The New FTC Guidelines, How Fair Is It?

If there is one thing that I hate it’s those bullshit commercials that go on and on. You know the ones, they’re promoting a product and if you buy it now you get some other crap thrown in. Then it goes on a bit more about how cool the stuff is, and then you get the old, ‘and there’s more’ line if you do this or that. The end result of buying into the whole sales line is that you have so much more shit to throw away.

Well, that is what the old squeeze page is like. You’ve all seen them. You land on a page that is promising to show you how you can tell your boss to shove his job because it’s going to reveal how you can make thousands of dollars a month. The problem is that no matter how much you scroll down, it seems you’re never going to get to the end of the sales jargon, and when you do, instead of telling you how much they’re going to fleece you, all you get is a link to click on, and 9 times out of ten you have to divulge your email address, and possible some other details. No worries though, because you’ve just been given a link to some crappy ‘free’ ebook.

Well, it’s quite possible that the new FTC guidelines which came into force on Dec. 1st is going to put a stop to all that. If you haven’t heard of these new guidelines you should check out the FTC website, and if you’ve got a lot of time to kill you may even want to read the 81 page guide.

Anyway, the problem is that the only ones it will affect are the Americans. I’m not 100% sure but I think everyone else around the globe is FTC safe. So, the question is how fair is it to the average American?

Let’s look at paid bloggers as an example. Most bloggers are already doing the right thing, by having a disclosure policy on their blog, and generally speaking, a lot of them do not make false claims in their paid posts. These new rules will now force those other bloggers to lift their game, but only if they are American.

So, what will the advertisers who paid for these posts do now that the new rules are out, and bloggers have to divulge, via the post, that they’re getting paid for it? As the majority of advertisers do not want bloggers to divulge such information,  I put it to you that they could possibly look to overseas bloggers for these paid posts, thereby restricting Americans from a legitimate form of income. If this is the case, instead of solving the problem, the FTC guidelines is simply relocating it.

These guidelines are possibly flawed in that the majority of scam sites and blogs are in the control of non Americans who don’t give a hoot about these guidelines.

Kristi raises a good point when she says in her post covering the FTC Guidelines;

Does there need to be fine print disclosures under every affiliate link on a website if someone is going to be paid commission on a purchase originating at that website, or does this only apply to written testimonials and reviews?

And if it is necessary to apply it every time someone writes a post promoting an affiliate, is that really fair? And who is to decide if someone has broken the guidelines? A blogger in good faith may have written a post promoting an affiliate thinking he’s abiding by the rules only to find out that some official disagrees and cops a whopping fine for his efforts. Sounds to me like the whole thing is flawed.

What say you guys? Will it do what it’s claiming to do? Will the Net be a better place because of it, or is it just another piece of bureaucratic crap who’s only intention is to show that the pen pushers are doing something to justify their exorbitant salaries?

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Why I No Longer Link To The Likes Of ProBlogger And John Chow

Why is it that as bloggers we love to share a bit of link luv with other bloggers? Sure we do it because we found a particular post to be interesting, and therefore worth sharing with our readers, but I put it to you that another reason is that, deep down, we hope to get some recognition from that blogger. A simple visit to our blog with a quick thank you isn’t too much to ask now is it?

Yeah, I can hear some of you mumbling in the background that the likes of Darren Rowse and John Chow are way too busy for such common courtesies and I understand that. Seriously, I do. Let’s look at it another way.

Have you ever been in a room with people who are engrossed in a conversation? You’ve got something that you think will be of interest to the rest of the group but they just don’t seem to be listening? Well that’s how I feel when I visit most problogger’s blogs, whether I leave a comment or whether I link to one of their posts. I may as well be in that damn room talking to myself for all the good it does.

Well no more! From this day forth I won’t be linking to any of their posts. OK, I’m hearing that nagging voice somewhere saying, ‘But what if I find something interesting that I want to share with my readers?’ Well, that’s not going to be a problem either, because I’ve unsubscribed from their blogs. No more notifications, especially those annoying ones from Chow every time he visits a restaurant. Honestly I don’t really care what he’s shoving down his throat.

As far as I’m concerned it’s no great loss, because there are so many other great bloggers out there. They may not be as well known, but that does not make what they have to say any less important or interesting. Sure Darren and Chow have a huge readership, and I’m not arguing that they are not good at what they do. What I’m saying is that they are not the only good bloggers out there.

There are so many other great bloggers who are not as well known, and who have a greater need of my link luv than any of the probloggers. These are just a few of those bloggers who are great at what they do but do not get the recognition of the so called ‘big boys’.

