Each month a maid service spends two hours cleaning our house.
This frees us from vacuuming, wiping, swiping, dusting and sweeping, and puts some cash into workers’ pockets.
The work is so polished that I wrote a positive endorsement on the company’s website after the first cleaning.
My agenda was to give the hard-working crew some kudos.
Now the company is running a promotion where you can get a discount if you write a note on Yelp and Google.
I lunged at the discount like my dog lunges at bacon.
Then I had second thoughts.
From a promotion side, getting your clients to spread the good word about you is nothing new.
But what if the writer is paid to spread the word?
As a consumer of information, I reckon the reviews I read online for cafes, coffeehouses and bodegas aren’t bought and sold—they are honestly-wrought opinions of layfolk.
I would reconsider, though, if I thought the reviews were purchased.
The line between promotion and procured opinion is fuzzy.
Especially when the reviewer’s stake is unknown.
Did I sell my soul? Discuss.