Dave Balter, author of Grapevine and founder of BzzAgent, is up to something intriguing. Today he launched a new company blog called The Bento Box (my favorite thing to have for lunch at a Japanese restaurant).

Take a look. It’s kind of a blog as performance art. (Be sure to click on the image to listen to the audio segments.) BzzAgent has hired two high profile contributors to create the blog: John Butman, a professional writer and author; and artist Seth Minkin.

What really goes on inside BzzAgent?

For the next 168 days (24 weeks), the writer/artist tag team will “reveal” what really goes on inside Balter’s word-of-mouth-marketing agency. The point, presumably, is to counter criticism that the firm hasn’t been totally transparent about its method of recruiting volunteer BzzAgents to spread the word about a new product or service.

As the blog explains:

“Part Blog, part art show, part essay, part media experience, The Bento
Box will allow you to nibble on what’s happening inside an operating
company in real time, with the goal of thinking differently about your
own business, non-profit or community.”

And the Transparency Guidelines as stated on the blog:

  • Employees must approve any usage of their names or likenesses
  • Clients must approve usage of their names for all information that is not already public
  • We will not disclose
    • the personal information of any BzzAgents
    • BzzAgent financial information
    • Confidential employee information
  • We
    are learning as we go. These rules may change as people get more
    comfortable with how this turns out, with the ultimate goal of limiting
    as many rules as possible.

Thanks to a writer for Entrepreneur Magazine for alerting me to The Bento Box today!