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Google TipJar : nice idea, but too much self-promotion?

There's been a fair amount of buzz over the past couple days regarding TipJar, a place to share money-saving advice powered by Google Moderator. It started with a Tweet from the official @google account, which nearly warranted an immediate post from us, but we let it sit for a couple of reasons. The biggest one: ambiguity.

Twitter has been flooded with tweets about TipJar, saying it's like "Digg for money saving ideas." Take a look yourself, though, and see if you notice what we did: most of the tips are left by other money-saving websites. While it's not something to be blamed on Google, the end result looks like a flood of shameless self-promotion, regardless of how useful the tips are.

To Google's credit, there are no links that can be clicked to visit the URLs that tipsters leave.

It's bit disappointing, but this is what we've come to expect on the web. If there's a good, new service available somewhere, you can bet that it won't take long for opportunists to use it as a way to drive traffic back to their own sites.

Content and questions aside, TipJar is a nice showcase for Moderator and we will no doubt see more applications build on its foundation. Hopefully they won't all wind up as a dumping ground for shameless plugs.

Tags: google-tipjar, op-ed, opinion