07 June 2010

Blog Poll.... I don't usually ask for opinions but...

Sometime ago I removed the followers list from my blog because it is rather public and searchable and a number of my followers appeared to me to be blogging private matters that they might not wish to have so broadly shared.  I just did it; I didn't ask.   For similar reasons, I seldom mention names in my blog.  I use initials so that mutal friends and family usually know of whom I'm writing but the more public readers will be left guessing.  I'm assuming everyone knows that DMP is my husband, David, since that information is rather public but DMP doesn't preview and approve my blogs and he's not on facebook, so I offer the same courtesy to him that I do to others.  Frankly, I enjoy playing at the old literary tradition of Lord A... and Lady L... of ....shire.
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.
So let me know what you think by taking the poll or offering comment if you prefer.  Thank you and please don't take offense when I make the decision.  As I have told several of my blogger friends:  "It's your blog; do with it what you will."


blueskies said...

I don't think it is tacky. In fact, if there is so much interest from vendors, I would figure out how to sell ad space. Why not? It helps them out- and you get a little slice of the pie.

Chelsie said...

Not tacky at all.. I agree with blueskies.

BrandyMcD said...

I agree that primarily it is a convenience issue and a lot of the works you are discussing are not easily found, so you would really be helping the vendors out. Even though you are not at all concerned about money, I'd add that you put a lot of thought and time into your blog and I wouldn't fault you if you made a small profit off it it. But, you could even donate that profit to a literacy group or something if you feel the need. I don't think any of your loyal readers would ever find your recommendations suspect just because there was a click through link.

B2 said...

I advocate keeping your blog your domain. It is helpful to toss up a link every now and then for specific things, but I find that most web users can find items you mention. Perhaps it is my "selling out to the man" idiosyncracy.

However, I like Brandy's idea that if you did decide to monetize, you could donate the proceeds to literacy projects. I love reading here, and you are definitely correct that it is part of your academic pursuits.