Recently we were contacted to be interviewed about our involvement in the Mongol Rally by Colten McCormick a writer for the Huffington Post. It was before we left for Antarctica and we were very busy, but we took an hour out of our time to talk with him on Skype.

We know the importance of publicity and to talk to a journalist who was writing an entire post about our experience on a popular website could drive some awesome traffic to our blog and raise our online profile. And since the Huffington Post is a page rank 8, it will be good link juice too. Regardless of if page rank is relavent or not anymore it’s still a great link back.

So imagine our surprise when we saw the article and there was no link to our website. There were two other links to the Mongol Rally and The Adventurists Website which I can understand, but why would they omit us, the people who the article is about?

Now for those of you that don’t blog for a living, linking is an important part of our community. It is not only the polite thing to do, but the right thing to do. When we quote someone, interview someone, review a product or even mention a fellow blogger in one of our posts, we give them links. So why are larger companies refusing to give the little guy links from their site?

Growing Trend

This seems to be a growing trend. When I posted my frustration on facebook, other people shared some articles with me regarding moments where the same thing has happened.  We’ve had it happen many times, once a photo of ours was used on AOL travel with a tiny credit, but no link. FoxNews used an entire paragraph that we wrote and submitted regarding our experience training in Muay Thai in Thailand and never they never even acknowledged our website and the Toronto Star failed to mention our website in an entire two page spread interview with us.

Mathew Igram of Gigaom.com raises the issue, Is Linking Just Polite, or is it the Core Value of Journalism. His article was about giving credit where credit is due. The Wall Street Journal didn’t give credit to TechCrunch writer MG Siegler for breaking news about Apple. Two hours later the WSJ reported the same news but didn’t link to TechCrunch even though every other news source linked to his original article.  He rants about it with gusto here.  

Thanks to The Travelers Way for sharing these links.

While we didn’t break any news and our rant isn’t about the credibility of the article although he got many facts wrong, like we were never in Tajikistan and we never claimed that finding a gas station was difficult, among other mistakes regarding the Mongol Rally rules, we can’t understand why an online publication wouldn’t do the simple act of adding a link to our website when the article was about our adventure.

When we asked him about the link and if he knew what happened, this was the reply that we got.

“It’s the editor’s discretion with which links are included and I have no control over this. Thank you so much for speaking with me. I hope this article give’s you and your team publicity.

Deb:
Well, it won’t.

When I tweeted the Huffington Post to ask them if they could put a link in and sent them a request on facebook, they didn’t acknowledge us. We even left a polite request in the comments section which had to be approved so they got the request and still ignored it. It’s strange to feature a person on your website and then not even acknowledge them when they enquire about said piece.

Online Publications

What I was surprised about is that the Huffington Post is an online publication. I could possibly understand it coming from Mainstream media, as some are still a little behind the curve when it comes to the online world.

Now I am not sure if Colten just forgot to give them our link or if the Huffington Post decided to omit our website, but when he references our blog in the article by saying “Fortunately for the adventure couple, they soon hit on blogging as means of supporting their penchant for the treacherous and absurd” you would think that they would let people know where they can find said blog.

Written Agreements

A friend of mine messaged me to say that we should have a contract or written agreement whenever we do an interview with a publication like this from now on stating that we require a link back to our site. That is a great idea. We bloggers need to organize ourselves better. Dave and I never asked for the linkback when doing the interview, we assumed that they would automatically include it. So it is our fault. We should have been more specific.

We’ve had things like this happen on more than one occasion and have remained silent. For some reason, this Huffington Post incident really hit a nerve and I decided that I had to write about it. Someone on facebook said to me that you don’t want to upset the HuffingtonPost, they may not interview you again. To which I replied, “their interview didn’t do anything for us in the first place, so I don’t think it will matter if they interview us in the future.” Besides, I don’t think the Huffington Post could care one iota about what we think. And so Huffington Post you can take your link and shove it.

Here’s there link, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/colten-mccormick/racing-for-ulaanbaatar_b_1300374.html

You’ll have to copy and paste the code because out of principal, I’m not giving them a link back either, but in case you want to read it, go ahead.

Have you ever had something like this happen. If so how did you deal with it?
Do you think I am over reacting and should just get over it?

