When IZEA created the sponsored conversation industry several years ago the blogosphere was the wild west. There were no rules, no standards and no competitors in the space.

When you are the first company to do something there is no road map to follow. You design a solution,  jump in with both feet and hope for the best. I freely admit we made some mistakes when we initially launched PayPerPost. It’s natural. Nobody should expect a new industry to get it right out of the gate. The first automobiles didn’t have airbags, let alone seat belts.

We have spent the past three years listening to bloggers, advertisers, readers, the FTC and industry trade organizations like WOMMA. Our goal has been to legitimize the sponsored conversation space by creating an ethical framework that works for all parties. As a result we have made an ongoing effort in the area of disclosure and transparency. Some of our milestones:

  • October 2006 : We created the industry’s first blogger disclosure policy.
  • October 2006 : We began requiring disclosure by all bloggers.
  • February 2007 : We introduced the Disclosure Badge. The industry’s first standard for in-post disclosure.
  • April 2008 : SocialSpark launches, creating the industry’s most transparent WOM platform.
    – Mandatory Disclosure Badges in every post.
    – The only automated disclosure in word of mouth marketing (WOM).
    – Transparent marketplace with all campaigns displayed to the public.
    – No-follow tags on all links.
    – 100% Real opinions. Advertisers cannot stipulate tone.

We have had some pretty impressive firsts, but we are not done yet. IZEA is pleased to announce the world’s first Disclosure Audit. Every sponsored post campaign within SocialSpark now includes a free, fully automated Disclosure Audit within the sponsored post campaign manager.

SocialSpark has always required bloggers to include an in post Disclosure Badge in order to be compensated. We now provide the time and date stamp of each individual disclosure and equip advertisers with an audit sorted by campaign.

disclosure_audit

No other form of word of mouth marketing provides this level of disclosure. Not only is all disclosure controlled, uniform and systematically required; it is also actively monitored and recorded. The Disclosure Audit available today for all SocialSpark users. Previous campaigns have been retroactively audited.

I would like to thank all of the people who have contributed to the disclosure conversation over the past few years. I feel that our discussions continue to move the industry forward. I invite you to share more of your feedback and help us to shape the future of sponsored conversations.

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9 Comments

  • BenSpark says:

    Excellent, more innovations. Hopefully this will quiet the naysayers (Which it won’t because they are naysayers and if there is nothing to say nay about then they no longer exist). I like seeing more disclosure on things and of the companies in your category you’re the only one I know of who requires this.

    It is also great for advertisers who can see and prove that disclosure was done properly.

  • I agree with Andrew. As much as others like to bash Izea because they provide bloggers a way to get paid for writing reviews and such, they are the only company that requires a disclosure for all opportunities taken.

    There is something to be said for that. And that is why I really respect what Izea is doing.

  • I had an advertiser find and seek me out on twitter after seeing one of my socialspark opps on my blog, they thanked me publicly on twitter for posting.

    SocialSpark is probably the best system out there, and I have tried almost a dozen different blog sponsorship programs, and I keep coming back to SocialSpark for some of the highest quality advertisers, payments and such.

  • This is great news Ted.

    Sponsored conversations are NOT going away and the Disclosure Audit is proof IZEA is leading the way in this industry.

    I’m proud to be part of the IZEA community!

  • Ted Murphy says:

    Thank you for your support. If you have any ideas on how to make it better please let me know!

  • […] just finished reading Ted Murphy’s announcement on the Izea blog regarding their new disclosure audit capability, and had a few thoughts on this […]

  • […] just finished reading Ted Murphy’s announcement on the Izea blog regarding their new disclosure audit capability, and had a few thoughts on this […]

  • Pradeep says:

    E-mail my Heart

    Forever…
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    You don’t answer when I phone
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    So I’m sending you my heart, my soul
    And this is what I’ll say…

    CHORUS
    I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…
    Can’t you give me one more chance to make it all up to you?
    e-mail my heart and say our love will never die…
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    And I know that you still care.
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    This song is by Britney Spears.

  • LaptopRepair says:

    social spark is a great site!

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