Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm no Armstrong Williams....

Fishing for links is common in blog-land. I did a bit of it myself, leaving comments on blogs that I found interesting and hoping that if I did it often enough, eventually they'd read my blog, like me, and link to me. I never posted any comments ASKING to be linked... my comments were always on-topic. And it worked.

I've received any number of emails from people wanting to bring their blog to my attention... I usually take a look and make my own decision about whether to add them to my blogroll. I've had people post comments asking me (and my readers) to visit their sites; I find this annoying... I feel used. Are you interested in my writing, or am I just a way to get more readers for yourself?

I've had my email address added to someone's NCLB mailing list. That was REALLY annoying, and just plain bad manners, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care whether we agree or disagree on the issues, INVITE me to join your mailing list, don't just sign me up! Hint: being spammed makes me hostile to your organization!

I've been contacted by various companies and websites asking me to promote their new children's book, software, or whatnot. Good grief, people, I'm not doing product placement here! If the item in question seems interesting, I'll take a look, but I always make my own decision whether to post about it or not, and if I think it's crap, I'll say that, too.

But today, the organization Our Kids Can't Wait reached a new low in fishing: they emailed me asking me to post about their campaign, and even sent me a "sample post" that, presumably, I could cut and paste straight into my blog. I find the very idea that I would do that offensive and irritating! Which is too bad, because up until I received that email, I was on their side. Okay, I still am on their side, but I don't like their tactics one bit.

I guess every blogger has a different threshold of patience for things like this. OKCW's email might not have bothered others who received it (because I'm sure others received it). Bloggers need to promote their blogs; political organizations and companies need to promote their campaigns and products; the question is, how is that appropriately done? I don't really like getting emails whose sole purpose is to promote someone else's project, but once in a while I discover a gem that way. So I guess I can live with the invitations to look at this or read that. But please, please don't flatter yourself that I'm going to post your organization's sales pitch word-for-word.

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