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Leave a comment

83 Comments

  1. Kristen

    I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. You took your time to write for them, when you could be writing for someone else who is going to credit you. Why should you take your time to do something for someone who is not appreciative of it. Especially because I understand how much work and time you put into your site and when someone can’t acknowledge you for what you’ve created, that is wrong. I am sorry this happened to you, but its great that you wrote about it.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Kristen, no worries about it happening to us, it’s not the end of the world. We just wanted to get it out there that we don’t think it is right that these publications do this. It could have been an oversight, but when I leave a comment and the moderator approves it asking them if they could put up a link to our website and when I tweet them and ask them politely on facebook, you would think they would reply. At least I would think that the author would write them to have the link added.

  2. Justin Hamlin

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I was included in an article on a small, mostly female dominated project about a year ago. When I spoke with the ‘journalist’ about the article, which she was commissioned to write for CBS Market Watch, i was told that my name would be used, my title “blogger” (nice, huh?) and that was it. No link, no credit, nothing. An hour long interview, I got about 2 lines of an article and 1 quote.

    Needless to say, my experience wasn’t outside of the norm, and that, like you, kinda bugs me.

    Best of luck with getting a contract drawn up that you will be able to get ‘journalists’ and traditional media outlets to agree too. I think its in the right spirit, but is going to be a battle for sure.

    Best of luck!

    1. debndave Post author

      That is completely wrong. From now on when it comes to interviews we are at least going to make sure that a link back to our site is involved. That is simply going to be our rule. When we are contacted, we will send them the terms and if they don’t agree to it, we won’t do the interview. Good lesson learned.

  3. Matthew Karsten

    Wow, this sucks guys. A disturbing trend.

    If it keeps up, bloggers may eventually stop helping these publications. I like the idea of a link requirement before agreeing to help out with a story.

    1. debndave Post author

      We feel that is the best way and thanks to my friend Kelly for suggesting it. We need to think more with a business mind and this is a good start.

  4. Lorenzo

    I’m really glad that you wrote this. I’m sure it will set the precedent for future agreements between bloggers and big medias.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Gary, I have a feeling that you are a better business person than us. I have a feeling that you cover your bases than we do. If not, you are very lucky that you’ve never had this problem and that is awesome. It isn’t fun to see your name in a large publication with no link to your website. I remember you writing an article about how you would prefer a link over payment for mentions in publications like the New York Times and I think you are absolutely right. That’s why we agreed to the interview when we really didn’t have the time. We thought, the publicity would be very good.

  5. Gary Arndt

    I should also add, having written for the HuffPo before, the problem probably lies with the author, not the Huffington Post. I don’t think they pay close enough attention to any give article to notice something like this.

      1. debndave Post author

        That’s good to know Corinne, the problem probably lies with Colten and he is passing the buck by telling me its the editor. I have a question though. Since writing this post, a lot of people have discussed that the HP doesn’t pay their writers. Do you see a benefit of writing for them? I’m curious to hear from someone that I know and respect. Does it give you traffic or other benefits that people don’t understand?

  6. Victoria Philpott

    I don’t think you’re being OTT at all. It’s just rude not to link back, especially when they use you so much in the article! It’s also very strange, as is the response they gave. As a collection of blogs the HP should know how important links are to bloggers. Good vent ;) and I’m sorry it happened.

    1. debndave Post author

      That’s what is even more annoying. We weren’t just a sound bite, the article was about us. It was so frustrating. We do these interviews to raise our profile. Nobody is going to look at that and say…”Oh, I’m going to have to go and look up this Dave and Deb” And thanks again…sometimes it feels good to vent.

  7. Melanie

    I posted on the post that I would love to know more about this couple…What is their website… tee hee

    Sorry that they wasted your time…it was written ok though, so maybe people will search for you on google…yippee huh?

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Melanie, I appreciate that. They won’t listen though. That’s exactly what the point of this article is, they don’t care. And this won’t even be a blip on their radar.

  8. Emily in Chile

    How frustrating and unprofessional. I really don’t see the value of the Huffington Post for bloggers – from what I’ve heard it seems like they lure people in as both writers and now interviewees by promising exposure, but really they just keep enjoying free content and not passing along any of the benefits.

    1. debndave Post author

      Have you heard of other instances than this? I have never gotten into the Huffington Post debate because I didn’t know much about it. Now that it has happened to us though, I’m getting involved.

