Blog posts are really, really important for PR and awareness these days. And posts on independent sites like this one are critical to get awareness and search engine ranking. I get dozens of requests every week from companies wanting me to write about them. So I thought it would be a good idea to lay out exactly what it takes!
You Can’t Buy Posts or Links Here
This blog is me. The diverse content here reflects what I personally care about, regardless of what I’m working on or who’s paying me. Some people don’t like the fact that I write about cameras, cat boxes, and Apple products alongside my server virtualization and storage content. But I don’t care: That’s why I have categories with separate RSS feeds!
Because this blog is me, I only write about things that I personally care about. Things I get paid for might find their way onto the site, but only if I am truly interested in them. And I will not sell or promise a post as a condition of a job or contract.
This comes up occasionally, since companies would love to be able to guarantee a Pack Rat post and see posts about events I’m attending or activities I’m involved in. I do often write about these things, but only if I feel like the writeup will be interesting to my readers. When it comes to events I’m attending, I often will write about these so that local people or other attendees can meet up with me.
I will not take money to write on this site. I often get offers to write a paid post about a new product or company, and I will always turn them down. These are usually unscrupulous link merchants anyway, and I don’t play that game. That’s a good way to get your site blackballed by the search engines and marginalized by readers.
I do not accept “contributed articles” or unsolicited “guest posts”, since these are usually little more than spam. And don’t even ask me to link to some specific URL!
So What Will I Write About?
The best way to get me to write about your product is simply to spark my curiosity. Talk to me, explain why it’s interesting, answer my questions, and there’s a good chance I will write about it. This kind of honest engagement takes some time and effort on your part, and is a leap of faith since I might decide it’s just not something I care to cover. But that’s what it takes.
Therefore, if you would like to get a writeup on the Pack Rat Blog, the first thing you should do is contact me to set up a briefing. I’m extremely busy, but I will take time out to talk about interesting products and technologies if possible.
Pro tip: Wouldn’t it be nice to brief a dozen bloggers at once? That’s why I started Tech Field Day!
In-person briefings work best, but it’s really difficult to schedule my time at industry events, and I refuse to do this sort of briefing on the trade show floor. Since I live in rural northeast Ohio, it’s fairly difficult for me to come to your office, too! So I usually end up doing more phone calls than anything else.
If I am not interested at all, I will tell you that before wasting your time with the briefing. There’s no use trying to talk me into it if it’s not in my “space” or if I don’t have any time. And I get frustrated when people e-mail and call multiple times about the same product or announcement.
My Blogging Commitment
Let me sum up with a series of promises and expectations for this blog.
- I promise never to write anything on this blog just for money
- I promise to disclose paid relationships anyway
- I promise to try to find time to write about interesting things regardless of how busy I am
- I promise to keep my readers in mind and not go too far off on a tangent
- I promise to be honest during briefings, and let companies know if I’m not interested or impressed
- I expect PR and marketing folks to respect my editorial control over the content here
- I expect them to brief me on upcoming announcements and promise to abide by embargoes
- If something is not interesting to me, I expect them to let it go and not pester me to cover it anyway
- I promise to fix factual inaccuracies, but I will not adjust my content or opinions to suit your messaging
- If you send me a sample product, it does not guarantee I will write about it
I hope this helps clarify my stance here on this blog. Note that I do take money to write content for many other sites and publications, and those topics are often outside my editorial control. Even there, however, I promise to behave in an ethical manner and refuse to sell out my opinions for a buck.
Are we still having this discussion ?
Doesn’t everyone understand how it works by now ?
Kai Nielsen says
Dear Stephan,nnWe, the team at officekey GmbH, are avid readers of your blog. Far of superficial mainstream coverage, your differentiated approach is important. Moreover, your blog shows an in-depth grasp of market insights.nnThink back a few years and someone had asked: What if you would have a product which makes your life easier, which lets you communicate wherever you are and whatever you want? Welcome to the iPhone.nnWe would have asked: What if your emails, your passwords, your business documents, your privacy are open to “evil eyes” from government, competitors and attackers? And what if you would have a product which shuts down this “evil eyes” in one easy step? Welcome to iMUNIQE.nniMUNIQE is encryption for everyone; developed tonna) communicate 100% offline encrypted and 100% authenticated to with others u2013 whether via email, cloud services such as Dropbox or SharePoint or messenger like Skype. nnb) “store” documents foreclosed and thus free of access on the computernor e. g. in the cloud.nnWith the iMUNIQE-Key the German IT security specialists from the officeKey GmbH have developed a micro shrunken, dynamic stealth system. The killer feature: The iMUNIQE key enables the user extremely easy to encrypt any document in a few steps the first time: Plug it in, select recipient, encrypt file and the documents can be transmitted on any communication channels such as email, Facebook, Skype, Cloudnor USB stick to known, trusted recipients. This encryption easily andnindependently works as never before: free in the choice of device and detached from any operating system.nnIn contrast to previous methods, all the necessary information to receivers, key secrets or algorithms are stored on the Key. Thus, the user remains the elaborate juggling with complicated software, certificates and installations completely spared. nnThe insecure web is no problem for iMUNIQE users, because only a receiver with matching key can decrypt. The German startup completely waived to the key exchange on the web for good reason: To guarantee this safe procedure, the tricky developers come up with something special to create an optimal symbiosis of unique hardware and novel authentication in a small space.nnAfter 2 years hard development work u2013 far before the era Snowden u2013 officeKey iMUNIQE eliminates the weaknesses of current encryption methods and makes modern communication finally safe again.nnSo to equip many with iMUNIQE, we still need some assistance in advance. A few days ago we have launched a crowdfunding project to a) perform a first test of market acceptance and b) to gain the necessary capital for the further development. The minimum threshold is used to escort iMUNIQE in the beta phase and producenthe first edition. nnHave a look at this project: http://bit.ly/iMUNIQE. There you will find all information about the product, the level of development, our plans and us.nnMeanwhile u2013 beside the first backers u2013 some investors wish to participate with a seven-digit sum. This enthusiasm is very pleased. In addition, the press reports extensively on us. You can find some links in the press section of our website http://imuniqe.com/press-room and a small selection of the media.nnTo push such a product into the market successfully, it requires a lot of passion, a lot of time, the correct appreciation of market movements and high investments. As we have just left the beaten track during the development, we walk on new ground in other areas: The iMUNIQE technology was subjected to a first penetration test. 8,000 hackers from 130 countries were unable to decrypt a test file.nnWe know self-determination in the web is never made by government organizations and only leads to individual initiative. We have precisely positioned the iMUNIQE Key so that even technology novices get a chance to finally produce “equality of arms” in the net. Sustainable IT-security solutions must be necessarily useable and affordable at the same time by anyone u2013 without the waiver or limitation of protection.nnWe are not alone with this attitude, but in our way special. Otherwise there would be no patenting possible. iMUNIQE combines hardware and software based components to a unique product form worldwide. nn Please refer to our website or submit directly a look at our Kickstarter project. We’re happy to help with further information and open to suggestions.nnPS: Due to our Kickstarter project and our offline encryption product, Facebook does everything to block any communication about it via its platform. Meanwhile all employeesu00b4 Facebook Accounts are blocked or restricted. This is not a fairytale u2013 itu00b4s reality. A rogue who thinks evil ;-)!nKai