December 15, 2009
What is a “blogger” anyway? Am I an online writer? A journalist? A public relations or advertising writer? What rules am I bound by in the great, wide, vaporous ether?
You the reader are the judge of my work. If there is to be trust between us, I want you to know where I’m coming from.
I consider myself a journalist as I have been reporting on the Traditional Mass Movement for over ten years now, publish a monthly newsletter for a Latin Mass Community, and research and write on religion issues as well as wellness issues. My total writing experience is nearly forty years of development of training manuals and programs, writing reports and business communications as well as a couple of books related to small business. There were also the occasional press releases and radio commercials, too.
I also consider myself a teacher, a job I’ve done in a variety of areas from children to adult education. This blog is designed to make life better for people — well, it’s on the home page where you’ll find the purpose of my site and the philosophical underpinnings of it. Beyond that, this blog has to not only support itself, it has to contribute to my support as well.
Opinion vs. fact
The difference between opinion and fact is that an opinion is a viewpoint and a fact is usually provable by hard evidence. In my writing I seek to give resource links to help readers to delve into subjects and facts more deeply if they so desire. My opinions can be disagreed with, and facts can speak for themselves.
Advertising vs. Reviewing
Which brings me to the Federal Trade Commission and search engines like Google. If a company gives a blogger freebies and expects a good review, that is advertising. If they pay a blogger to praise them, that’s also advertising. Search engines penalize paid-for advertising and the FTC says bloggers have to disclose when they are being paid or given free products to endorse.
I will be reviewing and commenting on books, DVDs, and other goods and services from time to time at this site. If I received a free item for review, I’ll say so outright so you will know. At this point, that is most likely to happen with some books as I am a member of the Thomas A. Nelson blogger review team where I pick the books I want to read and review.
Receiving a free item does not mean I will give it a glowing or even mainly positive review. I will also review books, DVDs and other items I’ve purchased with my own money and which I think will be helpful or interesting to readers. I will not take cash or in-kind payment with an obligation to endorse a product or service. Some free books I will give away if they are in good condition when I get done with them.
I am joining hand-picked affiliate programs. Currently I am an Amazon affiliate and will have links to Amazon products at this site for the convenience of readers. I am joining only programs where I have control over what is presented at this site.
This disclosure statement is brought to you by your friendly Federal Trade Commission who wants to be sure advertisers and bloggers stay honest when dealing with the public.
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