  9. Anis Salvesen

    I’m sorry to hear this happened! I think if you produce anything – whether it be by writing an article, doing an interview or allowing your photo to be used – you should always have a link. I thought it went without saying. I run a couple blogs, and I try to be very conscious about including links; once I inadvertently left out one of the multiple links in a guest post, but when the author pointed it out, I immediately fixed it. Hopefully this is not part of a trend but rather one isolated instance of compounded rudeness and just outright strange behavior.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Anis, we thought that it went without saying as well. Bloggers have struggled enough trying to get paid for things and while it is getting better out there, for those who don’t pay at least a link should be automatic. We don’t charge for interviews because we think that interviews are about gaining publicity but why do them if we don’t receive a link. Would an actor promote a movie without a mention of the title and date that it opens? No way, people do publicity to get something in return.

  10. Brian

    This post made me think of a similar complaint by one of the economics blogs I follow, about how large, for-profit blogs don’t back link or provide attribution:

    “This is a great division between academics and–let’s call them journamalists. Academics think that their arguments are stronger and thus that they are stronger and more persuasive when they cite and link. Journamalists think that if they give their readers a whisper that there are other, perhaps better sources of information, then–OH NOES!! THE REEDRS GO READ SOMETHING ELSE!! TEHRE GOEZ R ADVERTIZING REVENUE!!

    This makes academics think that journamalists are immoral, mannerless cads–the type of people who you invite to dinner who then urinate on your bedspread. Journamalists, by contrast, are puzzled: “What’s the big deal?” they ask. “Everybody does it.”

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/01/chris-blattman-where-are-the-citations-where-are-the-hyperlinks.html

    1. debndave Post author

      It sounds like it is going on in every form of blogging. The online world is still in its infancy so maybe if more discussions like this occur, we can all start coming to an agreement as to what is the proper etiquette. Thanks for coming by Brian.

  11. Sheila Beal

    That totally stinks that HP didn’t link to you — especially since you took time from your busy schedule. I don’t understand why they’d be so stingy with a link. It’s not as if they had to pay a penny to link to you.

    I’ve had something similar. A major national publication bugged me to help them with cheap hotel options. I took time from my Norway vacation to help provide info. Then, when I was back home, had a teleconference with them. The article comes out, they’ve used my suggestions and then no mention. So next time they come to me seeking info, they’re going on the back burner.

    1. debndave Post author

      That is completely unethical what happened to you Sheila. I can’t understand how people can use you as a consultant and then not acknowledge your involvement. It is downright wrong! What bothers me is how so many traditional media sources state that bloggers aren’t credible and are unreliable and yet almost all blogs acknowledge their source of information and we all allow our readers to speak by giving them a voice in our comments section to disagree and call out mistakes.

  12. Inga Rós

    I don’t think you’re over reacting one bit! I think the Huffington Post is being incredibly rude in this case and showing a complete lack of understanding for how things work in the online/blog world.

    It seems, albeit sad, necessary to make written agreements for all agreements!

    1. debndave Post author

      Yes, you are right Inga. And I don’t think it is sad, I think it is just good business. After the fact we realized that we have to be better about writing up contracts for everything. Large corporations (as far as we know) wouldn’t do a thing without getting a contract.

  13. Dalene

    That is the absolute shits, and totally inexcusable. We’ve been in newspapers across Canada and always gotten links for it. Sorry guys, but thanks for sharing this lesson and give the advice of always having an agreement up front. It’s something we can all learn from.

    1. debndave Post author

      I’m glad you haven’t had the problems we’ve had. We seem to get it a lot when it comes to gaining publicity. Something always goes wrong. In the nationwide Metro, they wrote that we were from Vancouver. For nearly a year we had west coast companies contacting us for press trips thinking that they wouldn’t have to fly us since we were based in BC. We were just talking about it the night before how we always seem to be behind the 8 ball when trying to get media to notice us. Other bloggers are so good at it (or lucky, either one is fine by us, we’d love to be lucky) and when we finally do get some sort of write up, it’s always messed up. Just frustrating.

  14. Linda

    I’m an absolute newbie to this blogging business and wouldn’t pretend to understand all the ‘social graces’ that go with it – but that aside, common courtesy would or should have dictated that there was a link to your site.

  15. Nancy D. Brown

    I’m sorry that the Huff Po didn’t link to you, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least, as this “media outlet” is closer to a third-world sweat shop than a credible online source. As the founder of her online empire, Arianna Huffington has no interest in paying for content and has stated as such. Following from her example, why would her staff feel the need to link to resources in an interview?

