It's not nearly so much fun from this end y'know

15 Jun

Am I the only one getting a bit tired of reading all about the freebies people are getting? The Parent Blogosphere is verily saturated right now with bloggers being invited en masse to the same events or sent on free trips to more or less the same place, resulting in pretty similar reviews. And it’s hardly a shock read – they all quite like free stuff.

Who’d have thunk it?!

Seriously though, I think I can see my PR shmooze freebie review saturation point from….. yeah about… here.

Contrary to the obvious i.e. I am twisted with bitterness and dissolving in jealousy, I am not stuck at home wishing I too was off on a junket. I have enough to cope with organising, planning and preparing for our own big eff-off family holiday this year. Just as soon as school’s out me the man and the kidlets are off to spend four glorious weeks in the Southern US. We plan to take in Universal Studios and Seaworld, but not Disney – we are so not a Disney family! Whilst I have some serious ethical reservations about Seaworld they will already have our money since we are quite keen to visit Aquatica and Busch Gardens and to be honest I’ve seen The Kraken from afar too many times now…I neeeeed to ride it.

We will be avoiding the performing orcas though and honestly haven’t yet decided if we’ll even take the kids to Seaworld. My parents are joining us for some of the holiday so it might be a dash in, ride The Kraken, dash out job. We’ll wait and see.

We’re also keen to visit The Kennedy Space Centre, Daytona Beach, St Augustine, Treasure Island, Stone Mountain Park, the World of Coca Cola, Six Flags over Georgia and Atlanta Zoo and I will no doubt share many photos and tales of our adventure. Not least “Paul on a Plane” (seriously I’d consider snakes a more tranquil option).

So I am certainly not sitting here thinking “I want me some of that”, I don’t. MrW is a teacher so low season trips are a definite no-no and it wouldn’t cross my mind to go on a family type trip without all the family in tow (yeah I need my head looked at).

To be honest I even shudder at the thought of free toys since we’re bursting at the seams accommodating all the crap stuff the five of us already own.

No I don’t want to be one of those bloggers…. but neither do I want to be their target. Recently I’ve begun to feel like I’m a mark trawling through an ever growing number of ads.

I understand that we all have different reasons for blogging but when my reader fills up with homogenous reviews and sponsored posts it’s hard not to feel like I am less part of a blogging “community” than a demographic to be advertised at.

Maybe I need to cast my reader net wider…. expand a bit. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t been a bit lackadaisical when it comes to searching for content that fires and inspires me.

The obvious solution is not to read reviews and I have a newly found appreciation of any blogger who gives me that option by making it clear in their post title that they are writing a review of <insert latest PR campaign here>.



Let me make it crystal clear; I am chuffed for all of you who are reaping the rewards of this blogging malarkey and are jetting, sailing, trecking or training all over the world on the back of it, if that’s what you’re after. But please don’t be surprised if, when I get to the third, or fourth, or fifth….or whatever review of the same event or the same holiday, I find it hard to resist the urge to express a desire to gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon!

Figuratively, of course.

Am I alone? Would you turn down a free trip?

Hmm… would I turn down a free….. for example… Nikon?

Yes that would be a challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s your price?


66 Responses to “It's not nearly so much fun from this end y'know”

  1. The Moiderer June 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ for what it’s worth I turned down the trips. The free toys are so much harder to turn down. I totally agree though – hate blog posts selling stuff. He he (I’m a bloomin hypocrite)

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

      Not at all – and I am sure it was nice to be offered ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve only done one review myself and thought quite hard about my motivation. It was for the Just Love Food Company’s nut safe birthday cake which is a product so close to my heart it could have been fired there tied to a flaming arrow. It was nice to get free cake of course but raising awareness amongst parent’s who do not have a nut allergic child that there is a safe option for parties was by far my main motivation.

