14 July 2009

No sale!

If I were Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8 I'd write that in lipstick on the hall mirror.

The blogosphere was abuzz yesterday with a New York Times article that cast a shadow of doubt across all of bloggerdom by insinuating that we're all paid shills. Pah! To wit:
Colleen Padilla, a 33-year-old mother of two who lives in suburban Philadelphia, has reviewed nearly 1,500 products, including baby clothes, microwave dinners and the Nintendo Wii, on her popular Web site Classymommy.com. Her site attracts 60,000 unique visitors every month, and Ms. Padilla attracts something else: free items from companies eager to promote their products to her readers.
Ms. Padilla typically acknowledges in each review which products were sent to her by companies and which items she bought herself. Other items on her site include her own videos for brands like Healthy Choice, which she labels as sponsored posts. But unlike postings in most journalism outlets or independent review sites, most companies can be assured that there will not be a negative review: if she does not like a product, she simply does not post anything about it.
OK, just to get this out in the open, no one has ever paid me a dime to write a post. Now, I do sell ads but the only way someone can get onto my right column is to sell something I'd ordinarily buy and recommend. I turn down more inquiries than I accept. Further, I won't get involved in sponsored links that work their way into my editorial content.

Do I get press releases and write an occasional post based on a press release? You bet. If it's a legitimate product that fits my niche and is something I'd recommend to a client or use myself, I'd write about it in a heartbeat. Do I get anything for that? No.

I get the occasional sample (like the one I'm getting next week from Fabric on Demand) or book to review, but I don't do any of that for money. The same holds true of the give aways I've run. The lucky winner gets the prize, not me. At most, I'm after the exposure and a back link. That and the odd free-lance gig.

My goal here is write interesting and informative posts and to give people interested in renovating their homes legitimate advice. I do that every day and I always call them like I see them.

So Classy Mommy (ugh) might get a Wii and a year's supply of microwave dinners (that must be where she got the "classy" part) and more power to her. But it ain't me babe. No, no, no it ain't me babe.


  1. Yay! Liz Taylor makes it into the blog! Love that picture--great way to start my morning.

  2. That photograph was for you. I was trying to find the actual scene from the movie but alas.

  3. To each there own. I think it's great for companies to reach out to the Colleen's of the world to talk to their audience. She isn't pushing anything she doesn't like, she is a "buzzer".

    Personally, I write my blog to Share-Inspire-Guide others. I have had companies ask me to do a blog post on them and if I like them then most definitely I will if it fits in my interior design world. If not, I won't and can't, but quite frankly none of those companies would come to me anyway if they are smart. ;)

    I enjoy your Twits by the way. :)

  4. Thanks for your comment Marie, I enjoy your tweets as well.

    I think it's smart for companies to turn to blogs to try to generate some interest in their products and services, don't get me wrong. The lines blur a lot as these new media develop conventions of their own and it's a pretty cool thing to be a part of that.

    I blur that line from time to time but I draw the line at taking money to write a favorable post of something. A positive review can't be bought from me, but I give them away all the time. Provided of course I would actually recommend something personally.

  5. As far as I'm concerned, you didn't even need to do this post. You are far far too genuine to engage in that kind of pandering crap!
    I love the picture!

  6. Thanks Melody, I felt like it needed to be said.

  7. Paul, besides being informative what I adore about you the most, is your sense of intregity. -Brenda-

  8. Thank you Brenda, you just made my day.

  9. Paul,
    I agree with you. I would NEVER write a post for money. I feel that design bloggers on the whole are just people in love with beauty and their homes. I know very few bloggers who even have any major advertising, and give aways always go directly to the reader!! Bravo to you for calling it out the real truth!!

  10. Hello, Ferrari? I'll post about your product if you want to send me a freebie!!! Thank You!


    I second what Gina says, when I am enthusiastic about a product it's because it's just so damn pretty/well designed/functional/etc. and I want everyone to know about it. We've talked about doing ads, but that's just one more thing to add to the to-do list!

  11. Gina, thanks (about a week late). I didn't realize your comment was here.

    And Adrienne, tell me about it. I'm holding out for Audi to comp me an A-6 and let me drive it around for a year so that I can give it an honest appraisal.


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