We are in Nashville, where today we plan to go to the Parthenon.
Unfortunately, I woke with a head congested so badly it feels like I gained ten pounds -- all in my sinuses. Bleah. I will not let this keep me down, but I sure wish it had waited one more day. I hate being sick on the road. It means I'm a little grouchy.
Perhaps that's why I'm not as thrilled as I'm sure the folks over at Tinkerbell Checks want me to be. They've sent me an email telling me that I'm the featured blog on their Blog Awards Page. Usually, I like receiving awards. And being a featured blog is pretty nifty. But this one comes with a catch that, alas, pushes one of my buttons.
They want me to set up a link to them on my main page. By that, I presume they mean my side bar, so it will be there for days on end. This is the best they get. I'll acknowledge them, and the award, but I'm not into providing free advertising for businesses I don't know. Their main page (where they sell checks and deposit tickets and address labels and such) has no place to link to the Blog Awards page (where this blog is indeed the currently listed Featured Blog) so my link to that wouldn't be a nice little reciprocal love-fest.
If I'm going to set up a specific ad, I need to feel as though I can honestly endorse the folks on the other end. Unfortunatley, I have no idea whether their products or services are top quality or dreadful. Until I can be sure that I'm not sending you to a scam artist, I'm not going to set up an ad to them ... because that pretty much means I'm endorsing them, which I can't do without ordering from them. But I don't need checks right now. If you really want to get the link to their personal checks sales page, let me know, and I'll email you (0r you seem to be able to get to it from the "Add New" link/tab thing on the awards page).
I'm not much of an advertising fan, personally. What's that you say? Don't I regularly provide links to business where I've received excellent service or from whom I've received excellent products? Why yes. I do. But those are acknowledgments from me. They're not ads provided by or sought by the businesses. Generally, the businesses have no idea that my blog is going to talk about them. (Well, okay, I ask LYSO's if I can blog them and their shops, but they never ask me to do it). The advertising I'm talking about is driven by either the business, or the advertising industry itself. Like the stuff over there in the side bar, which pays for this blog. I don't have much control over them (other than being able to tell them not to run ads about certain types of things). If I could pay for the blog by running ads for things I truly endorse, I'd be much happier. But I can't. So, in a sense, we're both prey to the advertising industry anyway - becuase I have to rely on BlogHer to put reasonable ads over there in my side bar.
I think that the advertising industry has become something more than a little twisted, and has lost track of the positive purpose with which it started -- helping people find the things they need, and helping those who make the things people need reach the people who need them. Blog Her, through which I run my ads, is not actually endorsing any of those products either... it's focus is finding a way to help bloggers like me earn a little money with our blogs, to help keep women blogging. But the industry as a whole is .... different. It's now more focused on persuading people they need something that they'd likely be able to live full happy lives without - which then prompts more people to make more things we don't need (using up resources and otherwise fill up landfills). And advertisers don't really seem to be constrained by the need to be truly honest. They might not knowingly tell outright lies, but there are lies of omission all over the TV screens and magazine pages.
I mean, c'mon... how many different kinds of crackers do we truly need? What about make-up? Will we all survive, and even find mates, if no one wears mascara? Probably. And yet, I see ads all the time for better mascara.
Will we all manage to stay connected with last year's cell phone? probably (I sure do). And if advertising were less involved, they'd likely make the phones to last longer, and not feel the need to come out with bigger better faster brighter more featured every freakin' year.
I'm all for innovation. But when it's driven by the need for new that advertising gives us? It's a waste.
I'm all for saving money -- but when that gives us low quality disposable crap, we're not really saving money; and we're filling the landfills and using up resources faster than the Earth can replenish them.
I blame advertising for the toys in happy meals... and we SO don't need those (or the junk food for that matter).
I understand that advertising money is what pays for my TV shows, and my newspaper etc. (and my blog). But I wonder. To what extent would our buying habits really change if we never saw ads? What if we only saw ads for new things -- to alert us to the fact that a new thing exists. Would we stop buying triscuits or diet coke just because the advertising stopped? Would we switch brands? Would we suddenly start buying VW's instead of Toyotas? really? And in the end... would our products be cheaper because the advertising bill wouldn't be rolled into the cost?
all this blather is sort of why I wont' run ads for the check folks who are promoting my blog. Sorry.
I'm gonna go out and see Athena now. Perhaps she'll put me in a better mood.