  2. cartside June 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    I take freebies if I want them. Simple. PR companies have said no thanks though if I explain that I’ll mark any sponsored post as such. Fine, go somewhere else then.
    For the most part, the freebies don’t interest me. I’ve never been offered a trip, or anything really exciting, and probably wouldn’t have the time or inclination for trips. Money for ads / links etc I take with open arms and yes, it paid for a lens and some other camera equipment, fabric and yarn – not quite a Nikon yet but getting close. BUT I totally understand the annoyance of the same review again and again, or a post where the title draws me in, I open it and only find out at the bottom that it’s a review. grr. Don’t fool me guys, I don’t like it.
    Still, I really don’t blog for the money but if I get it thrown my way occasionally, and I’m ok with the product, I’ll stick an ad up. They don’t show in readers ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

      Yes – what you said ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re doing quietly well with your blog – lenses are my latest objects of desire – all kudos to you.

  3. Heather June 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    What is my price? This is something I’ve given some thought to, especially when I see campaigns like a day out care of Nestlรฉ. But that’s a whole other blog post I expect. And yes, like you, I get sick of reading the same reviews, cause they’re all pretty much the same huh, about the same places by 10 or so different bloggers.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if I thought that they would be truthful, telling the bad with the good but usually they aren’t which leads them to be little more than advatorials really, doesn’t it? And I have no interest in reading *those*.

    But people can, will and should write about what they want on their blogs and we can read or not read. I shan’t be. Like you I’ve reached my fill already and several of the trips haven’t even happened yet.

    It’s a bit like Christmas and new year really. Everyone writes a Christmas post, a look over the last year post and a resolutions post. I don’t read those either, I get bored with the same stuff over and over.

    I hope they all have a wonderful time, I expect it’s going to be lots of fun, but I have no interest in being a demographic to be advertised to, but that’s the beauty of blogging isn’t it? You’ve not paid to have access to the post and you don’t have to read it if you don’t want.

    What would my price be…well that depends. For my travel website I am going to review things, like different kinds of mosquito repellent for example, that are useful for people coming to my area, but they will be proper reviews, did it work, didn’t it, how long for etc.

    But for my blog..? A good holiday -not a kids place, an adults place. Or perhaps an ipad or a nice shiny new car…

    But for no price would you get an advatorial out of me. That’s just the way I roll.

    But it’s not something I have to worry about anyway and it’s so much easier to have these standards and morals when people aren’t throwing free stuff at you.

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

      How true!

      You’re travel website is actually a perfect example of what I consider to be a professional site with a clear mission statement to promote your local area. It does what it says on the tin and furthermore you are “on the ground”. There are British Parent Bloggers all over the world who could be providing truly revealing insights into their local areas. I don’t think Busch Gardens has featured in anything I’ve seen so far but personally I suspect the kind offer of park tips from an ex-pat living in Florida with an annual pass to Busch Gardens will be way more helpful than anything I or anyone else could provide after a 2 day visit!

  4. Sally June 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Oooh, a really interesting post.

    I compare whatโ€™s going on in blogs now with the first year of being a journalist. When you get your first job on a paper, itโ€™s like WOW! Everyone wants to take me to Sugar Reef and Nobu and fly me to New York, and buy me free things. Itโ€™s amazing. You go to parties every night, youโ€™re using a free phone and laptop, you get snitty about flying coach.

    A year later, you find yourself in some Soho club and itโ€™s 2am. Youโ€™re staring a the same group of middle aged journalists you stare at nearly ever night. Somewhere nearby is a 25-year-old PR who is paid to be nice to you. and you realise, even though it isnโ€™t free, youโ€™d rather just be in the pub with your mates. And thatโ€™s when you get selective โ€“ youโ€™ll still go to a couple of parties a year because you know all your friends will be there, but the rest of it is just a hassle.

