Ethics has been a hot topic in the world of blogging lately, and after a recent discussion in the comment section on a post, I thought it was time for me to put things in writing.
See, I’ve always had what I consider to be a strong code of ethics when it comes to the blog (and in life as well, but that’s a different story), but I’ve never bothered to put it out there in writing. Why? No reason. I just didn’t do it. But now that I’ve seen more interest in this subject, and the feds have started to regulate disclosures, I thought it was a good to put this out there. I’ve also decided to strengthen it a bit, so if you’re looking to get me to write about your product, I’d recommend reading this first.
But before I put it up, I want to discuss it with you guys, my readers. Take a look at what I have so far, and please share your ideas in the comments section. I’d like to have this up with a link from the homepage within the next week. So here’s what I have:
For the purpose of this code, “free and/or discounted products and services” refers to anything offered to me for free or for a discount simply because of my status as a blogger.
- I will never trade favorable press for free and/or discounted products and services. I will always write the truth, and that may or may not be good for your product/service.
- I will only accept free and/or discounted products and services if they come from someone with whom I have an existing relationship. I can only feel comfortable accepting free and/or discounted products and services from organizations which I know understand the rules that I’ve set. If they haven’t spent time building a relationship, then there isn’t enough trust built up for me to accept anything.
- Providing me with free and/or discounted products and services doesn’t mean I will write about them. If you ask before giving anything, I will do my best to let you know if I think I will write about it or not, but that’s still not a guarantee.
- Please do not provide unsolicited free and/or discounted products and services. Contact me first to avoid wasting your time.
- I will not accept free or discounted transportation for a personal trip.
- When I write about free and/or discounted products and services, I will always disclose who gave them to me, what the discount was, and when they were given to me.
That’s what I have so far. Now let’s hear what you have to say.
Please keep in mind that I am going for something realistic here. Would I like to turn away every offer of something free and/or discounted? Absolutely, but nobody is paying to read this site, and the ad revenue hardly covers the cost of a ticket. Without these opportunities, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to cover things that I want to cover for you.
So, let’s try and create a good, solid code of ethics that is also realistic. Leave your comments below.