Editor's update: udorse.com is a company backed by venture capital firm Founders Fund, an active partner of the Techcrunch50 conferences. Founders Fund was financially involved with Mint.com and Yammer.com, winners of the Techcrun
ch40 2007 and the Techcrunch50 2008 conferences respectively.
I’m torn about udorse.
On one hand, it’s great to be able to monetize your online presence with brand endorsements. At no other time in history has the individual had the opportunity to make advertising money on the things they do every day. If I want to promote a brand I love, I can post of photo of myself using their product and ca-ching.
On the flip side, you know how people still don’t like product placement in films and TV shows? And sort of have a problem with advertising already on the Web, especially when it involves social-network data? Imagine if every Facebook photo of your friends was trying to sell you something. Really, do we need to commodify ourselves any further?
So I’m split: why not make money on what you post online, if the money's there? On the other hand, why reduce ourselves to brand avatars?
Tony Hsieh: “I think it would be weird, if I were your friend, to be paid to look or dress like you.”