  • Extreme John: Now this bloke is bloody entertaining. He’s not scared of telling people how it is and won’t stand for any lip. He also understands, unlike those problogger snobs, what link luv is all about, as can be seen from his 12 Bloggers that Share Link Juice post.
  • iBlogZone: This is a blog that is full of great information, and DiTesco is another blogger who is not afraid to share a bit of link luv. His post Google AdSense Webinar – Free Online Seminars is just one of  many posts that are aimed at helping others to improve the earning potential of their blogs.
  • Kikolani: Kristi the owner of this blog does weekly updates where she shares with others all the interesting posts that she has come across during the week. She calls them her Fetching Friday posts, but other posts such as 5 Bad Reasons To Quit Blogging show that she has a wealth of information to share.
  • Social @ Blogging Tracker: Ching Ya, like the majority of women :innocent1_tb: , loves to mix it up in the social networks and her posts, like 6 Twitter Lists Applications to Expand Your Network helps others to share in her expertise.
  • I’m Just Sharing: Mitch is a blogger who is all about sharing and his posts are many and varied. My only complaint is that I don’t have the time to keep up with all his posts. One you might find interesting is How He Writes Blog Posts.

Of course there are many more, too many for me to name here. What I am trying to show is that because there are so many really talented bloggers out there, men and women who cover almost every subject imaginable, I don’t need the likes of those so called Probloggers. I have a pool of bloggers that I enjoy reading, ones that I know recognize my presence when I visit their blog and are not afraid to pop in on occasion to say hello by leaving a comment.

As far as I’m concerned blogging is more than sharing your ideas or ideals in a blog post. It’s also about conversing with them and dropping in on them once in awhile to see how they are going.

It seems that this post has created an interesting discussion over on David Risley’s blog titled, When Commenting Begins To Hurt Your Blogging Success. Perhaps you would like to add your thoughts to the discussion.

For those wondering how Darren got to where he is today.ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

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Qondio Or Qassia, They Both Suck

It seems that this is the week for rants, the first two belonged to my Mate Mitch with his ‘My Gripe With Helium‘ and then ‘Done With Demand Studios Also; The Gripe‘. I figured the time was ripe for my own rant and so I came up with ‘Keyword Abusers Force Comment Policy Change .’

After standing back and looking at my little rant I decided it was a little lame and not wanting to be outdone by ‘Mitch the Man’ I decided I had to do better. That was when I remembered Qondio, or Qassia, as it was known there.  Don’t ask me why they changed the name as I thought they were both pretty lame, but then there are probably some that would say the same of WassupBlog. Anyway I digress, and I’m not going to tell you why I joined in the first place. This is a rant remember, so I ain’t about to build it up.

The other day I was going to add an article, or intel as they are wont to call it when I was presented with the following.

Qondio only accepts material that has never before been published anywhere else on the web.All content submitted to Qondio must be previously unpublished material. This means that you must create from scratch any content you contribute.

You may NOT add content that you previously posted on your blog, website, or any other site.

Material is considered to have been “published” if it appeared anywhere on the web, irrespective of whether it appeared on a high-profile site or a brand-new blog which barely gets traffic.

You may republish the content elsewhere, but only AFTER it has been screened and published on Qondio.

The contributing user may republish intel he/she submitted to Qondio on other sites (such as the user’s blog, website, or a third-party site), but only after the screening process by a quorum of 7 users has been COMPLETED and the content has been published on Qondio.

This is exactly as it was printed on their site and it was displayed after clicking the add intel button. They obviously changed a lot more than just their name. I was shocked.  They actually thought that I was going to give them first shot at one of my articles. They have got to be kidding. Unless someone pays me for an article it ain’t going to be posted anywhere except on one of my blogs.

So after reading that I decided I wanted nothing more to do with them and so I looked for a way to delete my account. Like Mitch it was nowhere to be found. My only option was to delete all the articles I had already posted there. Actually there is one other option.

Important!Submitting previously published content to Qondio will result in the immediate termination of your account and forefeiture of all your accumulated credit, without notice and without warning. Second-hand content can be detected very easily even if the content has been edited to make it appear original, using a technology called shingling. Offending users will banned from Qondio for life, without warning and without question. Your account will be closed, your websites and your intel deleted, and all your information will be put on a blacklist. We have already banned more than 300 users for disregarding this limitation.

So you see there is a way out, and I can join the other 300 members who’ve found this scapegoat.

Oh, one more thing, seeing as how Qondio see themselves as being a top notch professional site, how exactly do you spell forfeiture?

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