How to be a piss-poor blogger

So I subscribe to an RSS feed on FanBlogs.com that is the writings of some guy named Kevin Donahue. I think this guy must be an LSU blogger or something – I don’t always recall why I add something to RSS.

So, anyway, this morning there’s a piece in my RSS called 15 must-haves for the 2008 college football season. OK, it’s a link-bait list post, but worth a browse in the reader. But something struck me as odd at best and more likely just pathetic:

Gear – Check out the NCAA Fan Store at Amazon for all the hats, shirts, and tail gating gear your could ever want. (And if you want the best portable grill out there, check this out. Just got this one this summer and it’s fantastic! Plus free 2 day delivery if you enroll in Amazon Prime!)

OK, I’ve built an Amazon affiliate site around fan gear, and I know for a fact the selection and pricing kind of sucks there. It’s mostly through non-Amazon sellers, and it’s not quite as random as eBay crap, but it’s close. There are many, many better places to find fan gear online; Amazon wouldn’t be in an objective person’s top 10.

Ah, but hovering over one of the links to Amazon reveals all. “&tag=kevindonahue-20″ means Mr. Donahue is an Amazon Associate and would get paid for any purchases you make after following these links. And there’s your motivation.

Pretty ham-handed attempt to make it appear that Amazon is the best place to buy gear – not just the place to go so Kevin Donahue gets paid. Strike one.

No disclosure that these are commercial links isn’t cool, either. Destroys the credibility of Mr. Donahue and the validity of this list of his. Is he actually in to college football, or just out to make a buck through Amazon? How much time did he spend actually seeking out the “must haves”? Or did he just round up some stuff to go along with his Amazon links? Strike two.

But the best part is that after I saw this, I went to his blog and left a comment calling him out on it. Of course, any and all comments left on his blog have to be approved by a moderator (Strike 3A), and he chose not to approve mine that was critical of him (Strike 3B). He approved others praising his piece, but not mine that pointed out his undisclosed interest and the shitty nature of that (Strike 3C).

So well done, Mr. Donahue. I hope you earn $20! You’re gone from my RSS reader, though.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “How to be a piss-poor blogger”

  1. Tom Blogical says:

    Cap’n Ken:

    “I think this guy must be an LSU blogger or something – I don’t always recall why I add something to RSS.”

    No, the blog is called “Fanblogs”. It’s a general College Football blog. Strike 1.

    “Pretty ham-handed attempt to make it appear that Amazon is the best place to buy gear – not just the place to go so Kevin Donahue gets paid. Strike one.”

    No, he didn’t say Amazon was the “best place to buy gear”, nor did he attempt make the appearance that it was. An alternate location? Yes, but not “the best”. Strike 2.

    “Of course, any and all comments left on his blog have to be approved by a moderator…”

    Wrong again. If you create an account with Disqus, the commenting system used there, the comments are automatically approved. I’ve been through the process. Strike 3A.

    “…and he chose not to approve mine that was critical of him…”

    I read at least 2 comments of yours that were critical of him. Strike 3B.

    “He approved others praising his piece, but not mine that pointed out his undisclosed interest and the shitty nature of that (Strike 3C).”

    Once again, he approved at least 2 of your comments, as well as the others. Strike 3C.

    And since you haven’t updated your post since you commented last on Fanblogs, seeing that you have had comments approved there…Strike 3D.

    Congratulations. You’ve just educated everyone on how to be a piss-poor blogger and a piss-poor commenter on another blog.

  2. Cap'n Ken says:

    Some fair points. And I should have mentioned it wasn’t that he didn’t approve my comment – just that it took him five hours to do so and it only happened after my second comment criticizing the first one not being approved. No connection between the two, I’m sure. And the comments thing – I miswrote there. I have a problem with moderation of comments in general (good spam filters exist), but I over-expanded the description of approval there.

    And, yeah, I should have updated the situation there here.

    I’ll dispute your characterization of his Amazon pimping, though. Clearly he was pushing that, clearly he makes money off of using Amazon instead of another (better) place to buy fan gear, and clearly he did not disclose his financial interest nor separate it from the editorial content of the piece. Sketchy, cheap and not deserving of my continued attention.

  3. Tom Blogical says:

    For the first part of the response, thanks for seeing that point of view.

    “I’ll dispute your characterization of his Amazon pimping, though. Clearly he was pushing that, clearly he makes money off of using Amazon instead of another (better) place to buy fan gear, and clearly he did not disclose his financial interest nor separate it from the editorial content of the piece. Sketchy, cheap and not deserving of my continued attention.”

    I didn’t say he wasn’t pushing it. I said he didn’t say it was the best place to get football gear. Kevin very rarely pushes anything at Fanblogs, and if he does, we are aware of it and really don’t mind. He has a large following there and I’ve never seen anyone but you have a problem with it. Not to say there haven’t been others, I just don’t know of anyone.

    If you don’t want to continue going to Fanblogs, no problem, that’s your prerogative.

    L8r.

  4. As I said in the comments, Ken, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I do wish that I had more time to devote to Fanblogs so that comment moderation didn’t suffer any extended delays, however, there are times that “real life” intervenes. That said, we do have three different moderators to try to cover for one another. With everything going on today, it slipped away from us until I was able to blackberry in at lunch.

    If you do return to Fanblogs — the door will always be open if you change your mind — please go through the verification process so that your comments will not be subject to moderation.

    I respect that you don’t feel that Fanblogs is a good site for you to read because one of today’s post had an undisclosed Amazon affiliate link. Again, that’s your right to choose.

    That being said, I do wish you would reconsider, if for no other reason than to say that the diversity of opinions is always good for an interactive site like Fanblogs. We have posts with over 400 comments and each & every one adds something to the site. We don’t always agree with one another, but that’s just part of what makes a community interesting.

    Best to you and your team, whomever it may be. Thanks for being a fan!

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!