Starting in 2009, the FTC requires bloggers to provide disclosures whenever there could be hidden interests or unspoken biases related to recommendations.
Per the FTC rules, if I interview someone and they grab the bill for lunch, I would need to specify this. Ditto if I use an Amazon link that gets me 8 cents instead of an Amazon link that gets me 0 cents. If someone gives me a comfy t-shirt with a logo and I wear it in a photo, same deal. Disclaimers all over the place.
This would be tedious for me and a continual eye sore for readers. But rules is rules.
To cover my ass and preserve your reading experience, please assume that, for every recommendation, link, and product I use, the following all hold true:
Thank you to Tim Ferriss, who has kindly allowed people to adapt the images and text from his disclosures page: "Please feel free to use the text and images on this page with proper attribution. There is no reason why each blogger should have to reinvent the wheel."
On this coming Monday or Tuesday, I'll be asking the Director of Sales and Marketing at one of the most prestigious local businesses for $100,000. I have all manner of charts, research, data, and numbers showing why this is an exceptionally good idea that will have a fantastic ROI - and it is a good deal. But still, it's mildly terrifying to present in that sphere.
Part of what I'm going to do is go in and ask for a considerable sum of money, but I'm trying to build a different sort of relationship than most people would think. If they choose my company, we'll be producing lots of good work for high pay - but I'm trying to build something other an exchange-based relationship.
What's an exchange-based relationship? Over the last 10 years or so, researchers have identified two kinds of ways trade and interact and cooperate. The first way would be through "market norms" - this is where two people clearly agree to make an exchange, and deliver what they agreed to exchange, and the deal is concluded. The second way is through "social norms" - where you're looking out for each other's best interests.
Let's go over quickly what market/exchange norms look like and how they push out social norms - then I'll have some ideas and guidelines for your own life.
If you like digging into primary source papers, this one from 1993 by Clark and Mills is pretty good. If you're more into books, this was covered in Dan Arielly's book "Predictably Irrational."
On Wednesday Amazon announced the newest version of it’s ebook reader, the Kindle DX. Taking the second generation’s improved design and increasing the screen size to 9.7” Amazon has targetted newspaper and textbook readers.
To complement this Amazon announced partnerships with the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe. Kindle owners can pay for subscriptions to the newspapers’ content, which is instantly and discretely downloaded to the device via an over-the-air network Amazon calls “Whispernet”.
Amazon also announced special deals with several University text book publishers and thousands of books, often weighing a considerable amount, will be available on the device which weighs just over 500g.
The problem is, for all the convenience and elegance of the device, it costs $500. There’s very little economic incentive for students to adopt the device when they may only need $100 in text books, which are relatively easy to sell back when finished with. Newspaper readers can either pick up an inexpensive newspaper from a newstand/newsagent or in many cases access identical articles online, for free.