Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tired and Pissy, and Definitely Not Eloquent

Forgive me folks, but you are about to see what it looks like when I get on a soap box.  It rarely happens here, so enjoy it (or hate it), because it will be a while before you see me get hot and bothered about anything other than my family, food, or fashion.

I am tired and feeling a bit pissy, and well, a topic got me a little worked up tonight.

I read this tweet this morning (it was retweeted by someone I follow), and it just sort of rubbed me the wrong way all day: "I kinda feel bad for the bloggers that will host any giveaway that's offered to them. Who knew integrity was out of style?"

Dude, get off your high horse is my first gut reaction.

On Giveaways:
Blogs are the personal property of the author, and therefore it is strictly within their right to host a giveaway, sell ad space and accept sponsors.  Bloggers that are good enough to attract giveaways work damn hard.  The writing, the picture taking, the photo editing, and on and on.  For some it is a full time job, for others like me, it is a late into the night part-time job.  If a blogger decides to host a giveaway to attract followers and traffic, that is their choice.  Their personal choice, their business and no one else.  Does it devalue them to accept any giveaway on the block?  Who knows, and really, who the F cares?  (Sorry, did you not know that I have a tendency to late night cursing?  I was raised by a truck driver, I lay all the blame on my father).  I do know that it is a waste of time worrying about what every other blogger on the block is doing instead of minding your own P's and Q's.

I was approached by Whole Foods recently to tour their new store before it opened to the public, and it included a $10 gift card giveaway to my readers.  Honestly, I thought to myself, "Really?  $10?  What the heck can you buy at Whole Foods for $10?"  In a way it was insulting, but I relegated it to the fact that their contracted PR gal just didn't know what she was doing (coincidentally, Whole Foods contracted out the same PR firm I interned at when I was a college; thank GOD I didn't land up in PR).  I knew I could have pushed for more, but I didn't.  I hosted a $25 giveaway to Whole Foods anyhow because it was a great tie in with this guest post, and I think the store is great.  And you know what, I paid for the giveaway myself.  Stupid?  Maybe.  But based off of principal?  Absolutely.

The thing is though, that was my decision and my decision alone.  I'm sure the blog mafia would claim I am selling my soul, but at the end of the day I don't regret the decision and that's what matters most. 

On Sponsorships and Advertising:
I remember this post from Making It Lovely, where Nicole announced that she was working with AMEX rewards to redo her bedroom.  81 comments later, and the topic of the post had been somewhat lost because a debate ensued on whether she was a sell-out for accepting such corporate sponsorship.  Can I just be honest here and state the obvious?  Jealous much?  It's the only thing I can think of.  If I was offered 300k membership rewards points to use on redoing my master bedroom, you bet your bottom dollar I'd jump at that.  And I bet 99% of people would.  It's either extreme jealousy or extreme elitism that would prompt a person to have such a visceral reaction to a sponsorship.

Oh and don't even get me started on those uppity blogs that proudly display the "Ad Free Blog" logo.  Puh-lease 

On Corporate Endorsements/Write-Ups:
Most recently there was this whole controversy involving High Fructose Corn Syrup which you can read about here and here.  Basically, some bloggers got all worked up because some other bloggers got paid in gift certificates to attend a conference hosted by the corn refiners association.  If you haven't heard, they are lobbying to change the name of HFCS to corn sugar.  There's a whole list of reasons why some got worked up, including devaluing themselves by accepting gift certificates vs. actual money.  And of course the fact that a blogger would work for "The Man" and possibly persuade helpless women to converge to the dark side and believe it's perfectly fine to give their children HFCS.  You know what, that view is insulting.  Insulting to women and insulting to women that read blogs.  That view assumes that a reader would make a decision off of reading one single post, instead of doing their due diligence and researching the topic.  It's assuming that only the lowest common denominator are trolling blogs looking for answers.  I'm not going to make a decision on what I feed my children based off a blog post.  And if I do, then I've got bigger issues than just what I'm feeding my children.

And in regards to accepting GC vs. cold hard cash?  Really, what's the difference?  That to me, is a scarier topic than the debate itself.  It's like saying, "Sure, sell your soul to the devil.  Just make sure you get cash instead of a Macy's gift card when you do it".  Really folks?

I swear when I read this crap it makes me feel like gossip has just spread from the school yard to the internet.  Really people, we're not in high school anymore.  Let's just all mind our own business and everything will be just fine.

Geez, I need to go to bed before my head implodes.
This has been a post brought to you by a sleep deprived and obviously hormonal mom.
p.s. I am happy to read any comments, including those that show me the point that I may be missing.  Because I'm obviously missing something here...


  1. I agree with you 100%. People need to mind their own business and not judge others for the decisions they make on their blog.

    I just got back from a blogger conference (Relevant) and attended a good session on monetizing your blog. I learned some great information and am considering it for the future, God willing. I also learned there are many people like you described who get their panties in a bundle over this and think people are selling out. Like you, I think that the people who can advertise and do free giveaways on their blogs have worked hard and can do whatever they want. Besides, if done right, it sounds like it can be fairly profitable. And for someone like me who stays home with the kids that would be some nice spending money and/or a way to help supplement my husband’s income.

