"thrash it out"

I’m a bit gobsmacked. I’ve read blog posts from well known bloggers in the past about bloggers being taken advantage of (stop saying “blogger” in here). I guess because I’ve never regarded this blog anything other than a hobby it’s never really affected me in anyway.

And then today I saw a ‘competition’ for bloggers to become an ambassador for an online brand. In order to enter you must write a blog post about an item from their website & send it to them. Fair enough. A good way to see if the blogger entrants have a grasp on writing a structured and balanced review on something.
But it was the next part that blew me away. After the finalists are chosen from their entries they are then invited to “thrash it out” on Twitter and/or Facebook to gain the most votes.
So basically, he/she who has the most friends/family/followers, wins.

Of course, ultimately a brand would want to reach the widest number of people as possible, and whilst the reward of “ambassador” is a generous one, with a nominal amount to be spent each month on the brand’s website, at the end of the day isn’t it all just a popularity competition?
Are bloggers throwing away any chance of their blogs being taken seriously by happily canvassing for votes rather than letting their talent and work do the talking for them?

Perhaps, as I said, because I see this currently as little more than a hobby, I’m just not grasping the whole “blogging” thing completely.
I think i’d rather keep the free monthly “payment” from a brand in return for a review than compete for votes that have little to nothing to do with my ability to write and review.

As a not-so-slight aside, there are a few blogs that I follow that currently have this position for this brand, and I AM a fan of their blogs and their writing. I guess we should just hope that the finalists are all up to scratch so that whoever triumphs as most popular will still give balanced and trustworthy reviews, rather than biased and greedy.

Am I just being cranky?

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