No more freebies

It was really great to take a day off of the computer.

I was thinking about what’s causing stress in my life and one of them is the pile of hardware sitting next to my door waiting for me to try it out. See, companies are now sending me free books, free hardware, and free software to try out.

That +is+ putting pressure on me to write about that stuff and is changing my passions. I don’t like it. So, I am not going to do it anymore.

Even if I send it back (which I’m gonna do) it takes time, causes me to feel guilty for not writing about them, and changes the relationship I have with you. I just don’t like it. So, I’m gonna turn this stuff away from now on. And, of course, I’ll keep disclosing anytime I do get something in return for my services and/or whenever I have conflicts of interest, like when I own stock on something I’m talking about.

I’m also not taking this stuff because I simply can’t be a replacement for News.com or the Wall Street Journal. I can’t be all things to all people. I’ve gotta get back to writing about what interests me. That’s the small stuff in the industry that the other news outlets probably will miss and my view of tech from an enthusiast’s perspective.

69 thoughts on “No more freebies

  1. Good luck..
    Keep sending back the stuff and eventually they’ll stop sending them at first.

    A better life is waiting for you :)

  2. Good luck..
    Keep sending back the stuff and eventually they’ll stop sending them at first.

    A better life is waiting for you :)

  3. Some people have all the luck. Now, see, they woulden’t send ME free stuff no matter how much I blogged about it. ;-)

    You could always just become a lot more selective about what you agree to review. That way, you still get neat gadgets, but it’s the stuff you actually want to fiddle with & talk about.

  4. Some people have all the luck. Now, see, they woulden’t send ME free stuff no matter how much I blogged about it. ;-)

    You could always just become a lot more selective about what you agree to review. That way, you still get neat gadgets, but it’s the stuff you actually want to fiddle with & talk about.

  5. I certainly do understand the pressures (especially on time) that this all means. However, be careful to maintain context and stay grounded.

    We often speak of community in relation to the web. It is a fitting analogy. You are an influential and popular member of the community around you. It is obvious therefore that people will value (and seek) your support in all manner of things. It is perfectly natural, inevitable, and you may as well get comfortable with it, because the only real alternative is to seek quiet and become the community hermit.

    Be comfortable enough to say “No”. People who truly value you will understand that, and will even appreciate your honesty. Sure, some only want to use you, and those will handily make themselves known and easy to ignore forever more. However, it is not wrong for people to ask for your support, so be very careful about turning away all comers. That’s the hermit route, and is rather dishonest. Its fine and good to say no, but to pre-judge all requests, to say No in advance is not right.

    I know you’ve wrestled with it, and especially with the ethics of accepting freebies that you cannot possibly promise to review. But do keep those lines of communication open.

    All the best to you.

  6. I certainly do understand the pressures (especially on time) that this all means. However, be careful to maintain context and stay grounded.

    We often speak of community in relation to the web. It is a fitting analogy. You are an influential and popular member of the community around you. It is obvious therefore that people will value (and seek) your support in all manner of things. It is perfectly natural, inevitable, and you may as well get comfortable with it, because the only real alternative is to seek quiet and become the community hermit.

    Be comfortable enough to say “No”. People who truly value you will understand that, and will even appreciate your honesty. Sure, some only want to use you, and those will handily make themselves known and easy to ignore forever more. However, it is not wrong for people to ask for your support, so be very careful about turning away all comers. That’s the hermit route, and is rather dishonest. Its fine and good to say no, but to pre-judge all requests, to say No in advance is not right.

    I know you’ve wrestled with it, and especially with the ethics of accepting freebies that you cannot possibly promise to review. But do keep those lines of communication open.

    All the best to you.

  7. Since my gadgets already consume my life, I really don’t see the problem. Maybe I should apply myself so I can have hope of filling the new void :)

    I know I’m on the outside looking in, but it seems to me the hard part is getting to the point where people want you to see their stuff. Thank goodness I’m starting to get review material (loaners) tossed to me at work. Thanks for the warnings, but one day I’ll strive to learn the hard way. I just have to stop procrastinating!

  8. Since my gadgets already consume my life, I really don’t see the problem. Maybe I should apply myself so I can have hope of filling the new void :)

    I know I’m on the outside looking in, but it seems to me the hard part is getting to the point where people want you to see their stuff. Thank goodness I’m starting to get review material (loaners) tossed to me at work. Thanks for the warnings, but one day I’ll strive to learn the hard way. I just have to stop procrastinating!

  9. So I guess then no UMPC review? Gotcha. ;)

    But yeah, people think the freebie game is a good one, until it ends up consuming your life. Double-edged sword. Nothing a stint on the journalism beat couldna taught yah, but bloggers and MVPs learn things the hard way, seemingly many many years later.

    If you want the freebie life, you will have to MAKE it your life — morphing into a pt-like robotic-creature, always fiddling with gadgets, doing eternally stupid geek hack tricks to entertain the masses of geeky short attention spans.

  10. So I guess then no UMPC review? Gotcha. ;)

    But yeah, people think the freebie game is a good one, until it ends up consuming your life. Double-edged sword. Nothing a stint on the journalism beat couldna taught yah, but bloggers and MVPs learn things the hard way, seemingly many many years later.

    If you want the freebie life, you will have to MAKE it your life — morphing into a pt-like robotic-creature, always fiddling with gadgets, doing eternally stupid geek hack tricks to entertain the masses of geeky short attention spans.

  11. Every thought about donating them? Like to the schools or to Goodwill? If they are unsolicited, they are gifts to you. If you aren’t going to use them, donate!

  12. Every thought about donating them? Like to the schools or to Goodwill? If they are unsolicited, they are gifts to you. If you aren’t going to use them, donate!

  13. Robert – according to BlogCode.com, my blog at blogging.wurk.net is the closest match to yours “in terms of style, content and delivery.”

    So, you can’t argue that it makes perfect sense that you simply forward all that stuff on to me. Everyone’s happy.

    Drop me a line, and I’ll send you my mailing address.

    ;o))

  14. Robert – according to BlogCode.com, my blog at blogging.wurk.net is the closest match to yours “in terms of style, content and delivery.”

    So, you can’t argue that it makes perfect sense that you simply forward all that stuff on to me. Everyone’s happy.

    Drop me a line, and I’ll send you my mailing address.

    ;o))

  15. Reading through all this makes me realize: I’m so happy I’m not an A-Lister. Maybe you might want to take a whole week off to recharge your battery – and giving the stuff to charities sounds like a mighty fine idea to me. Either way: it might be advisable to place the physical and mental health before the urge to blog. ;) Hang in there.

  16. Reading through all this makes me realize: I’m so happy I’m not an A-Lister. Maybe you might want to take a whole week off to recharge your battery – and giving the stuff to charities sounds like a mighty fine idea to me. Either way: it might be advisable to place the physical and mental health before the urge to blog. ;) Hang in there.

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