A few hours ago FSK of FSK’s Guide To Reality posted a rather long comment on my review of MyWallSt.net from last month asking far too many questions for me to address in the comment section. Apparently he’s greatly concerned about the fact that I actually get paid to write some of the things I write here. I find this strange coming from someone who also recently asked me how he could make money off the writing he does at his blog, but I’ll still do my best to answer his questions. The sections in the darker boxes are all quotes pulled from FSK’s comment:
First, it was by no means obvious to me that it was an advertisement. The only hint was a small logo on the bottom of the page.
Although I assume it was not intended as such, I take this as a compliment. Most people have trained themselves to ignore advertisements. My advertisers pay me to write things that people will actually read. I chalk this up as a success since FSK clearly read the post.
Really? How much did you get paid for compromising your journalistic integrity?
Yes, really. I didn’t get paid anything for “compromising [my] journalistic integrity” because that’s not what happened in that post or any other that I make here. First off, my integrity is not compromised in any way as I never write anything that I don’t believe (except for the sarcasm, but that rarely appears in sponsored posts). There are several sponsored posts here on Philaahzophy that very specifically do not endorse the product or service being advertised (no I’m not interested in taking the time to hunt them down to point them out to you.)
In fact, one of the main reasons I prefer sponsored posts over Adsense ads is that I control what is advertised on my blog. Accepting Adsense (or any other automatically placed content) on one’s site seems to be a far greater risk of appearing to endorse something in which you don’t believe. Yes, I do this as well, though I’m still trying to decide whether to continue. I do make sure that all such automatically placed content is clearly labeled as advertising or sponsored links because I have less control over what goes in that space on my blog. Those advertisers are essentially renting real estate from me. With sponsored posts they are paying me to express my opinion. Since when is expressing one’s opinion a lack of integrity.
Second of all the phrase “journalistic integrity” is totally inappropriate as I am, in no way, a journalist. Here are a few definitions of ‘journalist’ I quickly gathered through Google-
- a writer for newspapers and magazines
- Someone who works in the news gathering business, such as a photographer, editor or reporter
- Journalist (Born Rafiek George, 24) is an underground hip hop rapper from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
None of these apply to me. I do not work in the news gathering business, nor do I write for a newspaper or magazine, and I’m not even a fan of most hip hop, much less a rapper. I’m just a guy who has chosen to share his opinions on pretty much whatever I feel like that day with the world. In no way do I hide the fact that I get paid for what I write here. The link to my disclosure statement is in the right sidebar of every page, many posts have “sponsored by” buttons in them that are of a contrasting color to make them stand out, and I regularly blog about how much I make and offer strategies for others to do the same.
How much would I accept to make a white lie like that?
I have no idea how much you would accept to lie on your blog. But it would take quite a few zeros to get me to do so. Which is why I don’t accept advertising dollars from any company or individual who attempts to control what I write here. It’s my name on the blog and they’re my opinions in the posts.
How do you line up deals like that? How many advertising deals do you have? How many readers do you have? I’m at around 100/week, which probably means I couldn’t net much from advertising.
Check out my Paid To Write and Blogging categories for how I line up these deals. I can’t really answer how many ‘deals’ there are, but I work through about a dozen different advertising agencies (interestingly, I just received a contract from another such agency while writing this post). With most of these agencies each post is considered a separate deal. I’m currently getting around 100 unique visitors a day and about 1000 unique visitors a month. Occasionally one of my posts will receive extra attention at Digg or StumbleUpon and I’ll climb to 500 uniques in a day.
Is your promotion of Somalia as a stable anarchistic society an advertisement?
Not at all, though I wish it was. If you know of anyone willing to pay me for writing about Somalia in specific or anarchy in general, PLEASE send them my way! I’d even offer you a commission as a finders fee! Everything I write about here I write because it interests me and I have a desire to share the information with others. I write about Somalia because it is a real-time example of a working anarchist society. Despite the fact that it has been so for over a decade now people continue to deny that such a thing could ever exist. Would I want to move to Somalia as it is today? No, it has far too many problems, the climate sucks, and my slave masters, the U.S. Government, won’t allow me to travel outside the US borders, much less move. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a functioning society that exists without a government.
My main concern with Aahz’s blog is that the post wasn’t clearly marked as an advertisement. The only hint is a small icon at the bottom.
Was Aahz merely pretending to be a newbie investor, or does he really not know much about investing?
Careful, you’ve slipped into the blogger mode of writing instead of the commenter mode 😉 I’m sorry that you’re concerned that I didn’t mark the post as an advertisement. But I also have no intention of highlighting my sponsored posts for your convenience. Either you’re interested in what I have to say or you’re not. If the former then it shouldn’t make a difference whether or not I was paid. If the latter then it still won’t make a difference because you won’t be here at all. Yes, I’m genuinely a newbie investor. At least in the sense that I have a grand total of $0 currently invested in the stock market. If I wasn’t, I would have written that piece from an entirely different angle. If you truly believe that being paid for doing something makes the person doing it a liar then you must have a pretty low opinion of most of society. The average American spends nearly 1/3 of their life working for a living. That would mean that 1/3 of our lives are a lie. Personally, I refuse work that requires I misrepresent myself, whether that earning opportunity is online or off. Besides, isn’t attacking my opinions just because I earned a few bucks on them just another twist on the Strawman Fallacy you fight so hard against on your blog?
There’s much more in the comment that has to do directly with MyWallSt.net and the particular post, but I’ll address all of that in a comment there later this evening (I have to do a little work still before heading off to Z’s parent-teacher conferences) . If I’ve failed to address any of your concerns, FSK (or those of anyone else who’s reading this) please leave a comment to let me know and I’ll do my best. The best part about blogs is that the comment sections allow for far more interaction then writing on paper ever did.