Gary has gained a lot of followers with this tactic but I doubt that he has much influence over them. Influence is about earning trust. Its a relationship and a relationship that starts with money, is bound to fail. As soon as the money runs out, the relationship is often over.
Plus this tactic just smells funny. It may not be as bad as Belkin paying people for good reviews on Amazon.com, but it feels like it belongs in that same category, along with buying links for SEO and paying people to Digg your story.
True social media is about trust, and it can't be bought. Key things we should learn from this:
- Social media takes time and effort
- Be authentic
- Don't force it (You can't buy it)
- Avoid tactics that "smell" funny