    Because of the job I do, Iโ€™m not overly excited by PR invitations. I just look at them and think, โ€œYay, I get to sit on a train for 4 hours each way, listen to some corporate PR presentation, and go home with ยฃ20 worth of free products. Big whoop.โ€

    For me personally, I have two criteria when I’m considering an invitation. First, will I (and Flea, more often) enjoy it? Second, do I think I can I write something interesting about it โ€“ and not be one of six people writing the same thing that week? If I can’t honestly say yes to both, then I won’t accept the invitation.

    Iโ€™ve accepted invitations where I know Iโ€™m the only blogger attending โ€“ we went to a hotel in Devon, to a kidsโ€™ film festival, to the Playmobil factory, to a farm with Morrisons, filming toy testing with Proctor and Gamble. All of those invitations were unique to us, and gave me the opportunity to write something tailored to my blog, knowing Iโ€™d be the only person writing that article that week.

    Having said that, I threw all my principles out of the window when offered a free holiday โ€“ I did my level best to make it interesting, but hey, it was a free week away and I genuinely did have a really good time.

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

      Ah Sally you were doing so well til you got to the end ๐Ÿ˜‰ (jk!)

      In the US I think there’s been a definite split between the review bloggers and the more personal bloggers. Do you foresee the same thing here? Do you think it’s a good thing? I think I do. I quietly cut my blogging teeth amongst the North American Mummy Bloggers and the ones I’ve stuck with don’t review at all, they literally blog from the heart and I do rather love them for it. It’s definitely ME who has to change, by that I mean what I read has to change.

      • Sally June 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

        Honestly? I think it will evolve a little that way, but I think that if you’re a skilful enough writer you can make a review entertaining and interesting enough that it fits into your blog (she says, hopefully).

        There will always be completely “commercial free” bloggers (isn’t there a logo to this effect in the US?) and I think we’ll have those here, too – different people, different approaches. I like to think we should just all blog about what we like and it’s all valid, but yes, as a reader, I get thoroughly ticked off reading 10 posts in the same week about the same topic, and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say it, but personally, I find weeks of Tweets and posts about someone’s upcoming trip just flat out annoying. So shoot me.

        • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

          Oh I think you’re allowed to say it – and I could not agree more!

  5. Barbara June 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Heh, not something I’ve had to consider what with the lack of free stuff rolling in to my place.

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

      Oi! You got a free bed at mine missus – what more are you after?! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Barbara June 16, 2010 at 8:14 am #

        Oh yes, good point. I shall go and write a review post haste!

        • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

          Lordi not the bathroom!!! Please not the bathroom!!! It was a choice, 4 weeks in Florida or a new bathroom…. tough choice (not!)

  6. Dad Who Writes June 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Yes, I’ve said no and would continue to do so. Unless it was an early 60s Vox AC30 with original tubes. I’d have no time to play it but I’d stroke it occasionally.

    So will the Butlin’s and Tots 100 ads be coming down then? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Actually, I’m reading about two blog posts a week at the moment (still focusing on that novel) and I’m not really missing all the hustling that’s been going on.

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

      Nobody pays me for the Butlin’s and Tots 100 badges – they’re there out of the goodness of my heart ๐Ÿ˜‰ Shameless self promotion of course – though the likelihood of me being invited to anything at all child friendly is utterly kaiboshed through my occassional (ahem) use of the fucking eff word.

      Not effing is way too high a price for me.

  7. Working Mum June 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    That’ll be an expensive ride on the Kraken at ยฃ65 per person entry fee!

    PS It broke down when we went at Easter -hundreds of people left dangling in the air!

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

      Nah – we’re buying the seven park ticket doo-dah since we will use if for everywhere else and it does work out cheaper than the Orlando 5-park plus Busch Gardens for 2 days.

      But I’m scared now – dangling in the air does not sound fun!

