I know there's been a lot of talk on the Web about blogging for pay. I've only paid some attention to the conversation, so I can't really speak responsibly about it. Suffice it to say, some bloggers are reviewing products favorably and then getting "rewarded" by the product's producer or manufacturer. That's just a very basic idea of what's going on. Needless to say, in any situation where you are reviewing a product, you need to be clear about your relationship to the product or its manufacturer. I guess that's the great thing about book blogging -- we can just write about our thoughts and don't have to disclose any special relationships.
In early November, I was contacted by two different organizations -- one was a consumer-related site, the other a new social networking site. Both asked me to write about their product/service on my blog. One of them offered a small gift no matter what I wrote about. There really wasn't anything fishy about either email; they both seemed to be quite genuine. But I also didn't feel right about it, either. I'm really not even sure why.
Last month, I posted about a cute calendar on FredFlare.com for a holiday gift. The post was my own idea. Yesterday, I received a very nice email from someone at Fred Flare, thanking me for my post and offering a small gift. A few minutes later I received a $10 gift certificate via email. It's a very nice gift and I will use it; Fred Flare has some really cute stuff available. But I just wanted to let everyone know. I'm probably being anal about this, but it would seem weird to me not to talk about it.