    Putting on my print journalist hat, I don’t endorse your idea of requiring a contract for interviews. While it is unfortunate that your blog was not linked to in the interview, it is not a good idea to require a contract from a journalist for an interview. Personally, if I had to sign a contract with everyone I interviewed for an article, I would never get any work done. Perhaps you could mention that you would like a link to your blog before the interview begins, ask if that is agreeable and proceed from there?

    Putting on my travel blogger hat, I agree that it is proper etiquette to link back to the source during an online interview.

    1. debndave Post author

      Excellent point Nancy. If the person running the corporation doesn’t have respect for its contributors why would the staff. Thanks for the input Nancy, maybe we will just put it in an email when we are approached that we will agree to the interview if they make sure there is a link. We appreciate your feedback. Cheers.

  16. Leah

    I certainly don’t believe you’re overreacting. If it was an oversight, they had several opportunities to fix it. They didn’t and that stinks. Lesson learned, I suppose.

    1. debndave Post author

      You are right Leah. We asked them first and emailed the author and didn’t receive a reply in all the social media channels. The comment was the kicker. When they approved it through moderation and didn’t even reply.

  17. Abby

    Appalling. I work for an old-school journalism company, and you can imagine my frustration with certain things since I also roam the blogging world. But this is Huffington Post, an online community. Shame on them. Such bullies. Especially since it’s not a favor — they are writing about your blog!! Hmmph.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Abby, yes. We understand that traditional media in some instances is a little behind. Not all outlets,but some so we can understand it if a newspaper or magazine doesn’t instantly think of giving credit. Once upon a time people were happy to have their name mentioned. But when online publications don’t follow basic protocol it is frustrating. Lesson learned.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Kate. I was wondering if I should just put the link in, at least HP would know where the traffic is coming from. Then again, they get so many thousands of views each day that the few people who read this post and are sent over from theplanetd wouldn’t even be a blip on their radar.

  18. Lisa @chickybus

    I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. You should have gotten a link out of it.

    I’m glad you wrote this post. It’s important for people, bloggers especially, to know about this type of thing. And I think your idea re: making a link part of the agreement (handled up front) is an excellent one.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Lisa. I think that we are going to make sure that when we reply to the request we state that we will be happy to do the interview. We have a requirement of a link back somewhere within the post to theplanetd.com

  19. Changes In Longitude

    We’ve had similar things happen to us in the past. It’s probably an oversight due more to incompetence than anything nefarious. Either way, it’s still frustrating. Despite the link hopefully more people are aware of your brand due to the article.

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Changes in Longitude. I doubt anyone will be aware of our brand. They will think about the Mongol Rally over ThePlanetD. I think that more people are aware of our brand now because of our rant though which isn’t saying a lot about how much the article is helping us at the moment ;)

  20. Alouise

    That really sucks that they wouldn’t link to you guy, even after you asked them nicely. I’d consider it a common courtesy. It’s sad, but I’m not really surprised that the Huffington Post didn’t link to you guys.

    1. debndave Post author

      It’s sad to hear that so many people are not surprised since it is the Huffington Post. This is a giant online publication and they dont’ seem to have the respect of the online world. But, they’re raking in the dough so I guess they dont’ care if they have our respect do they?

  21. Laurence

    It’s really not acceptable of them to link back to you, just out of common courtesy. Even a nofollow link, so people can find out more about you if they want to. Sigh. Good post!

    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Laurence, yes If they are worried about link juice which really, if the article is about us, why not give us the juice, they could include a no follow. We would have loved to see what kind of traffic we may have received. Maybe none, but it would have been nice to know.

  22. Dave

    I don’t think you’re over-reacting by being pissed about it and given it’s HuffPo it’s hardly a surprise either.

    I guess the lesson here for you (and all bloggers really) is to be very specific about any expectations when dealing with old media companies and even some of the new ones…

    1. debndave Post author

      Excellent point Dave. We are learning that every day. That is a big reason why I feel the need to write about things. Dave and I seem to learn things the hard way so if we can save others from going through all the frustrations we go through it makes it at least a little bit worth it.

    1. debndave Post author

      I know, how tough it is to add a link. We skyped with him, laughed with him and had a great conversation. Now I understand how celebrities feel when they go into an interview have a great time and then are misquoted or have their words taken out of context. When reading the article we felt even felt that way. He made us out to be a couple of slackers. Everything quoted was said at some point in the conversation, but so much more in depth with explanations. Lesson learned about how we conduct our future interviews as well.

      1. FieldOne

        Misrepresentation in interviews is infuriating…Did this guy tell you he was from HuffPo from the beginning?

