Dear National Geographic,

No, I will not feature your content on my site for free.

Spend a few minutes on the National Geographic website and count the number of advertisements that they feature.  Does anyone believe for a minute that they would seriously consider featuring the content of one of these companies for free?  It’s absurd to even consider it and yet they apparently have no problem asking this of bloggers, many of whom maintain self-hosted sites.    Yes, that means we pay money out of our pocket to host these sites. This is business as usual for these spammers.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to helping out a non-profit or educational institution, but for the life of me I still don’t understand the mentality that assumes free advertising.  I have no idea if the individual who contacted me is aware that I am currently offering advertising space.  While I am pleased with my little experiment in advertising it is an ongoing process of having to determine what is and what isn’t appropriate.  Just yesterday I rejected a request to host an ad for a self-published work of historical fiction.  I rarely talk about historical fiction on this site so I didn’t deem it to be appropriate content.

I don’t even have a problem if a blogger decides to go ahead and feature the website in question. I just wish the emails were a bit more honest.  Just go ahead and ask for the free advertising.  The truth will set you free.

OK…I now feel much better.

3 comments… add one

  • Brooks D. Simpson Apr 8, 2011

    I had my own issues with National Geographic as the editor for Ed Bearss’ Fields of Honor. Let’s just say i’ll never have anything to do with them again, as there was a lot more to the editing than one might have assumed. I requested they take my name off the title page. You would have to read Ed’s acknowledgments to learn that I had anything to do with the book. It was a bizarre experience. National Geographic was not the sort of organization I thought it was.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 8, 2011

      Why am I not surprised.

      I should also say that if my contact did not notice the ad spaces then he clearly didn’t spend sufficient time on my site, which suggests that we are simply being used.

      These emails are worse than spam.

  • Margaret D. Blough Apr 8, 2011

    That’s a massive amount of hubris on National Geographic’s part.

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