After listening to this episode of the stellar Daily Tech News Show a while back, there was a discussion about “sponsored content”. They raised questions like “where is the line between independent journalism and advertising?” “Is it different for different types of news outlets?” “Is it ok to accept gifts or money for saying things you already believe (irrespective of payment), and what happens when someone offers you money to talk about something you weren’t already using”?
This prompted me to take a moment to write out where my own line is on the subject of journalistic independence.
I do a fair bit of recommending products and services here on TedCurran.net, and 100% of the recommendations I make on this site are for things I use and recommend (at least at the time I wrote it).
From time to time, I’ve been approached by strange 3rd party vendors asking me to write about their product, and I usually turn them down flat. I’ll often read up on whatever it is, and maybe test it out, but usually I just politely decline.
I just want you, my dear readers, to know that everything you read here at TedCurran.net is something I’ve independently tested myself and believe to be genuinely worth recommending. My overarching strategy with TedCurran.net is to “write to my younger self”, or put out useful information that would have helped me as a young teacher or instructional designer in the hopes that it’ll be genuinely useful to you as well. I don’t view this blog as a source of income, and I don’t make editorial decisions with any kind of profit motive. I’m just here to help.
Once I’ve identified products and services I think are worth recommending, I find out if they offer an affiliate program so I can recoup some of the costs of hosting my website. I get a small kickback if you click a link and try out a product like Evernote, but it’s a small small percentage of what I pay to keep TedCurran.net up and running.
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Author: Ted Curran
Ted Curran is a Learning Content Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Twitter, or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.