So, yesterday Google announced that it will be killing off Google Reader as of July 1, 2013. Now, if you use Google Reader you've no doubt been apprised of this news since you (like me) were greeted by a pop-up announcement when you logged in to read your feed last night. There are lots of other options (Lifehacker's Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives post discusses some of them and provides instructions on how to migrate over your feeds), but I'm unhappy on principle. I spend more time in Google Reader than I do on Facebook and I hate having it ripped away from me. I'll use this forced change (Reader-substitute to be determined) to weed my subscriptions, but I remain stubbornly resistant.
Also this week (Tuesday actually, but I didn't learn about it until today) the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a document explicating disclosure requirements for online advertising. The blog Beauty and Fashion Tech has a thorough overview of the new guidelines and how they impact bloggers: For Bloggers: How to Comply With The New FTC Guidance on Disclosing Products Provided For Review.
Now, as I understand it, if I want to continue posting reviews in my usual manner, I will need to make the following changes:
- explicitly state next to each Powell's link that I would receive a 7.5% commission on what you buy if you buy anything at Powells.com after clicking through to the store via my link
- make the first line of my post a statement that I received a copy of the book in question from someone/some entity to review if I happen to be posting about a review copy of that book (first line because I usually start the post with a title and author header that includes a link to the book's listing at Powells.com, 7.5% commission) while also keeping the end-of-post disclosure statement I already use in these instances
The need to include the disclosure statement both at the beginning and at the end of the post irks me. It's unnecessarily repetitive, I think, especially given the clientele of a book blog (i.e. people who actually read and, hopefully, pay attention to what they are reading).
And, what bothers me more than anything else is that I have to worry about this when makeup companies can get away with using false eyelashes in mascara ads.