Bloggers' rules of order, another Dolittler....and a contest!
You’ve heard about the new blogger rules, right?
According to the Wall Street Journal...
“Under revised rules announced Monday, the FTC will require bloggers and celebrities to clearly state when they receive cash or "payment in kind" for endorsing a company's products or services.”
As a blogger, you might think I’d chafe at the concept of anything that restricts my current freedoms, but all I can say is...it’s about time.
No more can mommy bloggers take freebie trips to Disney World after plugging Hannah Montana’s milky wonders to their heart’s content. Nor can animal health bloggers like me take on pet health insurance company sponsors without divulging their underwriting role and the details of our subjugation.
“Connections between advertisers and endorsers must be disclosed once the revised guidelines take effect on Dec. 1. The FTC said the stricter disclosure requirement will apply to comments on talk shows, blog posts and on social media as well as in traditional advertisements.”
So it’s not just about bloggers. But since it’s the first time bloggers have been targeted as a group, it’s a safe bet this FTC crackdown is the result of bloggers abusing their audiences’ trust in a million little ways all over the Internet or because of a pressing need to preempt our doing so as we amass the power to make these disingenuous practices profitable.
That’s not to say that I don’t blame them (OK, I do, but not as much as you might think). After all, it’s near impossible to make any money blogging without restrictive sponsorships unless you sell yourself to the God of Google ads or command a market power that transcends a blogger’s niche.
Think about it: Why else would Dolittler remain financially dormant?
After almost four years of blogging, a dedicated following and niche-leading traffic stats, the independent life of a blogger has proved fulfilling in every way...save financially. And with more work rolling in on the writing front, the time-related expenses of writing Dolittler are wearing me down, as they would anyone with a full-time job and a busy home life.
That’s why Dolittler’s finally making a leap. A scary one, too. Just in time for these blogger restrictions, I’ve finally decided to mix it up. Within a couple of months, Dolittler will be written 100% by me...but run by another company.
No longer will I have to worry about sponsors who want my soul in exchange for cash. This way, I’ll simply have to sit back and collect my monthly check...with no strings attached and the same editorial freedoms I’ve always enjoyed. Sounds nice, right? Does to me.
But there’s a catch (you knew there would be). In advance of a wider audience, I’ve been persuaded to change Dolittler’s name.
Truth be told, I didn’t need much persuading. Though I’ve always thought Dolittler a cool moniker for a vet-themed site, my market research over the years has proven otherwise. Apparently, its meaning eludes, its spelling confuses and its pronunciation proves tricky (even for me at times). Hence, a new name. Too bad I haven’t one yet.
That’s where you come in.
I need your help. I’ve scoured the contents of my brain (and those of my nearest friends and relatives) and have not yet happened upon the rightful successor to Dolittler’s title. Can YOU come up with the smartest, edgiest, coolest vet-themed blog title on the Internet?
By way of further inducement, I’m offering a couple of things I know I can grant: One year’s free (non-prescription) flea and tick preventative (of your choice) for one cat or dog OR a guest post written by you (cute pet pics and all, should you care to include them).
So what do you say? Do you accept this mission?
(Feel free to comment on the new blogger rules, too.)
PS: If you're shy, you can always send me an email.