Although I volunteered for the Marqui program, I never posted for it. The reason being is because I never got a round tuit. I never thought of what they were doing as a marketing shortcut, though. Raging cow was an attempt at a shortcut. The wordpress issue was simply someone trying to make a buck and being called out for violating a community's assumed rules of conduct.
Nevertheless, I certainly get what Ben is trying to say: If you want to market your product, make something remarkable and people will advocate its use.
But, what Ben is missing (or atleast he didn't comment on) with the Marqui Blogosphere program and what attracted me to it in the first place was the way that the program was designed to solicit feedback about the product. Of course, it didn't really accomplish that because people simply talked about the program. But, I still think there is a huge opportunity for the blogosphere to be paid to provide FEEDBACK for the purpose of product improvement (And if a by-product of that is some exposure, sobe it.) After all, products don't get better by themselves. And they have to get better before they get evangelists. Right Ben?
If anyone (especially entrepreneurs) are interested in exploring this, I am picking up the Entrepreneur Feedback Exchange program with a new emphasis, regiment and improvements. We are about to launch some mega-new-functionality (hint, hint) and will be needing some feedback. Please email me @ pcaputa at whizspark dot com, if interested.