Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shocking development: my blog is ethically pure

It may be indicative of this blog’s growing influence that in recent weeks three different promoters have contacted me about making content alterations to include mention of their product or cause.

And it surely is indicative of my boneheadedness that I will mention only two of three -- one of which involves a toilet -- while disdaining the one that offered a $100 quid pro quo.

I name drop the two here not because I endorse the products or because they offered any incentives. I’m just doing so because they asked me so nicely.

The first is Jooble, a Cyprus-based job search website. I was contacted by someone who says he is Serge Lavange.

“I just want to thank you for your wonderful blog www.EightDaysToAmish! I read the post ‘The Great American Beer Fridge’ and then spent another hour reading your posts with great pleasure. Every article is interesting and easy to read! I really like ‘Of Humdingers and Sockdolagers.’”

I read on expecting him to compare my profile picture to Brad Pitt’s.

He said his job is to persuade bloggers to link to Jooble job-finding service. He said, “I really love my job. We have a friendly team and good management, but unfortunately I have no idea how to convince a blogger to link to us, I'm afraid I might lose my job because of it :( ...”

The only way he could have been more appealing was if he or she said he or she was Katarina and her cruel bosses have strapped her to the railroad tracks and wouldn’t free her until I agreed to comply.

“Our site is really cool. It can greatly help hundreds of people to find jobs. I wish you to have a good day and excellent mood! Thanks again for your nice blog. Write more! Thanks!”

The correspondence is rich with irony. He gets paid to read my blog and kindly ask if I, a man who gets paid nothing to produce it, will mention a site that helps other unemployed folks find work.

But I’d get great satisfaction if anyone did get a job from this post or if at least poor Serge could avoid being sent to the gulag so . . .

Jooble! Jooble! Jooble! And thank you, Serge. I hope it all works out for you.

Next freebie mention goes to Mary Beth Duehr and the luxury INAX SATIS Toilet. Her note was brief, straightforward and informative. She said the eco-friendly tankless design delivers on comfort, performance and style.

She didn’t try to flatter me, hint she’d ever even looked at my blog, or offer me a free toilet.

But I read her note and thought of her as a young girl. I’m sure she didn’t grow up dreaming of hawking commodes for a living.

Her job is as thankless as the INAX SATIS is tankless. But it is essential and can help save the planet. So I’m happy to mention it here and do so without ethical ambivalence.

Toilets are an interesting place for a guy like me to draw the line.

You’d think I’d have snapped up the $100 offer to alter this whiny September post about America’s penchant for over-education.

The assigned links led to articles bashing for-profit colleges in favor of colleges that feature things like buildings and cheerleaders. Payment would also require me to include four lines of copy. A snippet:

“These for-profit degrees have the double bonus of being frowned on by potential employers and being tied to an disproportionally high level of student debt. The problem is that everyone is told growing up that graduating college is one of the essential parts of a successful life.”

My post was non-specific. It bashed all education. I must have been striving to be controversial that morning.

“If you agree with these edits, I can promptly send you a $100 payment via PayPal. You can either post the link now or after I’ve sent the payment. Hope this sounds good to you!”

It sounds great. Honest.

It just doesn’t sound honest.

So be wary, ye consumers of web content. They’re trying to influence you in the most insidious ways.

I assure you it won’t happen here.

I can write my own crap. If this blog ever goes down the toilet, I promise you I’ll be the one doing the flushing.

And if it goes down the toilet, you can bet it’ll be down a shiny new INAX SATIS!

Tell ‘em sent ya!

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shrink on the couch said...

The name Serge sounds guy-ish but the writing sure sounds girl-ish. (Politically incorrect statement, uh huh) I'm in the people business and I have a hard time imagining a dude saying something as coquettish as " unfortunately I have no idea how to convince a blogger to link to us, I'm afraid I might lose my job because of it :( ..." I mean, an emoticon ?? Is it just me?

Chris Rodell said...

No! You're right on the money, S.o.t.C. The response to the story was just as odd. I think there are a whole warehouse of Serge's there. Thanks for reading!