Link: ReviewMe | Write reviews for cash!. This is an interesting concept. Not being paid to blog per se - we've seen that in a number of different guises for a long time. At one end of the spectrum you get the 'black hat bloggers' who will write about products either for cash or for a copy of the item or whatever, but without disclosing this. It's not a sensible move to make for the blogger, because if it ever gets discovered that they've done this it's going to ruin their reputation, and you'll always wonder what else they've said that they've been paid for.
At the other end of the spectrum there are the adverts that are placed into individual blog entries, and these - while they have the transparency angle drive me nuts because they look unslightly and get in the way of reading the weblog post. I've dropped otherwise really interesting weblogs in the past because I just can't cope with the adverts.
In between we have the reviews, and this is where 'ReviewMe' comes into play. The concept is simple. You register your weblog with the service, and the folks at ReviewMe work out how influential your weblog is based on it's importance within services such as Technorati. You then get told that reviews in your weblog are worth between $20 and $200 each, I guess depending on how widely read the blog is, and how much the advertiser is willing to pay. The blogger gets 50% of the review, with ReviewMe taking the other 50%. One key element however is that the blogger has to declare that they're doing the review in return for a financial incentive. Consequently, I'm happy to say that in this instance, I'm reviewing ReviewMe for a financial incentive directly from them.
A second key element is that bloggers are free to write what they want to about the product/software/resource/website/whatever. That seems to make perfect sense to me - a review, if it's to have any value at all, needs to be honest and unbiased, because if it's anything other than that it becomes meaningless.
Do I have any concerns about this whole process? None at all. I review products/resources/utilities and so on for this weblog all the time, and include them on the website. If something is good I'm happy to say that it's good. If I don't like it, I'm going to say that as well. Moreover, I'm not about to review anything that I don't think is suitable for this site, so I guess this product would come under the heading 'I want to make money from my weblog'. I don't know if it's something that I'll do a lot of, to be honest - it depends what I get offered for review, and how well it sits with the rest of the weblog content. However, it will obviously be clear, as it is in this case, that the review is in return for that financial incentive.
Having said all of that, Reviewme is simple to set up - just go in, register, answer the questions about the weblog, decide how you want to get paid, and yes, PayPal is an option, and the system is then set up. The first review is for the resource itself, which makes sense to me, and has to be completed within 48 hours. It's an interesting concept as I've already said, and one that I really do think could work. I'll keep you informed!