Ok, I have slept and think I have a clearer perspective and Blog your way summed up many of my thoughts very nicely. But here are my 2 cents worth anyway.
Basically the trouble I see with hiring a freelance blogger is how do you judge the end result? Just having someone writting words for your company turns it into a PR event. (Sorry to the PR folks out there.) Yes I think having a blog can do wonders for your PR, but having an external party write for you might not be the best method. I think if a company is really behind getting a blog going them they can find people internally to write.
Darren is addressing one of the important issue and that is helpping the company set up a blog. Setting up the blog for many small businesses could be one of the hurdles stopping them and through Darren and Jeremy‘s auctions they could help remove the hurdle.
Another issue I seem is how they both plan to introduce the blogging culture within the organisation so that after 3 months the whole thing does not stop. Essentially a blogger should be an evangelist for your organisation, like Scoble is for Microsoft or Jeremy Zawondy for Yahoo. An evangelist should love your product or service and believe in it. It is this bit I see as lacking in both auctions, and maybe in many of the PR focused corporate blogs. A corporate blog (or blogs) should have ownership within the organisation it should be nurtured and developed as part of the oraganisations culture. If we know anything about people changing a culture from the outside is VERY difficult if not impossible. I hope the guys know a bit about change management cuase they might need it.
Anyway I guess on Dec 3rd we will all know how much a blogger costs (on eBay that is) and Mar 3rd we should be able to see the results.