I appreciate the interest and I understand advertising's role in supporting many content areas of interest to me (radio, college football games on TV, etc.). I have a part-time business of my own. Currently word-of-mouth is keeping me busy enough with my other projects (such as completing our new house), but I foresee the day when I will also use advertising to grow my business.
However, my blog policy is to refuse any and all advertising. My refusal is based on three reasons.
First, I write for myself and advertising has an impact on writing. This is why you rarely see a newspaper write a negative review of an advertiser's product. The newspaper is afraid that the advertiser will yank his ads and does not want to offend. This is why Consumer Reports has never accepted any advertising in their publication. I think this is a wise policy to follow. Even if the advertising revenue is insignificant, it still may subconsciously impact my writing.
Second, advertising distracts from my site. If it works, people will click on it. If it doesn't work, the advertising is cluttering up my site for no useful purpose. Either way it is a distraction from the writings of myself and my commenters.
Third, I am at the point in my life where the advertising revenue is not critical to me. Sure, money is very tight right now as I pay multiple mortgages, but I can see the day when I'll be down to one mortgage again. God has blessed me and I'd rather not clutter up my site and take the risk that the advertising revenue will influence what I do, and do not, say at my site.
However, I am willing to provide publicity for your product (good or service) at my site, free of charge, under my terms. If you send me a sample, I will be glad to test it and review it online. I used to be a director of product development and have some skills in this area. The only catch is that my review will be posted for all to read. So if you have a great product, you'll probably be quite happy with my review. But I will post the good, the bad, and the ugly about any product I review.
I would also like to state that my policy is not intended as a criticism to bloggers who accept advertising. Many people may need the advertising revenue in order to support their blogging and/or may have the ability to blog without being influenced by their advertisers. My policy is determined by what I think best for myself and my readers. Reasonable bloggers may come up with other policies for their sites.
Government intervention, overzealous litigation, and poorly designed insurance policies have done much to restrict the health care market in the United States. Other than a few doctors who only take cash and refuse to deal with insurance, there has not been much room for the health care market to operate freely other than in the creation of new products.
Last Friday, WalMart took a small step that could help restore some sanity to the marketplace.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, plans to slash the prices of almost 300 generic prescription drugs, offering a big lure for bargain-seeking customers and presenting a challenge to competing pharmacy chains and makers of generic drugs.
The drugs will be sold for as little as $4 for a month's supply and include some of the most commonly prescribed medicines such as Metformin, a popular generic drug used to treat diabetes, and the high blood pressure medicine Lisinopril.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will launch the program Friday at 65 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sams' Club pharmacies in Florida's Tampa Bay area. It will be expanded statewide in January and rolled out to the rest of the nation next year, company officials said Thursday.
Nice to see WalMart using their expertise and buying power to start reducing drug costs. I think this is a brilliant move on their part. I expect the PR impact was definitely considered by WalMart, but more power to them for devising a plan to help people by using their strengths. Combined with WalMart’s recent green stance in reducing packaging waste, it will be interesting to see how liberals react to WalMart. Logically, they should applaud these moves of WalMart. However, I suspect most of the opposition to WalMart is emotional and that liberals will continue to disparage and attack WalMart at any opportunity.
For my part, I applaud WalMart for their efforts and will ensure they receive much future business from my household.
My first bad experience with PayPal and Ebay was about 2000 or 2001. I was building my own PC when I went back to grad school (and money was tighter than time) and needed to buy an operating system. I had a copy of Windows XP that someone had loaned me, but I wanted to buy an official copy (instead of using the license number from a program that my friend was no longer using since he moved on to another OS). So I bought one on eBay, paid by PayPal, and awaited my disc. When it arrived, the Windows XP disc worked, but it was obviously a copy (on a CD-R). I protested and asked for a refund. The seller refused, PayPal refused and eBay all refused, even when I pointed out the seller did not keep his word to send an “authentic, official version of Windows XP.” Both eBay and PayPal pretty much replied “Buyer Beware” and refused to help. I also reported the seller to Microsoft and never heard back from them. So I was out some cash for a useless product (useless to me, I refused to install a pirated OS on my system and ended up throwing the disc in the trash after keeping it for years in case Microsoft wanted to go after the pirate).
After a bit, I decided to continue using eBay and PayPal. They were still useful services even though they act like typical monopolies. After several years of selling items on Ebay. I had developed an excellent rating on eBay. Then in 2004 or so I sold something on eBay that was clearly listed as used. The buyer was upset (the first upset buyer that I had in my years on eBay). She was upset that the product was used and threatened to sue me if I did not take it back and give her a full refund. I had already spent the money she had paid, but if she had approached me nicely and said she was disappointed with the unit, I might have taken it back even though the unit worked fine and was clearly advertised on my eBay ad as used. However, I do not take kindly to threats and her statement that she would sue me did not bring out my best. So I refused to take it back since the product worked and was clearly as advertised.
The picky and litigious buyer had paid via PayPal and used her credit card. She protested to PayPay, but they could have cared less. Then she disputed the PayPal charge with her credit card company. Her credit card company naturally took her side (why hack off a loyal client when they could just oblige her at no cost to themselves?) and refunded her money from PayPal. PayPal then sent me a bill and locked down my account. Fortunately I had already transferred the money out of my PayPal account; otherwise they would have stolen it without my permission. PayPal was quite upset with me for transferring out the money. They then threatened to sue me over this (so two lawsuit threats over one sale!!!!) until I pointed out that the crazy woman still had my unit and that they had to ensure that that was returned before I would consider their problem. I also warned them that I would consult an attorney if they blemished my credit rating since I had acted properly and had shipped the unit as specified and promised (Even though I despise most litigation, I figured if they threatened me I could return the favor). Other than getting automated dunning emails from PayPal until I put them in my junk mail folder, I never heard another word from PayPal. However, in addition to locking my PayPal account, they also locked my eBay account (at this point in time, eBay had recently bought PayPal.).
While I could start a new account with either (or both) organizations, I decided to live without them. Bad service should not be rewarded with my business.