SezWho has announced partnerships with social marketing company Izea, blog widget advertising network Entrecard, and blog network Creative Weblogging. SezWho is under a lot of stress from Disqus and Intense Debate and this round of partnerships with relatively small and, in the case of Izea, dodgy companies makes this seem like a somewhat desperate move.In a slew of press releases today, the commenting and profile company
Izea, formerly known as PayPerPost, has a pretty sketchy history, but also a lot of users. Izea is a "social media marketing" company that pays bloggers small amounts of money for posting blog posts about Izea's advertisers. Izea's PayPerPost product especially came under heavy fire from bloggers in its early days, as it didn't require disclosure of the advertising content from its bloggers and was generally seen as misleading. Even today, there are still questions about Izea's disclosure policy.
SezWho is going to work with Izea's SocialSpark, a marketplace and community which connects advertisers with bloggers who are willing to write sponsored posts. SocialSpark will start using SezWho to provide its users with a way of tracking blog comments and reputation.
Given that Google has already banned all PayPerPost users by indexing them with a Pagerank of zero, it seems Izea is interested in creating a different ratings system for its users by leveraging SezWho's technology.
Entrecard provides bloggers with a blog-to-blog advertising widget and will give SezWho users who receive ratings of 4 stars or more with credits to advertise on its network of blogs. This is an interesting approach, as it connects reputation with a direct reward. Through this deal, Entrecard will get a stronger foothold among bloggers who are already working with SezWho and probably hopes that SezWho's users will return to actually buy real advertising after having tried out the free ads.
SezWho's deal with Creative Weblogging, an international blog network, is probably the most straightforward of these announcements. Creative Weblogging will enable SezWho's technology among its network of blogs. SezWho advertises that it can greatly increase the number of comments on blogs. This is something the Creative Weblogging network could definitely use, as most of its blogs are currently getting close to zero comments on average.
Overall, this is an interesting, yet somewhat desperate, move by SezWho. In terms of publicity, it has been in the shadow of similar ventures like Disqus and Intense Debate. By adding a number of more formal and visible partners, SezWho looks like it is trying to gain back a bit of mind share among publishers.
At the same time, though, at least two of the partners they have chosen, Izea and Creative Weblogging, don't exactly have great reputations. Izea has a history of deceptive advertising and a lot of content on Creative Weblogging looks rather spammy, too (though there are also a few good blogs in the network as well). Entrecard, while an interesting service, is also mostly a niche player, which will probably get a lot more out of this partnership than SezWho itself.