February 5, 2010

Post 1300 - An Apology and a Policy

I have to admit, I probably may not have to do this, but I feel some responsibility, especially to those who have e-mailed me in the past few weeks.

Since I often blog about comics, television, pop culture, and other stuff, I usually get e-mails asking for me to post about a particular comic. Usually, they are the press release and zip file kind (yes, I'm talking to you, Maxim) or unsure of the game (like the creator who sent me an e-mail asking for a review...but included an Amazon link to his own book...which gave him the referral bonus). But several people wrote some really great e-mail - one gentleman even referred to me as "Mr. Dymowski" and offered sample chapters, and I thought I would write about them.

Unfortunately, I deleted those e-mails by accident, and if you sent me a request for a blog post...I need to apologize. I try to have a "good neighbor" policy when it comes to blogging/podcasting - to treat people with a certain amount of respect - and by not getting back to you, I chose to shrug off that respect. I don't mind championing smaller efforts, but my lack of responsiveness is, well, a little disrespectful, and quite frankly, that's not right.

So here, to formalize a "review policy" of sorts, here's what I'll work towards doing in the future:
  • If you send me a personalized, more human e-mail, I will acknowledge it - I'll send you a note letting you know I received it, as well as either a time frame for posting, or I will politely decline. At the very least, it's the professional thing to do. Most zip file and press release "pitches" are going in the trash.
  • I will follow the FTC Guidelines for Blogger Disclosure- Not just because it's the law, but I never want to be accused of writing a blog post simply because I got something for it. Speaking of which...
  • I will give an honest - yet tempered - opinion: I am more than willing, when I'm writing to share my concerns and thoughts on why I may not totally like something. I won't go out of my way to trash anything or anyone - there's too much of that on the blogosphere as it is. Life's too short to be bitter and cynical.
  • I am both PR and grassroots friendly - I don't expect major marketing agencies to necessarily target me, but it's happened in the past. My personal philosophy is that I am flattered when anyone - from a small indie artist to a multimillion dollar agency - engages me and considers my honest opinion valuable.
  • PDF copies of your books are not only welcome, but encouraged - Last November, Twitter was abuzz about a blogger who declared that he would discard PDF copies. I know some of you smaller press people don't have money to burn in sending free preview copies. If someone else says no, send it to me, and I'll look it over. I'm all over helping the little guy out.
  • Please don't be disappointed if I respond right away. - it only means that either I'm a little backlogged, or (more accurately) I goof up royally. A pleasant reminder is always appreciated.
  • If I don't disclose, it only means I either spent my own money or borrowed it from the library - see point # 2 above; at no point will I ever knowingly engage in unethical or deceitful behavior. I tend to do this anyway for the blog; consider this my formal acknowledgment of that fact.
  • This policy will continually be revised, refined, and updated. 
Now you may be thinking, But Gordon, you're only a small scale blogger - why are you putting out a policy?  Because I am a small scale blogger - I don't have high numbers, or am I the latest social media/online darling. All I am is a guy with a blog, and I want to do right by anyone who visits here.

I made a mistake by inadvertantly dismissing people who contacted me in good faith - that's not just poor manners, but bad behavior. Consider this my attempt to begin making a formal amends.

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