If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 5 October 2009

Thanks, but no thanks

I received an email today, from 'David'. It began like this:

Hey Blogger - My name is David,

I have been searching the Internet for blogs that fit our criteria. Yours does. I wanted to invite you to become a paid blogger at Blog Distributor. (Please understand that I do not send this invitation to every blogger I come across.)

Hmm. I feel special already.

Roughly 25% of bloggers are now being paid to write postings on their blogs, that are linked to websites. The value here is that, when a blog posting is linked to a website, that website will get higher rankings in the search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. You can write anything you think about the website, positive or negative.

Well, that seems fair enough. And there's a link, which tells you more.

  1. We will pay you to write blog postings on your blog and link them to our clients' websites.
  2. The more popular your blog is, the more money you can make. But all blogs have value in our system.
  3. You fill out our Sign Up form, describing your blog.
  4. Clients register their needs with us.
  5. Blog Distributor will match client jobs with bloggers. If you're a match, we'll email you with details about the new job.
  6. You can accept or pass on any new job and you have 24 hours to make that decision. As soon as you accept, you have another 24 hours from that time to create your posting and let us know about it.
  7. You will not be writing reviews of products. You will be writing in general about the business of the client. (We'll send you the information that you need to knowledgeably write the posting.)
  8. We'll check your posting to make sure that it meets our standards.
  9. We'll send you the linking information to link your posting to the client's website.
  10. We'll check that your posting is live on your blog and linked to the right website page.
  11. You get paid every month.

OK, I get it. You tell me to write about a certain website, to boost its page rankings. If lots of people read my postings, I get paid. If I know diddly-squat about the product, you will give me an idiot's guide so that I sound convincing.

Well, I write stuff here because it interests me, and for no other reason. I have a job, and don't need to make money out of my blog. I don't have many readers (Hi, Mum!) but, without getting all precious about journalistic integrity and all that, I would think that they would expect what they read here to be honest and genuine. How long do I think they would stick around if they got a whiff of commerciality about what they read? Not very long.

Folks, if you ever read a posting here saying that I have just been to a wonderful website which is so good, and so cool, and anyway I have always loved Campbell's Cream Of Chicken Soup, and I just thought I would share it with you guys, cos you're almost family to me, and ... and ...

Understand that I have gone to the dark side, delete me, and never come near my blog again.

I am about to write 'David' a very rude message. It will end with 'off'.

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