A Blogger Takes Me to Task on Freebies

You know how sometimes things come back to bite you in the butt? It just happened to me.

Recently I wrote a piece about accepting a free water purifier. At the end, I pointed to Katie’s  Nesting Spot, where Katie wrote a long, enthusiastic post about the pitcher and offered it as a giveaway. I wanted to show that even though I was not willing to do this, hundreds of other bloggers were, and here was a good example.

Being new to blogging, I forgot that Katie could see where her hits were coming from. After a few days, she sent a comment to the blog post:


“I have been watching this comment thread with some interest. I have to say that I do not consider the pitcher a freebie. I consider it a form of payment for the PR post I wrote and giveaway I managed. I consider it along the lines of an advertisement, and unlike ad buttons this one wasn’t up front and center for an extended period of time.

“As one of your readers pointed out, I did clearly state that I was given the pitcher to review and that the opinions I gave were uninfluenced by the sponsor. In fact, I was told to post whatever I wanted even it was negative. No parameters were put on the content.

“I have turned down several compensated posts and review offers because they are not something I would really use or are not appropriate for my family. In terms of review blogs I am very, very, small potatoes so I was rather shocked [Read more…]

Separating Hype, Opinion and Journalism

imagesWhen a food blogger emailed me recently to say she had just heard “puff piece” for the first time, I wondered who else had never heard of this term.

Her email led me to ponder the differences between hype, opinion and journalism, especially in blogs. I’m concerned, because some 84 percent of Americans say online customer evaluations influence their purchases, according to an Opinion Research Corp. survey. That means if you recommend [Read more…]