    I’m with you on all this, especially the leaving the schoolyard drama and B.S. behind. If you don’t like what someone says or does on their blog, by all means, don’t read it.

    Great post!!

  2. Thank God that you were raised to stand up for yourself and in turn, blog about your "soap box" views. I have yet to come across a blog that has an ad-free logo, but you can bet your bottom dollar that now that I know it exists, it makes me question the motives of some bloggers even more. I have recently offered ad space on my blog, and so far, so good. It's MY blog, right? If I wanted to post a giant button on my sidebar that said, "I think my blog is cussing better than your blog!" I could. Bloggers can do whatever they want with THEIR space. Why on Earth would someone get their panties in a bunch over giveaways and such? Who the cuss doesn't like free stuff? Seriously.
    I lose and gain followers on a regular basis. I can only assume that they started following me thinking that my platform was one thing and then after 457 random blog posts later, they finally had enough. Thankfully, no one has attacked my blogging in quite some time. I applaud you for being real, speaking up, and for acknowledging that blog readers CHOOSE to read.


  3. such a good post. makes me wonder if people call male bloggers sell outs when they accept sponsors or corporate ads.

    i would call it entrepreneurial, but maybe that's just me. ;)

  4. "I swear when I read this crap it makes me feel like gossip has just spread from the school yard to the internet. Really people, we're not in high school anymore. Let's just all mind our own business and everything will be just fine." Amen, friend. Amen.

  5. I blogged about women like that just yesterday (assuming it was a woman). Some people just can't get over themselves. Self-righteous know it alls that feel like their way is the only way.

    On the other hand, I am strongly deterred from any blog that does a lot of giveaways or reviews. But some people seek those out. Something for everyone... we don't all have to blog alike.

  6. I read blogs based on the strength of the content. I usually don't comment on giveaway posts simply because they usually have a bunch of "requirements" to win, and I want to take the time to satisfy them all. But the presence of ads or giveaways on a blog in general doesn't add to or take away from my enjoyment of or respect for it. I go for the content, and I'll stay or leave based on its quality. You make some great points here!

  7. I intended to say that I "don't" want to take the time to satisfy them all, in case that was confusing.

  8. I think in the case of the corn sugar debacle, the issues were many. My disappointment was not just that they paid them in WalMart gift certificates (thereby controlling where the money was spent--if it's MY blog I should spend MY money where I want) but also in the amount they offered the bloggers when the association knew they were throwing these women into the fire. The reason they are changing their name is because it has an irreparably bad association with it. For a company with that much money and power to pay those bloggers a paltry amount--and in gift certificates--was inexcusable. (As was their shock at the ensuing backlash.) They really did send those women off like lambs to slaughter. The posts that I read didn't focus on the fact they promoted a questionable product for a large corporation. The issue was that they did it so cheaply. Every single one of those bloggers should have been paid in the thousands of dollars for those posts. My concern is that, once again, women are underestimating their value.

    People can do what they want with their blog. If they want to write a sponsored post that requires four different links and specific content for $30, go for it. I won't. Like you said, I work hard--very hard--to publish to the best of my ability and I have learned the hard way that I must value my time accordingly. For me, that's what it boils down to. What am I saying about myself and my blog when I accept $30 for two hours worth of work? I offer something that is worth more than that, and these big businesses know it. They're thinking about their bottom line, not mine. That's my job.

    As for the people who get riled up over ads and sponsored posts--that's fine. They are entitled to their opinion, of course, but it's not one with which I agree. There is nothing wrong with being paid for your talent and hard work. This isn't some barter-and-trade Utopian society we are living in. The gas bill needs to be paid, and I doubt the clerk behind the counter is going to accept an etsy print for a month's worth of heat.

  9. I am such a naive blogger. I just blog because I'm too behind to start scrapbooking! I didn't realize there was so much blog controversy. Things like what you described are so silly. Really, who cares if bloggers choose to do give aways, etc.??? I say, "for each their own."

  10. Here are my two cents:
    I, for now, will not post ads on my blog, nor give away stuff just because someone offers it to me for free. This is not why I blog. Other people do it for other reasons, and their blogs are theirs. I never click on ads on blogs. Some of it is a personal statement, but mostly I just don't shop that way.
    Next, I do occasionally host a giveaway on my blog. Not to lure followers or increase traffic. I do it because I appreciate my readers and want to somehow show them that I exist somewhere other than my blog address on the internet.
    But the bottom line is this--do your blog the way you want to. You'll find similar minds in cyber space.
    If you don't, then stop blogging.
    So stupid!
    Why can't we just be who we are?

  11. WOW! I like when you get up on your soapbox! :D I personally think it is GREAT that people CAN make a living blogging. What an awesome job, right? I don't know that I would ever want to do it for money, it might take all the fun out of it. But whatever. To each their own... if it bugs certain people they always have the option to simply click away!

  12. Very well written rant :) I agree with you--I appreciate content in blogs, but I get the giveaways and ads--it's hard work keeping up a blog--so kuddos for the words! Thanks for your words!

  13. Amen my dear. You know what they say, every party has a pooper...

    Look, we read magazines with ads. We watch tv with ads. And while I'm at it... the lottery charges, giveaways are free. Speaking of which, how did I miss your Whole Foods giveaway?


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