Monday, 18 June 2012
No Way to Treat a Crabby Elderblogger
Crabby Old Lady has been on a rip-roaring tear for most of the weekend and it is about nothing – or very nearly nothing - that affects you, dear reader. Nevertheless, she is going to carry on about it for the next few paragraphs to no purpose whatever except to bitch. You are welcome to take the day off from here.
Time Goes By is an ad-free zone. Many years ago, Crabby tried taking advertisements but they cost way too much in maintenance effort than the amount of payoff that is possible for a blog with only a few thousand readers.
Now, after all these years, Crabby enjoys living and working on a website where no story is ever sliced in half (or thirds or quarters) with text exhortations to spend, spend, spend; where no screen yo-yoes up and down from gigantic banner ads opening and closing; and where she never needs to frantically punch the audio-off button when a video commercial starts shouting at her from the sideline.
(Please don't tell Crabby about ad blockers. She has her reasons not to use them.)
The Elderblog List – what others call a blogroll – lists only personal blogs maintained by people who are age 50 and older. The several hundred on the list cover about every topic under the sun but the key (and requirement) for inclusion is that they are all personal blogs.
Business blogs are not allowed and personal ones cannot carry advertisements beyond a smattering of text-style Google Ads or similar services for those trying to make a few extra pennies from their blogs.
This is not new but it has escalated dramatically over the past couple of weeks so that Crabby has been fending off up to half a dozen business owners a day requesting to be added to the Elderblog List.
The only goal of these requests is to flog their product or service to a fairly large, ready-made population of a certain age group – that is, they are trying to fool Crabby Old Lady into giving them free advertising.
And get this: when Crabby explains via a short, polite email why they don't qualify – damn - as often as not, she gets return messages arguing with her. Geez, that's a fairly high level of hubris.
What pissed Crabby off more than usual, however, was a request on Sunday morning from the owner of a business specifically targeting elders.
Not that it would make any difference for inclusion on the Elderblog List, it's a pretty good business idea, even useful for old people. But the owner, besides attempting to fleece ad space from Crabby with a “blog” that is a minor section of the marketing site and hardly ever publishes new material, nowhere tells readers or potential clients how much it costs.
Not anywhere on the website are there individual prices or even price ranges for service levels.
Now, depending on how much she needs or wants it and how good the product/service appears to be, Crabby Old Lady (and probably most of you, too) knows nearly to the dollar how much she will pay for a given product or service.
If it's in her range, she will reveal personal information to a website to learn more or continue the transaction. If it is out of her range, she will not and it is ludicrous for a business owner to expect otherwise by not listing prices.
What makes this lack of price more than a nuisance, contemptible in fact, and infuriates Crabby is that the service – help for elders with downsizing and moving – is often necessary when people become frail and, possibly, confused enough that they are easy prey for zealous sales people.
Many who run small businesses are just trying to get by in a bad economic climate and it can't be easy. But that's not an excuse for bad behavior. Call her paranoid if you like, but Crabby suspects that anyone looking to fool her into giving them free advertising on her blog would not shrink from conducting their business in a similar manner.
That is not to say that Crabby has any recourse but to deny a place on the Elderblog List (which she would have done anyway) and bitch a bit in public.
Oh, my. Crabby feels so much better now.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson Phillips: Flat Feet