner’s Secret Machine

More and more companies are jumping on the blogwagon. Today’s New York Times has a story about what happened when, earlier this month, Warner Brothers Records became the first record label to publicize its music to a handful of MP3 blogs, which offer music reviews right next to downloadable music files. Only one blogger posted the song, by the band The Secret Machines, and even he did so a little bashfully, with an entry titled “Music for Robots Sells Out.”

But as we recounted in our April issue, corporate America must tread lightly in the blog world. Whether promoting their wares to bloggers or setting up their own, as Dr. Pepper did, companies must remember that authenticity is crucial — any whiff of spin will have you blasted out of the blogosphere. That’s why Warner’s biggest apparent crime wasn’t merely publicizing to bloggers. The guy behind the “Music for Robots” site, for example, said he hoped posting the MP3 would help create a relationship with Warner. What really got bloggers going was that blatantly positive comments added to the post came from the same Internet Protocol location as the e-mail address that Warner had used to contact the bloggers. Warner’s apparent self-hyping was anything but authentic. And the stench of spin could be smelled throughout the blogosphere.

FCS