Moving Into Limbo
GRAY MATTERS: Hunger and Shame

Unwritten TGB Blog Rules Revealed

Some housekeeping today.

Time Goes By is, by deliberate choice, an ad-free blog. Years ago, Crabby Old Lady did accept advertising, but TGB gets nowhere near the traffic that would allow ad rates such as Huffington Post, TPM and other mega-blogs can charge, and administering the ads took more effort and time than the small amount of income was worth.

Additionally, Time Goes By does not review, promote or write about commercial products and services. This also is deliberate. Because a blog, expressing the opinions of the blog owner and contributors, is a more personal medium than most others, promoting commercial products could easily be interpreted (or misinterpreted) as recommendations.

Therefore, Crabby turns down all requests from owners, their employees and public relations firms to write about for-profit services and products, hold contests, giveaways and any other form of free advertising. Similarly, Crabby refuses all requests to publish guest posts because they always exist to promote the writer's book, product or service.

Crabby Old Lady brings this up because the number of these requests clogging her inbox has reached an average of a dozen or more a day. She answers most of them with a polite, one-sentence note explaining her position, but some PR people have gotten aggressive with return emails arguing how much their product or service would benefit Time Goes By readers.

Ignoring the requests only increases the email. When Crabby is too busy to answer and deletes a message, invariably a second and even third arrives asking if she received the original. So now that Crabby has written this, she can just paste the URL into a reply and move on.

Everyone else, you can be certain when you see commercial products mentioned here, it is not the result of a press release - it is always Crabby Old Lady's personal choice and can be taken as a recommendation, something she likes and believes some of you may enjoy too. If that ever changes, Crabby will tell you.

There is one other practice that needs explaining. Some readers, usually new ones and often drop-bys who are not really engaged in the subject matter, post a short comment and then add a self-serving blurb with the name and URL of their for-profit website. Crabby always removes that second paragraph. (For those who complain that your website is “free,” it is still for-profit if you sell products or services.)

Commenting is designed so that if you enter a URL in the form, your name becomes a link to that blog or website. You don't get to “double dip” by including the name and URL of that site within the comment.

To be clear, some commenters operate commercial websites or blogs that are extensions of their businesses, and their names link to those sites. That is fine as long as the comment is not a disguise for an advertisement. (By the way, that is always obvious and the comment is removed.)

Sometimes, TGB readers who operate their own blogs have written a post that relates to the day's TGB story and leave a comment with a link to it. That, of course, is fair and welcome. One of the purposes of Time Goes By is to promote elderblogging.

Sorry to bore everyone else with this post. The past week has seen a gigantic batch of these emails and Crabby Old Lady is out of patience.

For the majority of you, don't you think it is nice to have one place in the world where no one is trying to sell you something – if you don't count a few opinions.


At the Elder Storytelling Place today, Lyn Burnstine: Mother's Day


Comments

"...don't you think it is nice to have one place in the world where no one is trying to sell you something"
YES. I treasure it. And the rules are all golden ones. Long may Crabby reign!

Your rules are very much appreciated. My only decision in reading your blog. concerns the political imput and my right to agree or disagree. Carry on Crabby:-))

Same goes for me:)Hope your w/end goes well. Dee

You go girl!! Problem is the people who need to read this post,won't or won't think it applies to them.

Ronni/Crabby--You have always accommodated comments from those whose opinions may differ from you. You don't have to do that, but I find it ingratiating. I do appreciate that you block gratis advertising/promotions.

Thanks for running an up-front, straight-forward blog. It is a treasure!

Thank you.

gosh, in one way I'm thinking that even though these requests are pesky, they are also flattering. I mean, this means folks out there w/something to sell think that your blog is really worth selling on! I have blogged for 3 years or so and NEVER received such an email request and only two or three times gotten comments from obvious sham blogs or promotional blogs. I'm quite impressed at the same time as I can feel your frustration. by the way, I have a bridge you can buy if you want.

Sharing your experience at this time in life is a valuable gift to us all. I appreciate the time and effort you put into collecting information on the political and social scene for our benefit - it is a great service. I am grateful to not have to wade through a lot of junk (mail) to get to you. And I think it is good thing to let us know exactly what you have to put up with to post this blog everyday. I had no idea. Many thanks for persisting where another may give it up as too much trouble.

Hi Ronnie
I would like to thank you for your blog. I have learned so much through your postings and the other guests who have had so much to share on the TGB site. I wish you well on your move which was another enlighting "experience" for me. I am dreading when my day comes to downsize. Thank you again.

Hi Ronni/Crabby,
Thanks so much for posting this. Over at "50ToDeath" we are re-doing our website to make it more user friendly (our first one was gorgeous and state-of-the-art but several people said they had a difficult time navigating it) and we keep telling our web co-designer that we are not interested in linking with ads. I know it may be the kiss of death for us, but so many times I see blogs or sites I admire and/or enjoy and then get turned off by the video or photo advertising I see them promoted by. It's a dilemma for people like us who are trying to turn our show into a profitable business, but we are still seeking another way. Thanks for staying pure, Crabby.
Best,
Joan

We like you just the way you are.

I really do appreciate an ad free site. Though, when you were giving it a try, I hoped that it would bring in a substantial income, which it obviously didn't, so, good for you for deciding to do it differently. Think it is a very good comment just to copy and paste in the url over and over again, so the bothersome people can just let their nagging rest.

I keep my site ad-free as well, and since I don't accept comments, I don't get the obvious spam comments you do. What is surprising, however, is the emails I get from film or entertainment-related business ventures wanting to partner with me on some project or another. These outfits have obviously given my site only a cursory glance, if at all, and have concluded that because I blog about old movies, I must be engaged in making them, so they want to handle my video editing, location casting, etc. Weird.

So far the only commercial result I have received from my blog was from Mutual of Omaha asking me to come to their video Airstream today or tomorrow to be filmed telling of an 'aha' moment in my life. I declined.

I hope this isn't the beginning of the kind of e-mails you have to wade through.

If I read every e-mail in my in-box now I would be at the computer 12 hours a day. Because I write on politics I get tons of political junk. I need to get off of their mailing lists.

Thanks for the good tip to paste a generic statement of "no thank you" in their requests to sign a petition, etc.

Thanks Ronni for keeping this pure. I've given up on blogs who pimp products, it can't be worth it and those blogs look like a badly cluttered room.
XO
WWW

I like your no frills type blog.

"Just the facts" like Joe Friday said.

Keep on kicking ass, dear Crabby. We love ya.

Yeah! I appreciate the guidelines you have for your blog and the lack of ad clutter.

I wouldn't mind if some smart advertiser was willing to make it worth your while to be on your blog especially if they promoted quality items. I'm confident you would require unobtrusive tasteful placement. I'd even be inclined to consider their product(s).

Absolutely!!

Yes, I think an ad free blog is refreshing.

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