Monday, January 11, 2010


Welcome! Welcome! The sun is shining in a sky so blue that I want to swan dive into its depths. A brisk walk over to the coffee shop got my blood flowing and turned my cheeks almost as red as my nose. I'm ready for another cup of that European Sipping Chocolate. (I told you I was addicted.)

I came over, today to share some news. By now, most of you must have learned that the Federal Trade Commission has written new rules for bloggers and people who use other forms of social media to talk about products or services. It amounts to a full disclosure for being sure that the one who reads the information understands whether they are getting an opinion or an infomercial – or both.

I am sure all of you know that complying with FTC rules can be cumbersome. It is, after all, a bureaucracy "looking out for our best interests." Before you could finish reading all the fine print in the rules, someone saw the compliance issue as an opportunity and turned it into a business; an internet business, of course. You can go to to see one way of complying with the requirements of the FTC rules. You may see one of their badges from time to time on our community blog.

Michael Hyatt suggested an alternative to this method on his blog at "Five Ways to Comply with the New FTC Guidelines for Bloggers." He has prepared templates to be used at the end of each posting, or as a footer, depending on the blog provider's capabilities. Most of the time I plan to use Mr. Hyatt's method, here.

Before I leave this subject I want to quote a comment Randy Bosch made to Michael's article: "Well, then, there IS another ramification to consider:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have or will compensate the United States Treasury and the State of ___ Franchise Tax Board for writing this post since I have received income in the free market system elsewhere. I have a material connection to services provided by same including use or receipt of public safety, infrastructure and various intrusive and intimidating tactics they use to keep me in control. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." It helps to keep a sense of humor about all this, even if it is slightly cynical…

Now on to something I consider more interesting. When I was brainstorming about a blog community for nonfiction writers, I mentioned sharing the information on where our readers live. I use a stats counter that tells me the location of the service providers being used. It's a free service and I delete the contents every three or four months. Here's the data on what I deleted today. People wander into the coffee shop from all over the world. Most of them are from the U.S. (74%) and Canada (12%). We also get a number of visitors from Great Britain (6%) and India (2%). However, people have popped in from the Philippines, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, France, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Iran, Germany, Indonesia, the British Virgin Islands, Mexico, Slovakia, Nigeria, Morocco, and Colombia. I think it's cool the way we can share our interests in writing nonfiction books with people all over the world. What a fascinating time to be alive.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments: