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