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If T-Mobile gave you a £500 gift card, what would you buy?

Right then, this is an interesting one I’ve been thinking about.

You know Izea? The get-paid-to-have-your-blog-post-sponsored? Typically they offer, say, $5 if you write about the latest movie on your blog. And if you write about some washing powder, they’ll give you $3.50. Or whatever the prevailing rate is being offered by the sponsoring company. Izea are the folk in the middle and they have oft come in for a bit of flack from some corners of the web because they are basically paying for content. They don’t influence the actual editorial opinion but they are the reason that many bloggers originate that editorial. If you post an Izea sponsored-blog-post, you are required to declare it as such at the top and bottom of the copy.

I think this kind of marketing has a place in the industry. I don’t think a lot of the $1.50 offers are ‘worth it’ but if you’re blogging away diligently with a generalised blog, you can earn quite a bit if it all adds up.

Where I really see the relevance of the likes of Izea is with this idea they’ve dreamed up with US shopping chain, Kmart. It’s genius. Forget the willy-nilly $1.50s. Kmart offered a $500 gift card to be spent in-store to some of the US Izea registered-bloggers.

Have a look at the newsletter about it:

I clicked through on to Chris Brogan’s Dadomatic site and read his experience. He had a wicked time. He took his kids and bought a ton of cool stuff. Likewise with Julia Roy and 1938 Media’s Jeremy Schoemaker.

I’m rather impressed with the concept. The blogger gets $500 to spend and some good copy to write (“And then I bought..”) and the readers of the blogs get to sit and think about what they’d do with $500… and if they’re up for it, talk to Kmart, via Izea, and do their own post.

This would be a total arse for the likes of Kmart to administer themselves — so there’s a clear reason for having Izea in the middle, managing it all.

Which got me thinking.

Could UK mobile operators adopt this sort of approach? I used T-Mobile as an example in the title of this post, but I wonder. Which mobile operator would you like to get £500 to spend with?

And how would you manifest that ‘spend’?

You could blow it all on one Nokia handset. Or you could get yourself a dongle, a PAYG Nokia, a PAYG Samsung, some accessories, some speakers, a memory card and a spare charger.

Perhaps mobile operators don’t lend themselves to this kind of arrangement? Clearly at the likes of Kmart, you’ve got tons of possible items to buy — DVDs, clothing and so on. If I was standing in the 3UK store, what could I buy for £500?

Well. It’d still be fun. I could buy a contract for a year. I would definitely get myself an INQ1 (in the shops today). In fact, I’d maybe get two. A bluetooth headset perhaps. Aaaand what else? Hmm.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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