So, a few weeks ago, several bloggers received the same email from a David Smith at GunAuction.com, with the header "We want your blog":
My name is David Smith and I work for GunAuction.com. Your website, http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/ has sparked our interest. Recently we have realized that we are in need of high ranking blogs about guns. Our company is working to build a blog network that will be seen by millions. With gun rights under attack, we want to create an effective network for letting the public know about current legislation, and new gun products. We’ve started some blogs from scratch, but as you know, it will be months before they develop a following. With the work you’ve already done, we would like to acquire your blog so that we can release our content quickly and effectively. In order to maintain your page rank and not alienate your reader base, our intention would be to keep the content of what you have – just use your blog as a base to release even more gun related material.This, as you might imagine, did not go over well in the gunblogosphere. The general reaction was as if the question were this one:
If you are willing to utilize our content or even sell us your blog, please let me know. Depending on your ranking and quality of blog we would be willing to compensate you accordingly.
My personal response was short and to the point:
David:Shortly thereafter, a follow-on email arrived:
Dear Kevin,My response remained the same.
Thank you for your response to our proposal. GunAuction.com respects the major contributions that the gun bloggers have and continue to make to Gun Culture 2.0, bringing important new viewpoints and an entire new generation into the broader gun community. Your efforts have allowed the gun community to step beyond “preaching to the choir”.
We support your hard work and we want to help it have even more impact. With the tools below, including our content writers and content exchange with our online gun magazine GunNews, we think we can help your blog grow and you can help our online presence grow at the same time.
We are working on offering more options to bloggers and are open to suggestions. We’ve already identified some options (below) that may work for you. Call me and let’s talk about what works for YOU.
• Banner Ads or Text Links
- We offer this option as a per click program. (I.e., a fee paid for each click-through to GunAuction.com) but are willing to discuss annual lump sums in special cases. We will provide both artwork and guidance on setting the text or art up so you will be compensated.
• Content Sharing
- We provide, at no cost, relevant gun content for your blog, helping both parties build ranking. You would retain editorial control – any financial agreement would need to be individually arranged. This also includes mutual content sharing as an option, where we would exchange articles with you.
• Recruiting Partnership
- We provide a steady income stream for recruiting new users to gunauction.com
• Purchase of blog
- We leave all previous content the same including URL and use our in-house content writers to build readership and online visibility. (Our content writers would post on it daily). Depending on the agreement, you would continue as a contributor.
If this interests you, give me a call. I will also be at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous with the GunAuction bowling ball mortar, leading the Frosty Beverage Initiative in the evenings. If you can’t attend GBR or we’re not able to meet in person, know that I am grateful for your efforts in helping to protect our gun rights. Please contact me through email or phone!
However, GunAuction.com was a sponsor of this year's Gun Blogger Rendezvous, and so I promised to speak to Mr. Smith if he was one of the attendees - and he was. He's the young gentleman standing here, next to the bowling ball mortar his boss brought along to the event:
As you can see, he's a young(er) guy, and after talking with him I think I can say confidently that he was hired for his enthusiasm and search-engine tech savvy, and NOT for his experience and feel for the blogosphere - the gun blogosphere in particular. He had a hard time understanding why those of us who had gone to all the trouble to create our blogs would not be interested in selling them!
I am convinced that no insult was intended (that was pretty much a given, anyway) but the tone-deaf nature of the email and its follow-on was precisely that: tone-deafness. He really didn't get it. Isn't the internet for making money? So, while Linoge has sworn an oath to the third generation of GunAuction.com's descendants, I'm willing to cut the kid a little slack. Everybody's new at their job once.