I don't usually ask for opinons. I'm quite decisive and I've found that if I ask for an opinion and then do something else then those I asked may be disappointed or even offended. It only gives people an excuse to offer comments that I don't care to hear. But I do have a dilemma regarding my blog and would appreciate some input from its readers, even those who are anonymous to me.
I am posting a poll on the left sidebar but before you vote let me share a few thoughts:
- Because of the book reviews in my blog, I'm under a bit of pressure--I'm receiving personal emails from the book vendors I often use for out-of-print materials in addition to the usual stuff from Amazon, AdSense, and Google--to "monetize" my blog. I've bought from some of these vendors so often and for such a long time that some of them feel like friends so it's hard to ignore their pleas. I rather think that the referral fees that I'd receive are too small to be anything except a bother at tax time and using my blog as a way to make money is of no interest to me.
- Because I think of my blog primarily as a part of my academic pursuits, I have rejected overtures to monetize thinking that they might create the appearance of a conflict of interest. It has been my policy to provide links in my blog text to free and public sources whenever possible. My intention is to maintain that policy.
- I also have a "Miss Mannersish" concern that seeming to solicit sales from my friends is just tacky.
- But I can also make a case that a link to a vendor where I decide what appears on the link might be a convenience rather than an imposition for my readers. The Amazon carousel, filled with only those items that I have read and personally recommend, might be helpful since it's often possible to sample a book before buying. I really enjoy having a bookstore at my fingertips.
- A few of my favorite websites and blogs provide portals which I "click through" and I have felt grateful rather than offended. Since I have not thought it tacky in others perhaps I'm being a bit "missyish" or "snobbish" in regard to my own behavior--a flaw which has been mentioned to me more than once.