The week, Joni, Megan and Linda discuss the recently released FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines relating to bloggers' endorsements of products, disclosure of financial or product arrangements, and the economics of blogging now and in the future.
Click here for links to the new FTC Guidelines and various reactions around the internet.
I am so looking forward to this discussion, but something seems to be up with the podcast! I cannot get it to work. Same with all the other podcasts on the site. My speakers are working, I checked. Is it me or are others having the same problem?
Blogs are already protecting us far better from payola blogging than the government can.
You don't need free merchandise and you don't need a blog to promote honestly, or misrepresent, to lie, or simply to make mistakes in judgment.
Personally I would love to see a discreeet disclaimer up front...'cause these days I wonder...and must say I blow through, or don't even finish reading a post that feels like endorsement.
Hate using my deflector gear when reading posts.
p.s. I would love to know what y'all think about how affiliate programs fall within these FTC guidelines. Does a link to Amazon through a blog review that may or may not yield a commission to the blogger count?
In my opinion this law is long overdue.
We felt a need to discuss it, but I think it's going to be ridiculously hard to monitor. I for one have never been given something in order to rcv. a post. but I certainly wouldn't hide it if I had.
The law is a very simple one with some vague guidelines considering how vast the internet is. How about the professional twitterers who are paid to tweet about products? Who's going to be policing that one? What about facebook? It's all a great idea in theory, but good luck enforcing it.
Avon party, There is a difference and thats the point. It is critical to be clear about the boundaries and that it what the intent is. The point of starting a blog was personal . If its not open a magazine,
and all bets are off. If it was personal, then it was about your voice and if you have one and are lucky enough to have found a following - then its you we want -not you pitching product or placing it for benefit . Decide why your in - but dont assume because you see a high number on your counter all are fans or all will stay if they see you sell out . and there is no other way to view it - it is literally selling out. Blogging started and should remain personal.
A bold stand indeed, Terry. Courageous, even.
About the FTC rules - how can they ever be enforced? how????? all the bloggers in other countries who have large US audiences? It just seems stupid. I do think the reader can tell though when someone is getting paid for a favorable opinion.
AND about the person who said that about Southern Living. I DID write about it becuase I was ASKED to. Sometimes it's just hard to say NO to people. It's like you don't want to hurt people's feelings. But I am getting tired of all the plugging too. I can't wait to just go back to blogging about design and not about new magazine issues. That was the only one I've done in a long time (besides Garden and Gun, but that was becuase I LIKE that magazine). But Southern Living is trying to change and I did want people to know that.
These comments have really made me think. I am thinking I am going to start saying No more. I really am. I am going to try. It's hard though because it's people you know who want a little plug for their business, for free, and you feel badly saying No.
I'm repeating myself!!!!!!
and by the way - Im signed in as annon as I am a listener -not a blogger.
In real life, Joni has no accent. For the sake of the show, we considered asking Joni, to speak with a robot voice, but thought it would be too distracting. So we settled with the Southern drawl.
Ok. not really.
I LOVE the texture and color that Joni and her awesome 'drawl' bring to this show! She has great, strong opinions which, I may not always agree with, but are always thought provoking for me.
maybe you want to book a ticket?
Is there something I am missing?? Do the three of you not give of your time and energy for FREE??? Does not every single person have the right to stop listening/reading?
Your podcasts are actually the one thing I WOULD pay for.
The FTC ruling is crazy, one of those unenforcable laws. Unfortunately, in order to write law for the BIG picture, it needs to apply to every little blog. What's next? Most likely making "gifts" part of taxable income.
love to ALL three of you.
This is the most thought provoking post and I shall continue to ponder: and think about this: the fact that Joni and cohorts choose designers to interview gives those designers cache and an added level of respect - and probably business - but if those designers were not at the top of their game in the first place (Charlotte, e.g.) they would not have been chosen - I actually like the fact that Joni says you can get yours seagrass "here" and even suggested a low cost alternative catalog. I see the hours and hours of time and thought that goes into a post on, say, linen covers - I think you folks are entitled to get some money - would I pay? Probably not, I am a starving artist! (well, almost). I loved the piece about Mrs. O - I appreciate Joni's candor - I feel like I day I can't log on to Cote de Texas is a day that is lacking! Aritsts have blog and lots of them sell their work on ebay, etsy, daily painters blog, etc - or like my mentor, they have an actual website - but in her case you actually have to write to her separately to buy a painting. On the other hand I love reading simply seleta with her fairtale blog, her beautiful self, her lovely children - something so idyllic -
So keep up the good work on your blogs ladies - I truly appreciate all of you and the SKR!!!
Suzanne on St. Simons
I do agree with Joni that it's often hard to say 'no.' I just had a long discussion with another blogger yesterday about the very same thing. What people who read our blogs might not know is that we're bombarded with requests to talk about things ppl are selling & when we (rarely for me personally) actually DO decide to write a post on it, it's because we have an opinion about it. An HONEST opinion. We haven't thrown morals out the window because we were asked to review a product or magazine... I think if it's something we're honest about that no one should have any issues. It seems to me we should be policing ourselves. I would be embarrassed to endorse products I don't like on my blog, but on the other hand I see nothing wrong with endorsing products I love.
I was asked to review Southern Living too & did a post on an article I particularly loved. Since reading these comments I went back and made a notation at the very beginning that I was asked to review the mag but it didn't change my review in the least & I would hope that my readers can trust that I wrote honestly.
I just recently got approached by a company, Open Sky, about selling products online. You don't sell their products, you sell products you personally love & use. I wrote a post about it today & was on the fence but now think I will go for it & hope ppl don't view it as selling out. I see it as providing a spot where people who trust me can go & shop knowing that I love/ trust all of the products. (many of the products to be sold are products I get ewmails about from readers on where to find.) I'm not sure how it will go, but I think it's a nice idea so we'll see...