Lately the blogging world has been promoting the Disclosure Statement as a means of exposing the commercial nature of blogs. I haven’t followed closely, but since some people will want to see one and I believe in the concept, here’s one for this johnon.com blog.
Commercial Nature: I work in Search Marketing and Search Engine Positioning/SEO. My job (and my passion) is to drive success for online endeavors. Often “success” is measured in commercial terms, although just as often it is measured in non-commercial terms such as increasing public exposure, managing online reputations, or influencing markets for greater-good reasons (or evil reasons too, I suppose). And that is what is wrong with disclosure statements: in the end, a simple statement that “I support free speech” should cover it. Because there are laws addressing advertising, that’s not quite enough. So this blog (like every blog on line today), is commercial in nature. It’s not 100% commercial, but last I looked that didn’t matter under the law.
Paid Links: I am not in the “selling links” business. I don’t think it’s bad, but I don’t actively pursue paid links for this blog. Because I am in SEO most people will think links like my Arcteryx waterproof jacket link are some how “sponsored”. Sorry to disappoint, but I paid $440 retail for a lightweight rain jacket from Arcteryx and it is the single greatest piece of technical gear I have ever owned. Hence the link. By the way, I earned that money by search marketing. That’s how the economy works. I earn, I pay taxes, I spend the rest.
Affiliate Links: An affiliate link is a link that is tracked so if the link results in a commercial transaction, I get a commission. This site has affiliate links wherever I want to put them, and I don’t highlight them as such (because links are not naturally highlighted for such things). Anyone active in online marketing can identify an affiliate link (even a cloaked one) by simply looking, so caveat emptor and let’s move along now. If you decide to use Dreamhost because of my affiliate link, good for you (and me). That’s how the world works, and bloggers who think otherwise are in my opinion immature or lying. Again, that’s not my business.
Sponsored Posts: I participate in some of those programs, and get paid for it. I like the idea. It’s a much more honest way to sponsor “advertorial” than the world has been doing it for many, many years, and I am proud to be part of the movement to bring integrity back to journalism (even if it means giving 50% of the fee to ReviewMe). Of course sponsored posts from ReviewMe are identified as such. I think that’s important, and so does ReviewMe.
This page will be updated whenever I feel like it. How’s that for disclosure?