There were some new guidelines from the Fed to bloggers that any blogger who write commercial posts needs to clearly state so, especially if he/she got paid to write.
Thinking back, I started reading both English and Chinese blogs around the same time. For English blogs I started with Kathi of Lotus Palace and worked my way through her subscriptions discovering my current Blogger subscription as listed below. For Chinese blogs I started with Wretch - a Taiwanese blog service that was one of the earlier well-known blog services.
I remembered 西喜 who used to live in Japan and got firs hand news and swatch of new releases, who is also the originator of Majorlica Majorca craze in Taiwan; the cute girl with big eyes from “Tender is Night”, everything looked good on her; A Pei single eyelid girl with great eye makeup skills; Kathy, a pretty mom from Hong Kong; Ting who lived in Japan was well posted lots of new products. The marketing PRs took notice of Wretch pretty early on and it was obvious the bloggers started to write for previews of new products.
I’ve never knew makeup/skincare brand did PR work with blogs and didn’t mind it at first because the articles were always marked clearly as PR works. I don’t think there were any specific guidelines on PR posts at the time; it was more of unspoken blogger rule that they should state their article was PR work. Or the articles were always distinctive even when they weren’t marked. There are certain format that was used and the readers (at least I) always know it was PR writing.
Later Wretch just got over taken by these PR articles, the overall quality of the blogs lowered (either have bad writing or low quality pictures or useless/insincere swatches). So I discovered more existing blog services blogbus (Mainland China), pixnet (Taiwan) and OnlyLady (Mainland China) was starting their blog service as well. My very first subscriptions on these blogs were: Yuki who has similar eye shape and facial structure as I am and does great great swatches; Shockisgood her indication in eye makeup is unparallel. There were so many good Mainland China blogs, I particularly love 财宝，great pictures funny writing; Iker her everyday makeup is so lovely; there are couple of other ones from Onlylady but their blog site is down so I can’t find my links.
I feel the problems with Wretch blogs are mostly these: the bloggers are very young thus have very limited financial ability to purchase substantial amount of new products of their own; the florescence light used in household are awful for swatches; and the blogs are overwhelmed with insincere misleading PR works. In comparison, English blogs and Mainland Chinese blogs are much more attractive that the bloggers actually hauling lots of goodies, it is weird but I take pleasure in looking at how much stuff other people buy. LOL.
Anyway, I only learned English blogs does PR works very recently, only couple of weeks before the new guideline announcement. It was weird because I always thought English bloggers were…. better, and less tempted, but guess I was wrong. Slightly disappointed that some of my favorite English language bloggers do write PR blogs, especially I have not noticed before!