Monday, October 09, 2006

She's bitching about stealth ads again

Mayberry Mom and Chaos Theory both took on blog ads on Wednesday.* I'm personally not bothered by the ads and have an easy time tuning them out. I can't see putting them on my site, given the low volume traffic.

So ads, whatever. But what IS bothering me is the emails and comments I am getting from bloggers wanting to increase traffic to their sites by suggesting I do a "swap" with them - if I put their site on my blogroll, they'll add me. The emails always start with some version of "I love your blog" "I really enjoy reading your blog" "great blog."

Um, if you are such a big fan, how come you've never commented before? I know there are people out there who read my and other blogs and never comment. (My husband is like that. He loves you all and reads religiously, but almost never leaves a message. Except at Sweet Juniper.) Fine, lurking is cool. But really, if you have a blog and are chatty that way, seems like you might have offered a comment or two at a blog you think is so great. And that comment might have come before you so enthusiastically gushed about how great my blog is and oh-yeah-do-you-want-to-pimp-my-site-for-free. Especially if I have never seen or heard of your ad-encrusted site. Especially if it is a site featuring "cute" photos of people's kids. Why do I need to go to a random site to see pictures of children I don't know? At least with the blogs I already visit, I know something about the kid before seeing them wearing a goofy hat or smiling through a chocolate ice cream facial. I am guessing that you don't know anything about my site, other than that it is written by a mom. 'Cause really, my own child notwithstanding, I fucking hate cute.

I am sure I was not the only recipient of this "offer." And I know I've complained about this kind of marketing before. But it just bugs me, and bugs me in a way that ads that are clearly ads just don't. Oh, and this is where I wish I could borrow Metrodad's brain for a minute. If he was writing this post, it would be really funny and cutting, yet inclusive and loving. I'd force that guy to be my new best friend if he didn't live across the country and if I didn't think my current closest pal would threaten to cut him if I told her that. (But really, she'd love him too, if she read him regularly.)

*They swapped blogs for their paired posts, so the links posted take you to the posts they've written, but not to their blogs.


  1. I'll add my 2 cents here. I got a comment from a blogger that touted her website in addition to the comment. The comment that made no sense. It took me a while to realize it was spam-like; even though she had a real blog. It was a comment to a post of mine that was all metaphor about beef stew, and her comment asked if I made it in a crockpot. WHA? I deleted the comment and emailed her saying that the post had nothing to do with beef stew at all, that perhaps next time she should read what she's commenting on, and that her comment would not appear. Her reply? That she did read the post and only wanted to know if I made the stew in a crock pot. You know, the stew that the post was NOT about in any way, shape or form! At that point, I just deleted the email. I then scoured her site more and found it to be a conglomerate of blogs and I'm sure it's click-ad driven, so she just wants traffic, which is exactly what I stopped giving her. Ooooh, you struck a nerve. :-)

  2. spam comments and those emails suck.

  3. Amen. See this is why I don't have a blogroll. People see that I write for the Chronicle and they think I'm a big blogger but I'm not. I don't even get paid for the ads on my blog. So when people ask me to add them I just tell them that I don't have a roll but that if they're good I'll definitely bookmark them.

    I don't come back to blogs that don't interest me.

  4. How about the people who have never commented on your site before, ask you to exchange links with them, and then throw in a random comment in their e-mail about something you mentioned in your most recent post. You know, just to show that they've actually read your blog AT LEAST ONCE! It's like a personalized form letter. THAT drives me a little nuts.

  5. I've gotten those before and I hate them. One in particular was someone suggesting a swap of links and being all perky in a really serious and sad post I had made about Steve Irwin's death. I thought it was incredibly inappropriate and deleted it without even bothering to respond.

  6. Oh Hate, we have gotten a few of these. The worst ones are the bible bloggers, who if they had read our bios at all would have run screaming.

  7. Yeah. Love your blog. Would you mind linking to mine? Huh? Wouldya? :)

    But you're right - an honest, good comment can drive someone back to your site and, if they like it, who knows?

    Like your comment on my blog (courtesy of Metrodad's post, I'm sure) led me to yours. I like your writing. 'Nuff said.

  8. Nonlinear Girl, you should check out the thread on my site regarding Blog to Profit, which is an even MORE insidious form of advertising.

    And then you should link to my site. Because I LOVE your blog!!!! Especially that one post you wrote entitled "A Monkey Boy Story", in which apparently there was something Ellen had been keeping from you.


    Re: blogrolls, this is why I dumped mine long, long ago. There are much better ways to show love, IMO.

  9. I have a very stilted compass blogroll. Really it is only there to route me through some dozen or so really good blogs with great blogroll connections... to hundreds of wise voices.

    One of my favorite thing about the medium.. gross to hear of it getting wrecked.

    ps how chuffed am I to know the Wo family has scored a couple of comments recently from the elusive nonlinear papa?!!

  10. I think you said it just swell on your own.

    and -- no one has ever asked me to swap links with them via email.


  11. Hiya, Whitney from RookieMoms here, but too lazy to re-login as RookieMoms.

    What we've been getting a lot is PR agencies asking if we're interested in receiving xyz product to review. For example a new Downey Whitener. What the hell does Downey Whitener have to do with Oh, both are for women!

    Today was the topper: the PR agency was contacting me to pitch a product THAT I WORK ON in my day job. My son is actually on the package of this very product. They had no idea who I was.