FTC Disclosure

People reading aren’t getting it, so here it right at the top here where it can’t be missed:

DO NOT SEND ME FREE STUFF
WITHOUT ASKING FIRST!!!

I did one of these for The eBook Test — FTC Wants Bloggers To Disclose: My Disclosure — and have forgotten about doing one for here. I’m making this a page in itself which will appear via a permanent link in the sidebar so anyone can find it and see it at any time.

Of the ten called out in that original post, three are now UnPersoned. They no longer exist to me. I won’t embarrass anyone by company name or person name. Let me just say that the most important currency online is trust. And when you lose mine, you are gone with zero appeal, forever. Other people can go ahead and trust you, but I never will and want nothing to do with you, period.

The only open-ticket carryover item from back then is this:

NetGalley: I have an account on NetGalley, which means I can get pre-publication electronic galleys. I haven’t downloaded anything yet.

As of 2010, I still haven’t downloaded anything. [Update: As of January 10, 2011, still haven't. Update: July 2, 2013: still haven't downloaded anything.]

Other freebies include eBooks offered to everyone at Kindle Store, Sony Reader Store, Kobo Books, and Smashwords. I have lots of such freebies. Whenever I get around to finally reading them, if I do a post about any of them, I will state the book was a freebie given out to anyone who bothered to get it when it was offered.

From time to time, I am emailed and asked for advice about eBooks from various people and companies who I will not name because I consider such exchanges to be confidential and understood to be under NDA as soon as I have read the email. Replies are given without any fees expected, asked for, or favors exchanged. And if you ask to meet with me, you will get my standard reply: No.

Advice is always given on the basis of my knowledge, not on any inside information I might or might not have about what another person or company is doing or might do. Such communication with me is siloed and never spreads.

From time to time I will receive a press release in email, unsolicited. Sometimes this will generate a blog post, sometimes it will not. Doing a post means the subject of the press release is itself sufficiently interesting to me that I think other people would want to know about it. Given how lax I am in checking email, any post I do appears hours after many others have already done such posts. No payments or favors ever take place for such a post by me.

From time to time, a writer will offer me a free eBook directly. My standard answer is: I don’t take freebies. I’ll only take one when everyone can have one, such as offered at the various eBookstores named above.

From time to time, someone will offer to send me a pre-publication eBook for advice of some kind. I might accept this offer depending entirely on the person asking. I am capricious that way; too bad for you. Accepting such an offer in no way means it will ever generate a blog post. It would only do so if a) I have later bought the eBook, and b) found it to be good enough to recommend.

Rarely, someone will offer to send me that cursed thing that is a printed book. No. Not even if everyone can have one. See: The Horror Of Paper Books.

Finally, anything I write about is because of curiosity, advocacy, or even condemnation with no strings attached (the condemnation is always free!). My only allegiances are to writers, writing, and to ideas. Anyone who crosses my path today can be cut off tomorrow. And I cannot be bought, leased, rented, or bribed by any company.

October 8, 2010 Update:

Just because I am emailed for eBook advice doesn’t mean I will always agree to give it. I have the right to say No. And have.

Whenever I link to a book or product — or anything else, for that matter — there is no payment or other favors involved.

November 19, 2010 Update:

Do not send me any goddammed eBooks as “gifts.”

April 28, 2011 Update:

I don’t know what happened here. At one point I updated this page to mention that on February 24, 2011, I emailed Asus to formally request a review unit of the Asus Eee Note. Since that date, Asus hasn’t replied. Also, I’m no longer interested in reviewing it, so essentially everything else here remains the same.

May 27, 2011 Update: Unsolicited, writer Anthony Neil Smith sent me a free Kindle copy of his upcoming book, Hogdoggin’, which I previously wrote about here. Since I don’t have a Kindle, a portable device that can do the Kindle app, and won’t read on my PC with the desktop app, the copy has no value, but when something like this happens, it goes in this Disclosure.

May 27, 2011 Update 2: Do not send me free things without asking. Besides, in most cases the answer will be NO! anyway.

June 28, 2011 Update: Unsolicited, writer Richard Herley sent me a free Kindle copy of his upcoming book, The Drowning, which I wrote about here earlier in the day. Since I don’t have a Kindle, a portable device that can do the Kindle app, and won’t read on my PC with the desktop app, the copy has no value, but when something like this happens, it goes in this Disclosure.

I repeat:

DO NOT SEND ME FREE STUFF WITHOUT ASKING FIRST!

August 26, 2011 Update: As a Klout Perk, I got a free copy of the eBook Mile 81 by Stephen King.

October 21, 2011 Update:

I got this in email today:

Dear Mike,

I just got done reading your “Dropbox Can Go To Hell” and I found it really informative! Do you do advertising? I’m marketing out a few sites and can pay you $50 via PayPal to add a text link into one of your older posts. The link would go to an education site and I’d make sure the site relates to your post’s content.

Thanks and let me know if we can work something out!

No. Nothing can be “worked out.” This is graft. Go away.

August 27, 2012 Update:

Given the multiple Twitter suspensions that have happened to writer Jeremy Duns, I must now add this, of a non-commercial nature:

1) I don’t give a shit what you say on Twitter. If I don’t like what you say, I will simply UnFollow. I have often had battling political viewpoints in my stream. That’s fine. I’m not looking to Follow people who all think the same way.

2) The only time I will hit Block is if you’re a dick or a moron. Being a dick means getting up on your hind legs to bray something that’s obviously bullshit or plainly abusive. As for being a moron, well, if you don’t know what that means, you’re likely one.

