Friday, January 22, 2010's time to see if I can make the internet work for me in a new way

So as the few of you who read me know, I'm a mix of many things on this stuff, politics stuff, pop culture stuff, rant stuff.

But I'm going to focus on the popculture geeky thing about me.

My dad raised me to be a movie buff. Not on purpose, but he was a buff and so he passed it on pretty easily. It worked so well that when I met my ex wife I got very excited about who her father was even as I knew I was very attracted to her. You see her father was a famous film historian/preservationist/professor in NY and I had grown up reading several of his books. That's a side point, but it gives you an idea of what it's like being around me sometimes. Anyway, my enthusiasm for movies became an enthusiasm for things pop culture, etc....

So here's the thing...I have this blog, and I have this fetish for pop culture and I have this need to express what I'm thinking to people who may or may not give a flying rat's genetically engineered human ear about. AND I need to make some extra money.

So I've been pondering the idea of doing reviews of various TV shows, movies, books, etc that I have experienced and offering said items, when applicable, for sale through my association. The way it works is I have a product linked here and you click on that link and buy that product. When you do that, Amazon sends me a percentage of the profit. A little here, a little there, and Blog Her becomes easier to manage, as does my Shakespeare Retreat in Vermont, as does my daughter's text books.

Part of me thinks this is great, part of me wonders if it isn't an ethical thin line. The thing is, I KNOW I'm not going to say something I don't mean in order to sell something. It's just not in me to do it. That's why as an actor I have a lousy damned commercial career. Indeed, I can see myself offering something up for sale even though I hate it.

The other thought I've had is to maybe make a different blog, that's specifically devoted to reviews. But that sort of takes away from the mixed bag that Gifts of Thought is supposed to be. Or maybe both. Do the review here but have a blog set up as a kind of archive/shop of past Opinionated Gift reviews.

So...I ask you, my friends and fellow tweeter/blogger/follower/reader friends. What do you think? Use the poll I've set up at the top and to the right, and if you want to add a comment, please do. Thank you thank you and ever thank you.


Kim Jenkins said...

Here's my comment friend. 2010 (IMHO) is about taking some action. Good, bad, indifferent...just do something that appeals to you. If this feels like something you'd like to try, don't over think it, just try it.

I ran across this today and it was thought-provoking to me. Maybe it will touch something in you too.

Onward...and have fun with it!
<3 Kim

Leslee said...

I bought the book "Kushiel's Dart" because you mentioned it in this blog and if I'm not mistaken it seems like someone else did to. This should work of course you might have to start pimping this blog a little more....

Ray said...

Great idea! I say do it. You mentioned the concern about not being able to lie about reviewing something just to make it sell. So don't lie. Share your insights and review the things you like. It may sound a little one sided and if you feel the need to pull out the stops and lambaste something that truly deserves it, go for it. Reviews as part of blogs like this have a similar tone to walking through a store with a friend and chatting about what you see. The opportunity is there to buy products as well. So what if you get a few bucks every once in a while for providing the convenience of linking to Amazon for your readers? If you're honest about your reviews, you've got nothing to worry about.

And "Kushiel's Dart" seems to be getting around. My wife and I are reading it now, and totally from online mentions from you, Leslee, and Tara. And we're both loving it. Pretty cool way to separate out the crap! :)

Anonymous said...

Go for it. Don't change what you have going on here but, as others have said before me, if you can make some extra money from doing what you already do and love, go for it. I'd so much rather buy a book knowing that it's going to help out a friend a bit than just buy a book and help out no one but the CEO of Amazon.