Thursday, November 12, 2009

consider this one to be on the house

I get these periodically, these emails inviting me to make money by hooking up my blog with their site in one manner or another. I'm sure you do, too. Naturally I treat these requests with great suspicion, and I usually end up spending more time than I should checking out the company without actually clicking on the link. I can usually find a good deal of discussion on the interwebz, as bloggers are generally a chatty bunch and of course these things get sent out en masse.

Here's the latest one, received this morning:

I'm Eunice from

I would like to know if by any chance you would be interested in getting paid to publish reviews of products and websites on your blog

If you are interested please let us know the amount of money you want in order to publish a review by clicking the following link:

As soon as you do that we'll start sending you paid review proposals from our customers.

The Team

Since this particular request didn't contain any spelling mistakes or glaring grammatical errors to enrage the grammar Nazi in me and arouse my suspicions as to legitimacy, I did my usual web search. The vote seems to be split, but there is no shortage of red flags on the issue.
Being naturally suspicious, I firmly believe that red flags are your friend.

Besides I did have a brief flirtation with a similar proposal a few months ago, which fizzled into nothingness. And I always feel like I should be wearing a full-body condom if I am going to jump into bed with any of these guys.

Not that I am opposed to making money, mind you. I like eating and having a roof over my head as much as the next person, but I also don't want to contribute to the clutter that's on the internet.

And then there is the matter of preserving the integrity of my blog. I'm not narcissistic enough to believe that my little blog is too precious to entertain this sort of venture, but I sure don't want to bore you with reviews of yet more stuff. Because we all have way too much stuff already.

How do you handle this sort of offer?

update: it's pretty much unanimous that these are all bogus, but obviously there are legimimate businesses out there. But how do you recognise them? Just by name recognition and reputation?

I've had quite a few happy dealings with musicians and labels, arts organizations and film distribution companies, but none of these have involved cash exchanging hands, although there is certainly free merchandise. Is that where the line is drawn, at the money?


BeckEye said...

Those emails go right in my trash bin.

Wandering Coyote said...

I ignore all of them and mark the email as spam.

Charlie said...

Out-and-out phishing, especially with the tell-tale nonsense URL.

I learned one thing from this post, however. I had no idea they make full-body condoms! Seems like it could take a couple weeks to get into one.

And with no quality control in China, it would probably leak anyway.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wise, Beckeye.

Smart move, Wandering Coyote.

I'm pretty sure you have to buy the goods ones from Switzerland, Charlie.

mister anchovy said...

I junk them too. I don't care if the outfit is a legit business or not. I might use my blog to promote some event or another I'm involved with, but I'm not interested in making it a commercial venture.

justrun said...

I especially love the ones that write to post my posts on their site. WTH?
At least they're asking, I guess.

Doc said...

"There is the matter of preserving the integrity of my blog..."

I don't know about you, but to me, my blog is a deeply personal thing. I commit my thought and ideas there. I put up stories about my wife and kids. This is my diary to the world at large, and I'll be damned if I'm going to give room to some corporate hack!

I hate advertising with a cold blooded passion and I would never shill for anybody unless it was a product or service I had really used. I won't wear a T-shirt with somebody's logo on it, even if it was free. The three T-shirts I have that condone anything include beer, Atari, and B.B. King.

Let these money hungry bastards find their billboard space somewhere else. You have your intergrity to think of, and who could put a price on that?


Word Verification: Baitipot

John Mutford said...

Paid reviews are always trustworthy aren't they?

Westcoast Walker said...

Barb - it pleases me to know that you won't being selling out to "The Man" anytime soon!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't have an issue promoting something I believe in either, Mr Anchovy. In fact I do that all the time, and I may get a free download or two but the interest has to be there first.

Oh yeah I've had a couple of those too, Justrun! Bizarre request!

The three T-shirts I have that condone anything include beer, Atari, and B.B. King - what a great glimpse into your world, Doc! I have no problems promoting something I believe in, I do it all the time with musicians and festivals and theatre troupes, but I just can't fake it.

Oh yes, they are renowned for being unbiased, John.

Sometimes the Man will send me their new cd to review, Westcoast Walker, but they aren't THE Man.