Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I get letters

Doug Peterson occasionally writes “replies” to spam comments that are left on his blog. He does it so well that although I love the idea I don’t want to duplicate it. On the other hand I thought I might write about some of the email I get.

One of the types of email I get are requests to write guest posts for me. I them down. I want my blog to be my voice and about issues an products and what not that I care about. One person I turned down replied with an email that started with:

But I'm a professional writer and published number of articles in education related blogs.

Good for you. And good luck with your own blog. Of course they never seem to have a blog. They are looking to promote the web site they work for. It turns out that all of the blogs the most recent person listed as references appear to be commercial sites designed to attract readers for their advertising. In short the sort of site that makes internet searches for real content difficult. I have no desire to contribute to that morass.

Explicit requests to advertise on my blog is another  sort of email I get. Now there is nothing wrong with advertising and I am fine if other people accept advertising. Most teachers (including me) could use a little extra money. It’s just not something I want to deal with right now.

When I worked for Microsoft and blogged on a Microsoft owned blog site I used to get requests to advertise products that competed with Microsoft products. That always surprised me because if showed that people had really not done their homework. Amazingly even when I explained that promoting products against the best interests of my employer (pretty much the definition of biting the hand that feeds you) was not a good idea for me some people persisted in pushing their requests. Amazing really.

The next big email request is to use someone’s infographic. I used to accept some of these when I thought they were appropriate to my audience. I don’t do so as often as I used to. Most of them are basically advertising. The ones I do accept are more likely ones I find on my own and/or from a non profit whose goals I agree with. You are much more likely to see infographics from NCWIT or Code.Org on my blog than from a commercial entity.

Of course I get product and program announcements all the time as well. Those are case by case. If it seems appropriate (a new drag and drop language, a cool teaching robot, or a curriculum resource that has value) it may show up in an interesting links post. If I try it and really like it there may be a full blog post but if there is it is one I write myself (perhaps with some quoted text with a link).

Lastly I get a lot of public relations announcements that have nothing at all to do with what I blog about. I pretty much ignore these unless it is from a company or organization that I know might have things related to what I am interested in and think my readers might be interested to learn about. So not many of them get more than a scan followed by a delete. The cost of sending this sort of thing is so low that many agencies send them very widely hoping one or two will “stick” somewhere. I suppose they report back to the hiring company that they sent the announcement to x number of bloggers.

I never know what is going to show up in my email. Some of it is useful. Much of it is not. It is still interesting to see how things work or at least how people think they should work.

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