“Brain Pickings” Author Runs An “Ad-Free” Site, Except Not

Brain Pickings “curator” Maria Popova supposedly finances her site via donations and subscriptions, claiming to refuse advertising because she doesn’t “believe in this model of making people into currency”.

Evidently nobody told Maria that littering your posts with affiliate links is virtually the same thing as plastering ads all over your site. She supposedly doesn’t disclose that she uses affiliate links because she doesn’t consider them “advertising”, even though as On Advertising points out, “[I]n every description of the service, Amazon calls the revenue made by partner websites ‘advertising fees’”.

It seems rather hypocritical of Maria to repeatedly shame people for not having stricter ethics regarding their revenue generating tactics when, in the words of my source, she herself is “making bank from Amazon affiliate links while 1) not disclosing that she has them, 2) claiming the site is ad-free, and 3) asking for donations from readers because the site is ad-free”.

I understand we all gotta make a buck. But if you’re going to promote yourself as some holier-than-thou, so-above-all-that intellectual antidote to an SEO and advertising obsessed world you might want to make sure your own disclosure ethics are above reproach.



Twitter Is The New Emergency Broadcast System

Miranda, of Not Super Just Mom, is freaking out, man:

I know when I’m worried a tornado might be on the way, the first thing I do is compose a tweet.


Internets WTF

Bloggers Continue To Share About Their Vaginas

Jen, blogger lady at “Life With Levi”, follows the lead of That Wife by posting about her attempts to tighten up her feminine facilities. Evidently Jen decided kegal balls would help:

I put them in, and just to see if I could do it, got up and walked around the living room. They didn’t fall out. In fact, I could barely feel them.

I laid on the couch and tried doing some kegel exercises. At first, I could feel a little pressure from them, but then they shifted and I couldn’t feel them anymore. Maybe that’s just how they work? I settled in to watch a little TV.

Worried they might fall out when she went to use the restroom, Jen first elected to urinate all over her hand in order to catch them if they popped out. When they didn’t appear Jen started to worry:

Urinating apparently does not relax any of the muscles in my vagina enough to give back the stupid balls. Now I was getting mad, so I decided to go on a search and rescue mission. And totally freaked. Because I couldn’t feel them anywhere in there. Shit. I lost my marbles.

After hours of “jumping up and down to dislodge them” and “lots of awkward bendy positions later” the kegal balls emerged and a delightful tale about her vagina that will in no way mortify her children in the future made its way onto the internet.



The GOMI 2013 Year In Preview

Well it’s back to work for those of us with jobs that involve more than taking a picture of our breakfast for the internets. Before I attempt to be productive I thought I’d throw out some predictions for the next year, rather than do some retrospective of the year’s past posts.

Lifestyle blogging will become the new ‘big thing’. The past three years have seen thousands of girls hoping to be the next Man Repeller or Glamourai start up their own “personal style” blog. As the market saturated and advertisers started becoming more selective, audiences also grew bored with the increasingly mediocre content. Enter the “lifestyle blog”. Allowing bloggers to appeal to practically every niche (and more importantly, almost every possible sponsor) I predict lifestyle blogging will replace personal style blogging as the default blog niche for 2013. Many outfit/fashion/style bloggers are already attempting to transition to include cooking, home decor, and diy projects.

Dooce will introduce “single mom dating” schtick to her repertoire. A source who wishes to remain anonymous (saying “I fear her and the possible backlash I might receive”) claims to know “for a fact” that Heather Armstrong has been seeing someone for while now already. Whether Dooce is already dating someone or not, she’s a soon to be divorced woman so it’s bound to happen eventually. I think 2013 will be a year of her overdramatic struggles as a single mom – and that includes getting back on the romance horse. I also will venture to predict a book deal about divorce and single motherhood blah blah blah.

Watermarks will become standard. ”Copyright infringement” is becoming the new “negative comments are cyberbullying”. Even screenshots of a blogger’s website can cause an email screaming about DMCA to arrive in your inbox. I predict bloggers watermarking all their photos will soon become a blogging standard practice as bloggers try to exert ever more control over the internet.

Management and branding will become commonplace. Seeking agency management will be as much a part of setting up a blog in 2013 as buying a domain and setting up social network accounts. I predict more bloggers will acquire representation and re-brand/re-design, at least if they hope to join the big leagues.

KERF will attempt to start video blogging. I predict 2013 will include many more vlogs of her preparing food or talking about fitness and health in the hopes of beginning to spin her blog fame into more.

Babble will be destroyed when the Empire mistakes it for a rebel base. Shut up, I’m entitled to some post-holiday daydreaming.

Overall I think 2013 will see standard blogging practices become more set, and we will see more bloggers try to join the ranks of the biggies by getting management and professional branding help. I think more bloggers will start seeing that a blog is no longer going to be sustainable as a sole career and they will use their blogs instead as launchpads to other opportunities.

That’s all I have for now. Feel free to add your predictions as well.


Internets Lifestyle Blogging

Brit Morin Will Use Your Ideas, the hobby horse website of some chick who married a rich guy, has a habit of using other folks’ ideas and passing them off as her own original content. Well, she’s at it again, this time in such a blatant way that it’s impossible to dismiss.

Brit + Co posted a tutorial for statement headbands that featured a glitter star diy headband:

If this diy headband idea looks vaguely familar, it’s because The Hairpin featured the exact same thing over a year ago:

As of right now there is no “inspired by” or any type of attribution on Brit + Co that would give any credit whatsoever to anyone but Brit + Co. Pretty typical for those hacks, who seem to regularly rip ideas from other people for free, and then try to sell them to other people in a box.