According to the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov), bloggers are advised to disclose any and all freebies, giveaways or conflicts of interest that might influence their opinion in blog postings and other online forums.
In accordance with that guidance, I make the following statements:
1 – I am biased. I work for a provider of Identity Management and Protection solutions, and I’m influenced by the fact that I sell their products. I try – extremely hard – to not talk about issues that could be considered a conflict of interest, but let’s face it; I’m human. For example, I will write on common-sense steps to protect yourself online, but only where they do not conflict with my employer’s products. However, if you believe my employer is influencing me in my opinions, you’re probably right, and you’ve now been warned.
2 – I get free stuff on occasion. As a journalist, companies will sometimes send me items to review and write about. I promise to openly disclose the fact that I am writing a review about a product that I have gotten a free copy, free unit, review unit, or otherwise received without having to pay for it. If I do not disclose this, then I either bought the product, or otherwise obtained it through some channel that did not involve my journalism.
3 – Mike Talon is not my real name. As with many bloggers, I use a pen name. This is probably the worst kept secret on the Internet, but just in case you didn’t know, now you do. My real name is not a real secret – hint: just check out my LinkedIn Profile.
4 – Finally, some links on my blog will go to sites like Amazon.com, where you can purchase products. Where this occurs, you should know that I if you purchase an item via this link, I will be paid as an affiliate by that vendor. Unless explicitly stated by me in the blog itself, this association does not constitute any endorsement of these goods or services.
Want to know anything else? Use the links in the “Find Me Online” section near the top of the page, and ask.