  8. Nova June 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this post…and the comments. I know what you mean and your holiday sounds absolutely fantastic. But….at this moment in time if someone offered me a free holiday I would be jumping for joy, it’s the only chance we’d get of getting away and I’m sure probably for a few other people too. I didn’t start blogging to write lots of reviews either though but I wouldn’t mind a few freebies sent my way. Always useful.Especially chocolate! ;0)

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

      Even the Green and Blacks freebie went under my radar – what am I like? Chocolate is of course a special category that deserves dispensation ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kristin (Wanderlust) June 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Huh. Having never been offered anything it’s a moot point. Having said that, I would happily sell my soul to get a free trip to Oz (hello Qantas, are you listening? No? Fine then).

    • mrsw June 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

      You and me? We have shit-hot spam filters I reckon ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Marylin June 16, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    Hmm, I think if I got the offer to review something useful or fun (for me or the boys) then I’d take it to be honest, but so far I haven’t have any takers! lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ahhh if only Nikon would let us review whatever the new ‘version’ of the D90 will be… now *that* would be awesome! hehe

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      Absolutely Marylin – I’m not taking issue with reviews, I just feel swamped by them at the moment. Buuuut, I do wonder what the point of some of them is – Sally’s review of the Playmobil hotel in Germany was a revelation since I had no idea there was such a thing (and I’m sure I’m not alone). It was a great read. But you’d have to go pretty far to find someone in the British Mummy Blogger community who hasn’t heard of Disney (for example) and I don’t understand why that sort of company feels it needs promoting by Mummy bloggers. What can they add to what’s already available online? The more famous and extravagant the product the less point I see to it.

      Have you seen the TV ads for the new Canon dSLR at the moment? My first thought was “Why do Canon need to advertise that on TV? Hmm are they struggling?”. Same sort of thing.

      Yeah – I think too much!

      • Marylin June 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

        I think it just means they’re opening up to new markets.

        Nikon are sponsoring Hollyoaks these days. Thank god it’s only a point and shoot they’re pimping and not a D90, otherwise I would probably cry every time there were ad breaks! lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Trish@ Mum's Gone to June 16, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    I was one of the bloggers who was recently offered a holiday and I blogged about it. I accepted it because my blog is travel-related and I wrote about the holiday in the same ‘Mum’s Gone to’ format – warts and all and laughing at all the daft things my husband does when we’re away. (I didn’t tweet about it beforehand!)

    If I was offered to review something that didn’t fit my blog theme (travel, teenagers, bit of am dram rubbish thrown in here and there) I don’t think I would accept.

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 10:58 am #

      It’s a pity but this last couple of weeks I’ve switched off whenever I saw the word Eurocamp or Keycamp cos I definitely got to the point where I’d read enough already! I can see that for you this was a very pertinent review to do, and for Dan too since Keycamp are offering first prize in the Hadrian’s Walk Raffle – maybe the PRs need to think about how many people they invite at once to these things so’s not to… overstate their charm ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Trish@ Mum's Gone to June 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

        I must admit when I came back I was rather taken aback at how many other bloggers had been offered free trips. You probably didn’t know (cos you werent reading them!) but Tim from ‘Bringing up Charlie’ was in the next caravan to me. Neither of us knew the other was going. The PR people said we could go anytime in June or September so I suppose everyone asked then picked the half term week (surprise surprise). I can certainly see why this overdose of camping would get on other readers’ nerves!

  12. Eileen June 16, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Hiya just popped over from Twitter to read this and it was very interesting – I’ve never been offered a freebie to review so I don’t know how I’d react if I was but I can definitely see the temptation!
    I must admit I skim over review posts on blogs, I just don’t find them as interesting as reading the posts about the bloggers life.

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 11:04 am #

      Oh me too – I sort of glaze over when I see a review which does make me wonder if they are achieving anything at all. Not with me they aint! And I’m beginning to think I am not atypical ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sally June 16, 2010 at 11:30 am #

        Now this is an interesting point for me. I think one could argue just as there are good blog writers and not so good blog writers, there are good reviews and bad reviews. And a good review of something should be genuinely useful – because if I have opted to review something because it’s relevant to my life, it will likely be relevant to my readers.

