Not meaning to be antisocial, but…

I get all kinds of requests for surveys and interviews and I am afraid that in my new billable-hours mode of life, I have to turn most away.

This week alone, I’ve had two companies come to me asking to interview me on behalf of some unnamed client’s branding study. If there were a personal relationship involved, I might agree. But when I don’t know the client, my response is to tell them my hourly rate. They say nevermind.

What bothers me is that I have to turn away students doing surveys about blogging. I would love to help every one of them. But the problem is that they ask such huge, general, and bottomless questions: What impact has blogging had on politicis/society/life? Arrrrgh. Don’t get me started. No, really, don’t, or you’ll regret it.

My advice to companies trying to make money off the opinions of bloggers: Pay.

My advice to students: Try reading and quoting blogs — our opinions are all here anyway — or ask specific or at least surprising questions.

  • My advice: Compile your favorite views and takes on the blogging subject, distill everything nicely,
    and then when you get bombarded by these requests, you email the synopsis back to them.


    Sounds crude, I know.

    But then again, it sounds like you’re up to your *** in alligators, Jeff.

    Anyways, as you mentioned, most of those research surveys look alike.

    I did 2 and then quit — I’d rather clean my toilet.

  • Eileen

    It’s not the least bit antisocial, Jeff. Imho you Should be compensated. And you should also be paid for every radio or television appearance you accept (as I suggested many moons ago). I’m a great proponent of pro bono work when it makes sense to do it or when one purely wishes to contribute. But there is also the matter of economic survival and being fairly compensated for one’s time and expertise. It is a great balancing act many of us experience in many ways..

    I’m into trading. Perhaps there’s a quid pro quo solution you might find in these situations? Let that student do some research You’re interested in in exchange for your own time and input…

  • Ross

    Jarvis’ slow slide to complete obscurity continues

  • It’s amazing how, especially on the Internet, if people see you writing, they easily believe you can write for free and you must have lots of time on your hand. Jeff, this is at least a blog; from my business website people leave messages such as “Only reply if you can write on the topic for free — we are on low budget…” It’s just like going to a restaurant and demanding a free lunch just out of the blues.

  • Mining a person for expertise and expecting not to compensate them in return is infuriating and all too common, even from those who think they ‘get’ blogging.

    As for students, I don’t feel bad about not helping them when they can’t be bothered to do the most basic of research. Here’s an email I got recently from a student:

    My name is Barrett and I am doing this assignment on
    blogs for my Marketing Promtions class at Texas Tech
    University. Anyways, if you could answer these three
    questions I would me buch obliged.

    What is your name and what position do you play in the
    role of the blogs?

    Also, are they any content restrictions on your blogs?

    Last, what are your goals and objectives of the blogs?

    The kid clearly just took the questions his prof wanted answered and emailed them to me, right down to asking me what my name is. I hope this isn’t typical of the kids going into marketing now.

  • I know EXACTLY how Jeff feels.

    I help a tailor run a website called We sell $4000 suits (and those are the cheap ones).

    We get a lot of e-mails. The rule of thumb seems to be, the guys who want to buy a suit keep their e-mails down to 2-3 lines. The ones who aren’t buying, they often go on for PAGES.

    At the same time, you try to keep up with all, as best you can. But eventually it becomes impossible.

  • Ed Rusch

    “And you should also be paid for every radio or television appearance you accept (as I suggested many moons ago).”

    But I thought links were the new currency. ;) Actually, I sympathize, Jeff.

  • I so hear you! :-) I am getting tired and frustrated with the same thing here in the UK, where it is just getting to the point where the word blog will not get you blank stares. And there are lots of people who just want free information and knowledge, thinking that just because I am an evangelist that they are entitled to it.

    I do talk to journalists and the media as they do help to put forward my view, which helps to define the mainstream perceptions. Eventually.

    But I am sick and tired of companies coming to me and wanting me to ‘tell them about blogging’. Often I go to a meeting assuming they want to talk specifics (juudging from previous communications) and then the first question is ‘so what’s this blogging thing, I don’t really get it’. Sigh.

    You might say, well, it’s a potential client, so that’s what you are supposed to do. The trouble is that by the time they decide that blogging is for them, I have handed over so much knowledge and they go away and do it and try to do it themselves. It seems that with blogging the money is not in implementation but in the ‘knowledge transfer’.

    That is why I started to quote a day-rate, which, surprisingly, most people see the point of, but then there is the ‘ah, but I have no budget for this’.

    It’s a tough life in the blog evangelising biz… :-)

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  • I see how its done, and agree. Btw, how do you get blogs like these


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