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Jul 28

Ethics and Integrity

This isn't a wine post. It's an ethics post.

You see, I just got back from BlogHer, where I was disappointed in a lot of things. In particular, I was a bit floored to find all these women wanting to have sponsored posts. Now, in all fairness, it wasn't everybody, but it was enough to turn me off. In session after session, this topic came up and well, I just don't understand it.

You see, pay for post or sponsored posts mean that someone is being paid (in either product or money or both) to write a positive review post about the product. In my mind, this compromises credibility.  I simply cannot comprehend why anyone would want to do that. With that in mind, I've signed the Blog with Integrity pledge, just to reinforce the Disclaimer & Sample Policy I already have for this blog.

And just so you all know exactly where I'm coming from, here are the key points of my review policy:

1. I do accept samples, as it's a great way to be exposed to new wines. However, I do not guarantee a positive review. I may hate it or just find it okay, not great. It's the risk someone takes when sending free wine into the blogosphere.
2. I may not get to the sample right away, although I'll try to be fairly timely.
3. I will always inform you – my readers – when I'm reviewing a complimentary meal or experience, or a sample wine.
4. I will not take payment for posting a review of any sort.
5. If a winery or company advertises on my site, I will not review their products during the time in which the ad runs. If the ad runs forever, I won't review their products at all.

I'm also a pretty big supporter of Creative Commons. That means that my blog is licensed under Creative Commons – Non Commercial. Aside from the Enquirer, to which I've granted special permission, you can use my content but you cannot edit it and you must credit me with the creation.

I use Creative Commons photos all the time. Previously I used any and all images licensed under CC, but since the Enquirer deal, I'll only use photos licensed for Commercial use. I will always provide attribution to the photographer as required under the license.

This all boils down to Don't Steal and Give Credit where Credit is Due.

Finally, you all are pretty timid in the comments, often preferring to email me. I've never really had any trouble. "Gentle readers" is a phrase that truly applies to you, and I appreciate that. But just in case, a quick reminder that we live by the Bill & Ted Rule here: Be Excellent to Each Other.

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Posted by Michelle at 2:23 pm in Current Affairs, Knowledge, Legislation, Life | Permalink | Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Ethics and Integrity”

  1. Interesting topics at BlogHer, indeed! Sponsored posts…a waste of time. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Sophiaz says:

    Sponsored posts! Wow, I am already skeptical about many review websites so I appreciate it when people are forthcoming/transparent. We need more of this in this “Payola” world we live in, so to speak. :)
    I keep reading about the entitlement mentality of many at Blogher (shame) and how it was so based at mommies?? I did not attend so not sure what to make of all that. However, nothing against mothers, we all have one or came from one at sometime.Many women go through life w/o having kids and have plenty of valuable insight or life stories etc to share with the world. Maybe including recipes, and maybe not! Ha. If this Blogher thing was aimed at mothers all along forgive me for being ignorant of that fact.
    Maybe there needs to be a blog deal get together, aimed at women that are not writing about families/kids. We all have families but some due to location/age or other circumstance, may not live with them anymore, but have lots of other things of interest to read about or share. Some people I have met, make their own families for a host of reasons.
    Thanks for being honest in what you choose to blog about.

  3. I’m one of the founders of Blog with Integrity. Thank you for your support of the pledge.

  4. Michelle says:

    Robin – yes, BlogHer was quite the surprise for me.
    Sophia – Thanks for the comment. I don’t think BlogHer is intentionally aimed at mommy bloggers. I mean, I was on a Food Blogging panel. That said, most of the women in the room were mommies, so Food Blogging took a turn towards making your own baby food. I would say that the majority of bloggers present were mommies. This isn’t a problem except that the marketers all expected us to be mommies and some of the mommies completely forgot that there were non-Moms there. I think the BlogHer conference is still finding its identity. Is it a mommy conference? Is it a blogging conference?
    Susan – I also blogged about it over on the tech blog to which I contribute. (http://bub.blicio.us/blogging-with-integrity/) I’m very glad you created the pledge. I believe it’s needed! I hope, for my readers, it reinforces the policies I already had on my blog.

  5. Wine Clubs says:

    Very impressive that you’re so forthcoming with your ethics. I certainly applaud you for that! Please keep up the great work!

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