        I wrote a review post last summer for, all about Manchester’s museums and attractions, including the Family Friendly Film Festival. It was a freebie – we were invited for two or three days, put up in a nice hotel, bought dinner, and got free tickets to stuff. But it was relevant, I enjoyed it – and a year on, that is one of the most popular items still on my blog – I get 20 or so hits a day via search engines from people looking for information like “things to do in manchester with toddlers” or “film festivals for kids”.

        So a review can be relevant and valuable to readers, and to brands – if it’s done well, and creatively.

        • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

          Absolutely – I do roll my eyes when I see a poorly written review of an expensive or luxury freebie in a way I don’t do when I read a fabulous review of something more cheap, cheerful and uber importantly achievable. I’d rather read a parent review of a Ford Focus than a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti simply because only one of those is within the grasp of your average parent blogger. Also, newly discovered places and newly launched products are more interesting than popular, established places and products that have been around for donkeys years. Your film festival review is clearly useful, it introduces something not fairly wide known and it is affordable and achievable – it’s a brilliant example.

          Ideally a good reviewer should be able to earn their reputation and with it increasingly exciting stuff to review and those that are a bit meh, shouldn’t. Ideally!

  13. TheMadHouse June 16, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I do review and take free stuff, but I do try and find a balance. I try and review things that are relevant to my family life and therefore, my blog, which is based around my family too. Being able to do sponsored posts (which tend to me my own posts with link words in) enables me to stay at home with my boys. But saying that I would not get these opportunities with out people reading my blog. So I do need to find a balance and yes that can be hard.

    I don’t say yes to everything, but yes I suppose I am a little bit of a PR whore! I have started to review on the Great Toy Guide rather than TheMadHouse, as it is a great site that is really relevant to parents out there.

    I would really appreicate your feedback, good or bad.

    Great Post

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

      The Great Toy Guide sort of makes sense – like Heather’s Finnish travel site it does what it says on the tin and readers can choose to visit for reviews or not.

      • TheMadHouse June 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

        Very diplomatic reply, but please feel free to e-mail me and give me your honest opinion in my blog

  14. Tattooed_mummy June 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Great Great Post!! About time someone spoke up for us losers that get no freebies LOL sorry didn’t really mean that, I do know how you feel, some blogs are just one freebie after another and to be honest I just mark them ‘read’ on G-Reader and move on. One every now and again is OK but all the time? give it a rest…..

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

      Yeah! STFU already! ๐Ÿ™‚

      At least when I bore the arse off you all with photos and whitterings from my trip you can snigger smugly at the fact that it’s cost the best part of ยฃ13,000 – shit I could have got TWO new bathrooms for that :/

  15. If I Could Escape June 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I know how you feel. I’ve ignored the PR emails although none were offering me a free trip!

    Now, you forgot to write in that lovely blog post about coming to meet moi? No? LOL Also, you absolutely must try and plan a day kayaking along one of Florida’s beautiful rivers so that you can truly see and appreciate the real Florida. Try and squeeze in a day at Weeki Wachee too — one of Florida’s oldest attractions!

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      Scroll back a bit – my third comment ๐Ÿ™‚

      We’ve booked a hotel in Treasure Island, on the currently white beach (scary thoughts go away) for 26th and 27th – sooo Busch Gardens 27th or 28th? Evening photos on the beach 26th or 27th? It’s not a long drive from Kissimmee really is it? I just don’t fancy 2 margarita free nights hence the hotel bwahahaha!

  16. Dana-from chaos to Grace June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh MAN! I hate that you will be in GA and I can’t come meet you! Although I am a rather HUGGIE person and I don’t think you’d enjoy that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just the thought of meeting you would be the COOLEST! Although, I’m not nearly as cool as you and am not qualified to swim in the “cool” section of your pool, I’d love to wade my feet in the shallow end! HAAAAAAAAAA! I just think you’re awesome. Is that weird?

