Sunday, April 26, 2015

My position on ethical promotion

The point of all the theory where I've been posting my position on money, and theories about promotion is to get to a functional perspective, as in how I decide to do things, for instance refer to something in a post. So here I'm getting out of theory into functional reality about promotion.

And focusing on limited social trust I think that if money is involved then my transparency promotion position is that should be public knowledge. So in my case that would be.

If that ever changes then I would disclose.

And in social media you can find yourself easily helping out with promotion, like for a movie you like, which I've found myself doing, and wondering to myself, is that sensible? Like retweeting a movie trailer, shouldn't I get paid or something or just not do it?

And my answer--at time of this writing--is, no, I should not get paid. Not that anyone is offering I should add.

And I have no idea if anyone does get paid for such things, have never had that offered to me, but it's a convenient area to work through how I would see it if such an opportunity arose.

Problem as I see it is with needing full disclosure which ruins the point I think as it's less valuable referral in my opinion if people think it was bought, and a contract would probably limit my speech in some way. Like if I saw a movie and decided it was crap, could I say that? Like sorry I referred you to such a crappy movie? Probably not.

So maybe that one is kind of easy. I can imagine liking the idea of a movie, and realizing later the actual movie was horrible, and wanting to be free to say that without being limited.

Which is why transactions are so fascinating to me as they involve agreements which are contracts to fulfill an obligation, where they also can conveniently limit obligation, which is how limited social trust works well in the real world.

So my position then is I'm free to suggest things to people or not, without money and there is no need to feel like there should be any.

Of course on blogs there are other ways things can be promoted where the blogger doesn't have to get directly involved, which is completely transparent. And I'd LOVE to see movies advertise on my blog, as that's a special thrill.

And checking Google Analytics it says this blog had visits from 8 countries in the last 30 days: US, Canada, Serbia, Vietnam, Colombia, Croatia, Kenya, and Morocco

IN the past I'd give out the numbers but realized that is relevant to other things and should remain confidential. It's too bad. I like tossing out all relevant information but shifting more to a business sense.

So, yeah there is an international reality potential from this blog. Guess I should point that out.

Will note, those country counts are VASTLY smaller than I've seen in the past. Worry me? Nope. I think that's amazing. To think, say someone in Vietnam, Croatia, or wow, Morocco, along with the others actually came here? Wow. The web is a wonder.

In case something does arise for promotion I've already got some thoughts with the idea of a limited endorser. That was a few years ago, where I had full disclosure upfront which is a constant, but DID see possibly endorsing products on a very limited contractual basis.

It's such a thorny area, but it is something I think can affect just about anyone who puts up public things on the social web as there is a value for people out there who want you to promote things, where they make money, like with a movie. And you make none, and can kind of wonder. My position is that isn't a concern as to make money, you need a contract, and I don't want one. Freedom is to say what I want, positive or negative.

Maybe I'll re-visit this area if I actually get to a position where someone wants me to endorse something! Clearly just thinking about it, without an example in front of me is not enough. Imagination can only take you so far. For some things you have to work through with reality giving you the nuances.

However for products or services I will post what I want without money concerns though I have noticed I tend to avoid mentioning real world ones on this blog unless necessary. Like it's hard to talk about social media companies without naming them.

So, I have some thoughts for reference, put up publicly which helps me work through them. And I will edit this post as necessary as I see it as a working document.

Oh yeah, so what is the base idea in my mind for ethical promotion? It's transparency, valuing referral, so you don't compromise its value to others, and freedom to speak your mind, positive or against. Contracts constrain, so I want to avoid them. But if one gets involved and there is money involved then that has to be publicly known as people need to know that to properly evaluate what you are telling them.

James Harris
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