        Looks like they finally fixed it in the post…any word from HuffPo about that?

    1. debndave Post author

      It seems that you are not alone when it comes to the Huffington Post. We’ve joined those ranks now too. We didn’t read them anyway simply because we don’t have the time to read everything, but we knew that thousands of people read it each day so being interviewed for them should have been a good thing right? Now we definitely won’t give them the time of day again.

  23. Switzerland

    Dear all,

    I think there has been a very unfortunately misunderstanding. Colten is not a writer for the Huffington Post, nor was he paid for his contribution. He is a high school student who was simply interested in the Mongol Rally and reached out to Dave and Deb to talk to them for a paper he had been assigned in class. He explained this to the Adventure Couple and they gracefully agreeed to speak with him over Skype. Colten also explained that he was required to submit is paper for publication as part of the class. He did so not knowing that links were of any importance and the Huffington Post editorial staff simply decided to link back to the Adventurist website, while Dave and Deb’s personal blog. I’m sure there was no malice intended, more likely a deadline looming. I’m afraid this whole post is in very bad taste. Why would you tell anyone to shove it, let alone a kid who thought you were cool and just tried to give you a little publicity by writing a story about you?

    1. debndave Post author

      Hello Switzerland. Thank you for your comment, but I think you are glossing over some of the facts and I would like to point them out
      1st, He wrote for the piece for the Huffington Post so that is who he is representing in this piece.
      2nd: He didn’t tell us that this was an assignment for his class. He said it was for a publication. He then emailed us later to tell us that it would be coming out in the Huffington Post. He did not say that he is in High School.
      When we emailed him, he could have rectified the situation easily by being proactive and emailing the editors instead of sluffing us off. He could have instead said, “sorry for the omission, I’ll see what I can do.” Malice or no malice, it is poor etiquette.
      3rd: the Huffington Post doesn’t pay anyone so he is not special.
      4th: There is nothing in poor taste about this post. This is an ongoing problem in the online world, as you can see from all the comments, and issues like this need to be addressed. We are asked to do interviews on a regular basis and we have a very busy schedule and when we do take the time to talk, we expect publicity in return. This is our business, not a personal blog.
      Perhaps it is you that has come across in poor taste and without researching the business you are commenting about. How can he possibly think that he would give us publicity when he didnt’ even include a link to our website?
      In the end I would hope that the author of the article has taken a few points away from this. Mainly, research the company you are writing for and be aware of their guidelines before approaching interviewees as well as taking the time to fact check the article before submission as well. These are all fundamental building blocks of any journalist.

      1. Switzerland

        quick response: It seems that there are very clearly some guidelines about linking in the online world–whether a non-blogger would be expected to know these guidelines is another matter. But the fact remains, the Huffington Post article was written about your real world career as adventurers, not primarily about your online venture as bloggers. It only seems reasonable that his research for the article would be about the Rally, not about the ins and outs of the bloggosphere.

        Also, in direct response to your number (3), the Huffington Post does pay for some of its content, namely it’s news content. Since this was written in a newsy fashion–i.e. not opinion–I thought the point was relevant. The author was not seeking personal gain, but rather share the Rally and your adventure with others.

        As for your comment: “How can he possibly think he would give us publicity when he didn’t even include a link to our website?” I just find this strange. Of course he was giving you publicity, the same way the television (no links) or print journalism (no links) gives people publicity. With your logic, the printing press, the radio, or network television–all of which transformed the world at the time of their advent–would be incapable of giving people publicity.

        Finally, you seem to use the terms blogger and journalist interchangeably, but then apply different standards to each. If the author of the Huffington Post article was a blogger, then surely he would be expected to know the link-back etiquette that bloggers apparently prize. A journalist, on the other hand, certainly wouldn’t be expected to know about linking back. IN fact, they wouldn’t be expected to know anything at all about the online world. Indeed, there have been a not insignificant number of pulitzer prizes awarded in recent years to journalists who don’t use their computers for much more than word processing.

        The irony of all this is that by assuming that everyone knows about your little world of blogging, you are demonstrating your ignorance of the broader, offline world. The majority of the people on this planet do not have internet access, let along a copy of your blogging etiquette guidelines. Should online debate–prized because of its democratic nature–exclude those who don’t know the finer points of blogging?

