I didn't read her email as entitled. A bit slimy, and undoubtedly exaggerating how good her offer is, but that's pretty standard marketing. She said, "I'll give you X in exchange for Y". It may be a good deal, it may not be, but she sent it to multiple restaurants when only one could take the offer, so clearly she expected some to turn her down. That doesn't seem entitled, that seems like she was covering her bases.
I really do appreciate the work you do towards sustainable business models on the internet, both for other industries and yourselves. It's one of the main things that's made me a regular reader for five plus years, and why I continue to be a regular reader. Techdirt was a huge inspiration for me in trying to start my own business.
And I don't dislike them for no other reason than they're sponsored. After reading some number of sponsored posts and noticing that I didn't like any of them, I came to the conclusion that it was not worth my time to read any more of them.
Don't remember a specific post. It's normally not a post about batteries, just thrown in along the way. Something along the lines of "I depend on batteries for my laptop/phone/whatever, and these are really good and relatively inexpensive".
So the real difference is the blogger is the one asking, while in the case of sponsored posts it's the company coming to the blog? I don't see that as a really meaningful distinction.
I used to read every article here. Now as soon as I see "sponsored", I move on. I have not yet read one that I enjoyed or found interesting. The one you linked is better than average, but I still would have skipped it.
And I won't argue that you don't do a better job of this than other sites. But is that really the goal? To do something better than all the people who do it really badly?
How is this different from the "Sponsored Posts" on Techdirt? They're usually unreadable crap, a marketing flyer thinly-disguised as a blog post. It's nice that you make it really clear that they're sponsored so I can skip over them and save the six seconds of reading time it would otherwise take me to realize they were garbage.
Her email maybe could have been worded a with a little less slime, but for how many marketing emails is that NOT true?
It is generally obvious when someone is being paid vs honestly cares about the products. Like when Mike talks about batteries - he might be getting free ones, I don't know, but he's built up a level of trust so that I believe him when he says they're great.
I had a bad experience with them, too, though luckily they only had $2 of my money. I signed up for a business account, was verified in all of a few minutes, set up the website, then did a test transaction. They instantly locked my account. I tried to get it unlocked, and they told me my business model violated their terms of service.
It sure appeared to me that they set things up to get that first month's payment out of everyone without any sort of verification, but the moment you actually USE the account they would do an actual review. I gave them an overview of the business model from the beginning, but they clearly didn't look at it until I did the test transaction.
To make it even better, they told me the only way to close the account was to unlock it. To unlock it, I would have to change my business model and then they'd reconsider.
Paypal is great for paying people on eBay. Beyond that, stay away.
Isn't it only "way, way beyond what's appropriate" if you assume the opposite of the position that the FBI/DOJ have taken?
That is, if you don't treat Wikileaks as a media organization (and I agree with your reasoning that it is, but that's not the point), then paying an informant to get insider information is just something that the FBI does.
There are a ton of hidden costs that most people won't see. The NSA may be different, but a certain government agency that I happen to work for has some ridiculous IT security policies that prevent anyone from using any technology that might be considered modern, efficient, or useful.
The difference between "the cost to store and manage the data" and "the cost for a dozen Oracle licenses because we're inherently terrified of open source" is many millions of dollars.
I don't want to tell you how to run your site (well, okay, maybe a little), but stuff like this is not why I come to Techdirt. The fact that there's essentially no discussion on this post suggests that I'm not alone. I read this post expecting it to make a point eventually, but it never did.
The United States Sentencing Commissionís website was destroyed when activists attacked the site to protect the federal prosecution of Bart Swartz which eventually led to Mr. Swartz committing suicide.
If you take "protect" as a typo for "protest", substitute "Aaron" for "Bart", let him say that the prosecution caused the suicide, which may be false but certainly isn't an absurd position to take, and wave away "destroyed" as coming from someone who doesn't understand websites, that sentence makes sense.
The United States Sentencing Commissionís website was hacked when activists attacked the site to protest the federal prosecution of Aaron Swartz which eventually led to Mr. Swartz committing suicide.