3) I will never Block and Report as Spam someone who is not spamming. If you’ve done that, just grow the fuck up and stop it. Some day Twitter will catch on to you and you will be banned from their service — and good riddance to you.

4) I don’t give a damn who you are or where you live. I don’t go Googling Followers or trying to figure out where someone lives. I am not in the fifth grade, for fuck’s sake. And if you’re doing that to me, stop it.

5) I’m never going to ask for your address, so don’t bother asking for mine. We might have been exchanging tweets for years. Too bad. No one gets my address who is not in my Real Life. You might be trustworthy as hell. But your email might leak like a son of a bitch.

March 2, 2013 Update: There is nothing to add. I put this here in case people think I might have forgotten to add something since August.

July 2, 2013 Update: I have been lax in updating this. Asus invited me to an event after I squawked at them on Twitter. It generated a series of posts because I found their products interesting. Here are those posts:

Asus Event Sneak Peek Photos
Asus Post Delayed A Day
Asus Windows 8 Introduction: Part One
Asus Windows 8 Introduction: Part Two

There were no “souvenirs” given out at the event (if there were, I never saw them or got them). I did have maybe five sodas and a bunch of appetizers, all free, paid for by Asus. But such grub is standard at press events and doesn’t count as graft (if they had sat us all down for a T-bone steak, it’d be graft).

It’s too bad Acer never invited me to their NYC press event where the Acer A1-810 debuted (hint hint!). Because I like going to product introductions, especially for Android products. Because I will use your bandwidth to download AnTuTu and to download a PDF reader and to download fat Google Books PDFs and provide my readers with real information about a device’s performance and usability, unlike all the puff-piece crap that usually comes from such events. Keep that in mind, PR people!

August 26, 2013 Update: I’m late in adding this one. On July 22, Laura Dawson offered me a file copy of her eBook, which was also available free on the Net as a website book. I accepted but never downloaded it. Today it became available free — for a limited time — at the Kindle Store, and I downloaded that version.

August 26, 2013 Update: After doing the above, I checked my GMail and discovered that Adam Hodgkin had sent me a book in progress without asking first. I have deleted the email with the file, undownloaded.

I repeat:

DO NOT SEND ME FREE STUFF WITHOUT ASKING FIRST!

October 31, 2013 Update: Those who might wonder how I got early access to the Dell Venue 8 and Dell Venue 8 Pro, the explanation is simple. Dell had a limited-time pop-up store in Manhattan. I got there the last day it was to be open. Anyone could have done the same kind of posts. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people probably visited that store. No one else seemed to have bothered with a post. I guess no one wanted to stand there at a counter like an idiot doing all that I did.

November 30, 2013 Update: I should have added this sooner given how it’s come up more than once. There are ads on this blog. I do not put them there. I use the WordPressdotcom service for free. In exchange for that, WordPressdotcom sells ad space to cover my free use. I don’t see these ads unless I’m logged out — and I’m hardly ever logged out. None of the money WordPressdotcom collects goes to me. I have no say over what ads appear, either. I could make the ads go away by paying for a premium tier of WordPressdotcom but I’m not yet at the point where that’s something I want to do. This is not intended to be a permanent endeavor like a professional website that exists to pay people. That this one blog has now continued for several years surprises even me.

December 20, 2013 Update: In exchange for answering an Exit Survey at the NYC Intel pop-up store, I was given a voucher for a free coffee or hot chocolate from a chi-chi diner across the street. I had a free hot chocolate. My survey answers are basically things I’ve already said on this blog and in this post.

March 13, 2013 Update: I have somehow managed to win a contest on Twitter.

I have no idea what the prize is.

July 9, 2014 Update: On June 1st, Jane Litte of Dear Author gifted me a Kindle Book. I emailed Amazon to refuse it. They voided the gift and credited her gift card account. Today, the 9th, I was emailed an eBook that was available for free in June but I missed the offer. It’s July now and the book is not free. I deleted the email and didn’t take the book.

In case you missed the big letters at the start of this post, here they are again:

DO NOT SEND ME FREE STUFF
WITHOUT ASKING FIRST!!!

I don’t give a shit who you are, who you think you are, or what the fuck you want to give that you think I might like. My rules are firm. Everybody else around might be a corrupt son of bitch out of Pottersville, but that’s not me.

July 17, 2014 Update: Because of corrupt bastards on YouTube. I have a YouTube account. Everything I have posted and will post is here. There are brand-name products in some of those videos. I was not asked to include those brand names nor do I have any connection — financial or otherwise — to any of those brands. I did the videos as a potential customer using public demonstration devices in stores such as Best Buy or Staples (neither of which I have absolutely no connection to, financial or otherwise; and the same holds for any other store, in the physical or virtual world). As for the videos that I cross-posted from Youku, I have no connection — financial or otherwise — to Youku, to the brands in those videos, or to the people who created the original videos and posted them in China. As for the TV and movie clips, I have no connection — financial or otherwise — with the programs or their staff; the sole exception would be certain TV writers and producers I Follow on Twitter (who generally ignore me, even when I praise their work).

If you’ve gotten this far into this Disclosure, you should damn well understand by now that I won’t tolerate graft or being invited to feed at the graft trough.

October 5, 2014 Update: From time-to-time — and it will be rare — I will post about a Kickstarter campaign or other fundraiser. See this and this as examples. When that happens, unless I say so in the post itself, I have no connection to the funds being raised other than being interested in the product or cause. If you’ve reached this point in the post, you should have understood that by now.

One response to “FTC Disclosure

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention FTC Disclosure « Mike Cane's xBlog -- Topsy.com

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