      2. debndave Post author

        Switzerland, Thanks for stopping by, and voicing your opinion. We did say that we could understand this coming from a traditional media source. It is when an online publication like the Huffington Post misses the basic rules of online etiquette. They should know better If you look carefully at the Huffington post, his article is listed under travel blogs. So yes, if you are writing for a travel blog section you should know the etiquette of blogging.The point of the article was, if he didn’t know it the Huffington Post should have, and should have included the link. And once again if you read the post, we said that. And to clear one thing up, our travel blog is our real world career.
        Your lack of respect for blogging in general makes this whole discussion tedious and now that you’ve had your say and we’ve given you your voice, you can thank the online world for allowing thousands of people to hear your words. And I guess Colten having his first published work in online media under a Travel Blog Heading no less, doesn’t mean much to you anyway since you made it clear what you think of blogging. Cheers.

  24. gregory

    Very interesting debate. I do find the link-back thing to be an issue, although I admit I had never thought about it before. The irony, of course, is that I only heard about Adventure D because of the Huffington Post article, link or no link. Seems like you are being a little harsh on some kid that wrote a blog on Huff Po.

    Safe Travels!

    1. debndave Post author

      Funny Gregory, I don’t think that it was the Huffington post article that brought you to us. This is yesterdays post and 3 more have gone up since. If you came here from there today, you would be reading our most recent articles. So it’s doubtful that you searched for us after reading the article there. Especially when you don’t even have our name right. If you searched for the Adventure D. You’d probably wind up at The Adventures of D’s website, another travel blog.
      First off if you read the article, which by your comment it seems that you didn’t, we say that we don’t know whose fault it is. It could be Colten’s it could be the HP, the article is about the fact that there wasn’t a link attributed when the entire article was about our experience. It is common sense to give a link and the HP should have included a link to our blog.
      It wasn’t implied to us that he was some kid. His being a high school student is news to us from this guy Switzerland. He represented himself to us as a person writing an article on the Mongol Rally and when we tried contacting the Huffington post we got no response.
      It certainly looks like others are speaking on Colten’s behalf and we would appreciate his comments instead, but we are approving these comments anyway.

  25. gregory

    debndave, I have no idea who Colten is, I just read the post above yours. You just seem overly abrasive–in your article (above) and in your response to my post. Regardless of your name, Adventrue D, Planet D, whatever–the Huff Po article made you sound like cool people. Your blog makes you look like jerks. Food for thought.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hello Gregory,

      If you read the article, we say that we don’t know whose fault it is. It could be Colten’s it could be the HP, the article is about the fact that there wasn’t a link attributed when the entire article was about our experience. It is common sense to give a link.
      It wasn’t implied to us that he was some kid. His being a high school student is news to us from this guy Switzerland. He represented himself to us as a person writing an article on the Mongol Rally and when we tried contacting the Huffington post we got no response.
      I think it is irrelevant who the author is. Also, I certainly do not think this article comes off as slanderous against Colten. If this was indeed a writing assignment for a high school project that just happened to get posted on the Huffington Post then he should have represented himself that way. The fact that he did not leaves him open to the opinions and critiques that would have be directed towards this author no matter what.

  26. Jeremy Branham

    I am still working on some negotiations with a site that I will do some work with. As part of this, I will be writing posts for this site. In the actual negotiations, I asked if I would be allowed to link back to my site. The person I talked to almost laughed, saying “of course!” Maybe it seemed a bit silly to ask to those who understand what it means to get these links. However, I am glad I asked because I wanted to make sure I cover all my bases here.

    Given your situation (and others as well like Michael Hodson and ones you mentioned), I think it is time to do a contract for interviews and posts on sites like this.

    Here’s the dilemma I see with that approach though. For one, they could view you as petty, whiny, arrogant or whatever adjective you want to use to describe your requests (many of these sites don’t really understand the power of links). Also, many of these sites are big enough they don’t need the link juice from others nor do they need to give it to you. So they give you exposure by doing the interview but from their perspective, they don’t see a need to give you anything more because they either don’t understand the value of links, don’t care, or are arrogant and think they don’t need you anyways.

  27. Mariellen Ward

    I have boycotted the HuffPo ever since the owner sold it to AOL for $315 million and gave NOTHING to the thousands of bloggers who actually created the value in the site, many of them working for free. Someone on Twitter called it the “plantation model of business.”

    The HuffPo has proved again and again they have no integrity and treat their content suppliers like dirt. As a professional journalist, I consider them the “evil empire.”

    I am sorry you had this experience, you deserve better …. but do you mind if I have a moment of gratification and validation about my feelings for this rag?

