The FTC has decided people should be up front when they are being paid to chat things up on the Web. Frankly, I think that’s a good idea.
Yes, like many people who write for the Web, I have sometimes been paid or gotten freebies. However, since I generally don’t review items, it doesn’t happen very often.
As an independent contractor, I’m currently being paid to help support the All Things Human and Institute of Green Science Web sites. Most of the work I do is behind-the-scenes – research, testing, coding, revising material. Sometimes, I do post about these sites in my Facebook page or blog.
Earlier this year, I got two free tickets to see Up, which I loved and reviewed informally online. If I hadn’t liked it, I would have said so anyway, despite the free tickets.
So, for this year, that’s what I’ve been paid to write about. The vast majority of the writing I’ve done about movies, conventions, politics, Pittsburgh, travel, et.c. have all been as a person who’s interested in these things, and not as a person who’s been paid to help promote them.