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Marketing guru (and dot-com bubble veteran) Seth Godin knows that the best friends are the ones you paid for. That's why Penguin is marketing his new book (Small is the New Big, a collection of Seth's blog posts and Fast Company articles) through the controversial BzzAgent marketing group.

The word-of-mouth agency is offering its "agents" — volunteers who work for points and prizes — free electronic excerpts from the book. Read that carefully: BzzAgent is giving away something people already got for free. That's the definition of brilliant marketing.

To be fair, BzzAgents might win signed copies of Seth's book. Penguin hopes that these agents will recommend the book to friends.

So go ahead, sign up as a BzzAgent and you too can be Seth Godin's imaginary friend.

Small is the new big [Penguin Books on BzzAgent]