    I only hope others will realize that the HuffPo is a terrible organization. They say no publicity is bad publicity, but I disagree. I would actually NOT want my name associated with HuffPo no matter how much traffic it drove to my site. They can take their traffic and shove it too, if you ask me.

  28. simply stephen

    Wow…I’m sorry to hear about your frustrating episode. Speaking out is the right thing to do.

    Taking action is even more important.

    While an interview from a PR8 site is very good publicity and link juice, there is something further to consider.

    Community. Grass Roots.

    Whoever, I speak with, comment with, twitter with, interview on my site, guest post, get interviewed, etc. my motive is purely connection. I want to help. It’s sincere, not self serving.

    There are many socially and eco responsible corporations. There are many more that greenwash. They bog us down with policy and regulation, yet skirt around them when expedient. Perhaps it’s time to limit interaction with the big guns unless they have an incredibly good Greenwash / Community Involvement index rating.

    I’ve stopped almost all interaction with corporation and government…they have no vested interest in me and have proved it time and time again.

    Besides, isn’t it nice to promote the little guys…one day they will remember and might be a lot bigger.

    Your quick contract (in an email) is a great idea. Keep it simple.

  29. Red Hunt

    Your reaction seems normal to me, kind of annoying that an online publication or their author wouldn’t think a link back is a key piece of information to give their own content more credibility.
    Big or small, it almost seems insulting if someone talks about you but isn’t confident enough to link to you.
    Hopefully it really isn’t a growing trend…good reminder though to request link backs upfront, just in case!

  30. Sharilyn Johnson

    Sad state of affairs indeed.

    Coincidentally, the Toronto Star did something similar to me a few weeks back. They covered a story I broke on http://www.third-beat.com, lifted content that I wrote, and didn’t credit or link (meanwhile, HuffPo DID, as did Politico, NYTimes, Mediaite, etc).

    Contacted an editor there, and of course nothing was done. Seems to be par for the course with them.

  31. upcycledbliss@gmail.comupcycledblissupcycledbliss@gmail.comupcycycledblisspcyledblissu

    I would have to say that as someone who never heard of the blog before this article and your response to anyone who was not 100% agreeing with you doesn’t make me want to read more of your blog.

    Also, you cant expect everyone to understand the importance of links to you. The article does come off bashing huff post and the author esp in comments. Which is sad because it would have made a great article on blogging tips. If you did not ask for those links at beginning really its on you. The lack of response from huff po doesn’t bode well with them but its different issue. I have had people out there use my pictures as their own after tracking views. My fault for not water marking them.

    If he really was doing an article for a class to be published then he probably is learning as he goes just like you (and me). Journalism probably doesn’t teach linking. It would make a better post on how the system can change. And because you made assumptions of what type of journalist the kid was doesn’t mean he deceived you.

    Also you told Switzerland who sounds like the kids parent that he should know not to trust huff post because they don’t pay but do come off as using it for your excuse.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hello Uncycled Bliss. Thank you for your opinion, I am wondering however what your final sentence means? You wrote: “he should know not to trust huff post because they don’t pay but do come off as using it for your excuse” < That reply doesn’t make any sense to me. Can you explain?

      We have people disagree with us all the time and appreciate a good debate. However, we didn’t agree with Switzerland’s point and replied back accordingly.

      So once again, just like we said to Gregory and Switzerland, if you read the article you will see that we never bashed Colten, we didn’t know who’s fault it was, but the Huffington Post should have known better. We should have asked for the link up front and we stated that in the post, if you read it you will see that. We were told later in comments that it is up to the author to put the links in. When Colten replied that it was up to the editor’s discretion and we found out differently, that certainly confused us.

      And if you read the article, you will see that the HP not responding isn’t a different issue. That is what the entire post is about. So I can only wonder if you did indeed read the article.

      We give blogging tips all the time and you are more than welcome to check them out. However, sometimes a blog is allowed a good rant and this is ours. Thanks!

  32. upcycledbliss@gmail.comupcycledblissupcycledbliss@gmail.comupcycycledblisspcyledblissu

    Go ahead, rant, but if you want more readers I would recommend not telling people, who actually took time out there busy day to give you feedback, which you asked for btw, they must not have read your post. I read your post and article. I thought the point was not being linked not response time of a blog. 3 days to respond isn’t horrible, especially if you did not go through the actual editorial staff.