    And as far as all the ads and crap…..I am so with you there. If I may be so shallow, I don’t follow the “ad blogs” because I see myself more as a NUMBER to their blog and not a person. They cease to see the people and start seeing us as a NUMBER and that’s just not cool in my book.

    I’ve been given free stuff through iHeartfaces as a contributer, like actions and stuff, but it’s not like I have to write a post about them, I just USE them. And if they are not good, I don’t use them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The FIF, if I like an action, I’ll use it for the photo, and if I don’t like them, I don’t use them.

    Overall, because I’m used to not having a lot of money, if someone is gonna send me something, SWEET! And we don’t ever get to vacation, so if someone wants to send me somewhere, YAY! But it doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be honest in any post that I may write. If your place sucks, I’m honest. “It was nice in theory……but it sucked wild goose eggs and I wouldn’t go back.”

    Could be why no one has offered to give me stuff or send me anywhere. HAAAAAA!

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

      Is Atlanta too far? I think I could suffer a hug ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I don’t know about the “cool” end of the pool hun – I think you’ll find me in the DEEP end haha!

      Is Atlanta really too far? I can just see us on a photowalk round Stone Mountain Park – I say photowalk but really I mean you being an utterly brilliant photographer and teaching me how to use the D90 we are borrowing for out trip and me sort of going “Huh? Oh yeah? Wow!”

  17. auntiegwen June 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    I was offered a penis extender, cherry liquorice and a wedding ring to review. But when your blog is high on the feck count and mentions of shagging David Tennant, you can’t really complain. Last week I did post what I thought was a funny plea for a free holiday in August, I’ll keep you posted.

    • mrsw June 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

      You are so going on my blogroll – I’ll kick of some feckin’ freeloader and make space for you ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. Smitten by Britain June 17, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    Damn, I just reviewed a box of tea, you mean you can get free trips? ;-P

    • MrsW June 17, 2010 at 11:49 am #

      You got a box of tea?! Shpw off!

  19. Smitten by Britain June 17, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Yeah and I was over the moon about it. Thought I’d hit the big time!

    On a serious note, how are these bloggers going to Florida? Are they paying to attend a blogger’s conference or is it truly a perk that was given to them? Curious.

    On lighter note, four weeks in the States ain’t nothing to sneeze at although I would prefer 4 weeks in England. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • MrsW June 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      No conference.

      4 weeks in the States when the pound got me $1.90 was a good idea at the time – now? Lucky if I can get me $1.36!! EEEK! Much better idea for you guys to come over here at the moment isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Mwa June 17, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    I skip, skip, skip them but also get very grouchy if I learn in the final lines of a post, or worse even – between the lines – that it was a sponsored post. It absolutely should be said straight off.

    I think I would be “buyable” if we got a free family holiday or a really expensive piece of kit (laptop, fancy camera). I’ve been approached about gold jewellery in the past and haven’t reacted, though – I think it would have to be quite a good payoff. But even then, I would insist on saying straightaway. Just so everyone knows I was sponsored/bought.

    • MrsW June 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

      I think we’d all be buyable for a free holiday wouldn’t we? I fear these things are pretty lodged with the current recipients tho and unlikely to extend beyond that – it’s a bubble innit? It will burst!

  21. Wendy June 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    I can’t comment on receiving freebies because I don’t blog. BUT I have stopped reading at least a few blogs who changed from good writing with pictures to all about promoting this or that. Became very boring to read! Here is a good blog to follow… She tells beautiful stories and takes beautiful pictures (like you). If you read the story about her second daughter and finding out at birth that she had DS, it will bring tears. She also lives in FL and goes to the Isle of Capri. Looks beautiful and you might want to check it out on your travels around FL.

    • MrsW June 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks for the tips ๐Ÿ™‚ You may not blog but to me this is exactly what blogging is about – sharing what you’ve got – not “See what I got” iykwim?

