Sunday, August 8, 2010

FREE ITEM Brings Moral Hazard at No Extra Charge

As (both my) avid readers know, I do product reviews from time-to-time. Review postings are my among most popular postings with many hits.

Most of my postings just get a few hits at first and then one every great while.

Anyway. I got a FREE ITEM from a manufacturer with the implication that I should review it.

Now I have a moral conundrum: should I sell out  and give the manufacture a good review in return for the FREE ITEM? Maybe there will be more FREE ITEMS!

Or I could keep my integrity, and give it a bad review if it deserves it. I have evaluated the FREE ITEM yet, so I don't know how it will turn out.

Similarly, if I give it a good review, because the product really was good, readers could infer I am just a shill, and the review is meaningless promotion.

I am not in the depths of poverty, and it is not like the FREE ITEM is a car.  I can afford to buy FREE ITEMS. What price is my integrity anyway?

What if the price of my integrity is less than the price of a new car? Hmm, maybe I should branch out into reviewing cars.

The government says that if I am getting paid, that the blog is an advertisement, and I need to disclose that. On the other hand, then I look sold out, and lose credibility.  However, perhaps Depth-of-Processing is already sold out, so nothing lost. Scott Adams says Dilbert was born sold out.

Of course, if the FREE ITEM is of negligible value, then I am not really getting paid, am I? What is negligible anyway? Another moral hazard.

If the FREE ITEM is no good, I could forget to post about it. That is another form of the moral hazard isn't it. This moral hazard is a more insidious.

The only thing to do is to ignore the price of the FREE ITEM, and evaluate it as any other item.  Right?