    Sure rant away, but if you want to ask if I think you are over reacting expect an honest response. Telling someone to shove something or alluding to someone not lying or passing the buck or some saying is just rude if you don’t have the circumstances. Slamming someone on a professional blog is just unprofessional. I know people who won’t work with blogs, mind you in a different field than this, because if you do one wrong thing then you get bashed on their site. Always ask for a bio of the author Interviewing you if you don’t know them. Sounds like common sense. And his bio on huff post lists him as a high-school student who wants to do what you did. He was probably a fan of the blog before you put this on blast. Big sites who dont pay for articles probably don’t spend tons of overhead reading comments or checking emails hourly for letters to editor.
    And the only thing Switzerland, prob kids mom, wanted to do was offer that it was not intentional and say sorry. If I were an author potentially wanting to interview you and read this, I would think again.

    1. debndave Post author

      You are allowed to rant too upcycledbliss and that is why we are letting your comments go up. That is what blogging is all about. Allowing discussions and letting both sides speak. Rant away and have a nice day.

  33. upcycledbliss

    I am not ranting, getting angry or upset over something on a blog seems pointless to me. I am offering advice and putting out there that if bloggers want a change they will have to come of less ranting. Which again, you did ask for (advice). I happened to work with writing in environmental/engineering before and we had strict rules NOT to work with blogs who were not sponsored by major companies because of this. This includes local news blogs. And especially to NEVER give them interviews, if anyone wanted an interview they had to go to upper management and they vetted who they gave interviews to. If you want change this is not the way to go about it. It will make journalists more hesitant to work with all travel bloggers or bloggers in general, not just you guys. If we had our own blogs we were not allowed to say where we worked on them. Had to sign this before they would sign your contract. Blogging is what bloggers make it, true. Do not make it something so called “reputable” news sources will not work with and then blame the news sources.

    If I had been in the situation I would have emailed the editor. Or used this tool: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/contact/#corrections

    1. debndave Post author

      Your putting a lot of energy into something that seems pointless to you and I’m not quite sure what your point is.Thank you again for your comments.

  34. Erik

    Sorry this happened. You guys are clearly leaders in the blogging industry and it would seem to me that this episode just highlights the disconnect between the blogging industry and the ‘traditional’ media. The traditional media is clearly shaking in their boots, although they will not admit it, because blogging is the wave of the future. Maybe, if they even acknowledged this, they might start to become more honest in their coverage, but they seem stuck on ‘we’ve always done it this way, so we’ll continue to do that.’

    I agree with what Andi & Jeremy say about The Huffington Post. I didn’t have any respect for them before, I surely don’t now. Kudos to them for publishing Gary’s stuff, but it’s easy to do in his case, he’s a the very top of this field and gets the recognition that goes along with all his hard work, but other than him, I have rarely read anyone who feels their dealings with the Huffington post have been fair.

  35. Really?

    Dear Dave and Deb,

    Do you really think this was the way to go about addressing such a trivial issue. I think it speaks more to your character than the writer’s innocent mistake since you literally spend every second of your day tearing apart an 18 year old. I dare you to justify to me how ripping apart this interviewer whom at one point was vastly inspired by both you is rational? In the end hasn’t the article in fact drawn more publicity to your blog do to your response and said article, I mean in the end obtaining a larger viewing population was exactly your goal.

    Sincerely,
    Thought Canadians were nice

    1. Cristina (@thetravolution)

      Erik, what good is our online writing (and the online world for that matter) if it isn’t pure and honest? That’s what makes this great realm better than mainstream, traditional (censored) media – it’s truthful, produced by citizens of the world from their own experiences. Real people want real experiences and that’s why they come online. If they didnt want it, they can go to their 6′oclock news

  36. Cristina (@thetravolution)

    D&D, I love your honesty. Thank you for writing this. A link in the online world is like saying “thank you” in the real world (like when someone gives you a seat on the train, or opens the door for you). A few minutes of your time deserves a thank you.

  37. Nicky

    Congrats though, I just looked and you did get the link in the end! I like the honesty in your post and yes, that is a problem and not fair! Glad HP fixed the mistake.

  38. Neil Playdon

    Wow – read this article with my mouth half open. Cannot believe you went out of your way to grant them an interview and you don't even get a link back. I would have been equally furious. The advice about getting a contract or agreement written upfront is a salutory lesson to us all. Thanks for taking the time to write this article and to warn others of the 'unhelpful' nature of some of the so called 'big boy' websites. BTW I follow Dave on Google+ and am so impressed with his photos. They are, to put it mildly, amazing!

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