  22. Heather Davis June 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    There is no doubt about it a lot of the reviews are really dull. There was a recent spat of Emma Bridgewater day’s out and the Innocent Smoothie thing and I didn’t read any of the posts that covered them in my google reader. To me those reviews are aimed at the non-blogging community. You know the ordinary layfolk who hopefully are also reading our blogs! My husband is desperate for me to get some free holidays. It’s quite funny really. It’s just so out of my “stratosphere” I can’t really imagine it. I’m just a mum writing about food and my life. How could that be of interest to a billion dollar corporation like Disney? Mind you I’ve got two things on my hot list: a kitchenaid and a Canon D550 with lens attachment! Unfortunately I’ve got no money for either. So if….well yes….could be…most definitely.

    • MrsW June 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

      Oh yeah! I have to say I was reaching for the rusty spoon at the mere mention of Innocent. It’s a negative response we’re having here, not a positive one – please note INNOCENT!

  23. Smitten by Britain June 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Yeah, payback is a bitch. The dollar has been week overseas and in Britain for nearly twenty years. For christ sakes it was $1.60 the entire time I lived in England twenty years ago. It’s been worse since but now it’s much, much better. Just in time for my holiday!

    • mrsw June 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

      You’re lucky – my poor Dad transferred his dollars when it was at $1.90 and now his BP pension is borking too – don’t even mention his shares! He worked for Amoco for years and right now so wishes BP had kept their paws off it!

  24. Gappy June 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    What an interesting conversation. I am a blogger who has an ‘ad free blog’ logo displayed fairly prominently in their sidebar so I guess my personal feelings about it are pretty clear. I’m not really up for doing reviews or plug posts and I’m not interested in selling any ad space either. If I can see in my reader that a post is sponsored, I won’t read it. I’m just not interested you know? I would like to reiterate that those are just my personal feelings though – I don’t judge anyone else for wanting to take advantage of free stuff at all. In fact I’ve been thinking lately that if I was ever offered a holiday (chance would be a fine thing) would I really want to turn it down? If it was something my kids would love? I can see it being a real dilemma. I wouldn’t want to tell my kids that we’d been offered a free trip to Alton Towers for example, and that I’d turned it down. They’d crucify me!

  25. veryanniemary June 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Wheeee! You are coming north to Atlanta! Send me an email and let me know your dates, plans etc – I’ll stock up on the Merlot. Believe it or ot I’m in Wiltshire at the moment…using my Mom’s peddle power computer – it’s painful.

  26. Deb June 19, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    I was recently offered my first freebie and loved it for the feeling that ‘Hey! Someone knows my name!’ I accepted but pointed out that I run a science blog and if you give me bath products they will probably end up in a post about making bubble mix with them. They changed their minds. But I’m still on the list and if any books or sciencey toys come up I’d take them, it’s about fitting them into my blog, not the other way around.
    And I’m sure I could find museums and relevant places to visit on a free trip!

    • Sally June 20, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Deb – not sure if you’ll pop back to see this but I was recently contacted by a children’s science museum looking for bloggers to work with – would you mind if I passed on your details?

      • Deb June 21, 2010 at 1:15 am #

        I’d love to, unfortunately I’m in Australia. I have English readers, I suppose it depends what they’re after.

