This may seem slightly offtopic, but isn't.
I once earned twenty bucks by writing a poem for someone's anonymous anniversary (yes, you can order custom-made -- and often bad -- poetry online). The five stanzas took me a day. The poem was objectively pretty crappy but, I think, still better than most of the postmodern stuff out there. At least, mine rhymed.
What Reviewme.com offers is sort of the same. Write poetry or prose for someone's business and get paid. To get a taste of their own medicine, they are giving $25,000 to bloggers who are willing to review them. That's $125 per review. For $25,000, reviewme is getting backlinks from 200 very connected sites. These are the blogs they are letting in: relatively high on Technorati, on Alexa, and on Google, all sites with a PageRank of 5-7, plus whatever windfall they'll get from the reblogs, syndicators and sploggers reprinting the original reviews.
Technorati already shows 500+ blog-links to the website. Reviewme's PR is now 1. If all goes according to the plan, in the next three months (that's approximately how long it takes Google to update its index) it will go up to 5 or 6. That's a very smart investment as far as search results standing is concerned.
Now, they are trying to attract businesses to pay for blogger reviews, but I think this particular well is poisoned. A comment on TechCrunch (see, they got linked by TechCrunch) sums it up, "Will people still be able to be honest if a product sucks? I don't think so..." There goes public trust in the medium and the reviews. Lots of bloggers who took the bait already sound apologetic:
"As a note, I am being paid to write up this review, but I can assure you, in my years of reviewing products, services, and software, I'm always up-front and comprehensive with my assessments."
Who will use Reviewme's services? I have no clue. Not the big brands, not after what just happened to Wal-Mart. Local services can't benefit much from reviews by bloggers hundreds of miles away. Dot.coms 2.0? Maybe they will, yes, to boost their PageRank and visibility, turning Reviewme and other similar services into not much more than a glorified link trading biz.
Besides, the service's reach into the blogosphere is limited. A quick search through the site's database reveals that none of the Technorati 100 elite have made themselves available. There are plenty of fellow ad bloggers, though, which made going through the list not unlike bumping into a colleague in a brothel (not that I would know) -- you quickly look to the side and feign absence. There must be a more graceful to work this model.
Hope that was worth the $125. If not, I'll do the next one in rhymes.
Update [Nov.13, '06]. It seems I was right about the link trading biz stuff. SEO Buzz Post writes that the person behind reviewme is a professional link builder.