  27. Linda June 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    I’ve been offered and taken trips to Disney, Butlins the Bahamas, France and others. I am also sharing out others as best I can, I was invited to Seaworld but couldn’t go due to a longstanding family party and work commitments. When we came back from Disney last year I wanted to channel the fact that PRs were inviting me on trips into doing something positive so I teamed up with a children’s cancer charity and we are raising money for them in that every time a blogger goes on a trip that has come through me is asked to donate, we are on course for ยฃ1,000 but the charity has told me that they very much value the exposure they have been given. I am getting a lot of PR approaches and do not accept them all. If they are accepted we do not write ‘advertorial’ but are happy to report positive experiences, all the time crediting our readers with the intelligence to know that if we haven’t paid, our experiences will be coloured by that fact and the fact that it’s a hosted trip is clearly stated. One of our bloggers is an ex regional paper travel editor and very lovely she is too. I’m not sure her paper was always so transparent about whether a review was based on a complimentary stay or not. Our travel site is about giving a parents’ perspective but from a *positive* point of view – reported honestly about where you can go and have a lovely time, we are always totally transparent when it is a hosted trip but PR trips are not the only ones we feature. There have been a couple of bloggers in particular who have had such a great time on their trips that it has made me feel happy to know that I have been involved in helping to arrange them. Most of all we are being offered (or are now asking for) review opportunities of days out. We are very grateful and humbled by the opportunities that have come our way. We have also provided bloggers with tickets to pantomimes and asked for our adopted charity donations in return. The “blogging community” is diverse and some of us blog for professional reasons. There’s a competition to win a week in St Lucia on at the moment if anyone is interested. It doesn’t include flights, but I hope it’s something that may interest people.

    • mrsw June 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

      Ooh naughty naughty – advertising on a post bemoaning advertising!

      You’re absolutely right, the blogging community is diverse and some people are in it to run as a business or brand, I’ve already said it but I’ll say it again – it’s me who has to change, I have to think about what I choose to read – definitely!

  28. Liz (LivingwithKids) June 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Mrs W, as one of those who travelled to Florida on the recent bloggers’ trip which appears to have so infuriated you and others, I take exception to your po-faced inference that there is something wrong with a decision to go on a family type trip without the family in tow. I couldn’t give a stuff about the rest of your post but that particular sentence feels like a personal attack, which is low. And *breaking news*, sometimes, it does kids good to spend quality time with their fathers and it does mums good to spend time with other mums, having a laugh and letting their hair down for *gasp* five days. Every one of us who went on the Seaworld trip wants to return to the parks with our children – but having been there ourselves, we now know exactly what we’d avoid.

    Personally, I’m very bored of reading criticism, veiled or otherwise, of what people choose to write on their blogs. If you don’t like what someone writes, don’t read it, remove the blog from your google reader, whatever. But criticising other parent bloggers for the decisions they make is a cheap shot. Sitting in judgement and pontificating about others is just shabby.

    • mrsw June 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

      Part of me just wants to delete your comment and tell you where to shove your head but I think the reaction of a so-called professional blogger in this discussion is insightful.

      You can infer until you’re blue in the face but that won’t make you right. How in the name of all that’s reasonable is my saying that I would not go on a family trip without my family a personal attack on you? Are you unhinged? Is my saying that I breast-fed a personal attack on everyone who formula fed? Get a fucking grip woman.

      I wouldn’t go on a family trip without my family – just a plain old fact – you might not like my opinion or agree with it but calling it “po-face inference” that such a decision is wrong says much much more about you than it does about me.

      Most commenters have been perfectly capable of entering into a polite discussion about how much advertising we bloggers are being subjected to – and how much of it is repetitive – and how much we enjoy it (or not). You are definitely the exception and I’d like to say I’m shocked at such an ignorant response from a journalist but lol! nah! I’m not. And I’m not going to sit here and smile while you are downright rude to me in my space. I wouldn’t put up with it my living room and I’m not putting up with it here.

      This is my blog, all opinions are mine, unsponsored, unpaid for and unbranded and you my dear can go take a flying fuck at yourself.


  1. Tweets that mention -- - June 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: […]

  2. 15 Steps To Becoming A Blogging Rockstar | Note From Lapland - October 9, 2010

    […] 10. Write about how perfect your children are. If necessary borrow some children and be photographed with them and then make shit up about how wonderful they are and how you couldn’t possibly live without them and how just the thought of leaving them for long enough to go to the toilet makes you feel sick with anguish and worry and you don’t understand how those evil women could possibly go off and have a holiday without them. […]

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