Man, I do not like returning from vacations.  I did not do any work for six days including checking email.  It was really nice while it lasted, but returning to 300 emails, piles of mail, and loads of unpacking…not so much fun.   Writing a blog was the collateral damage.  I didn't get around to reading the newspaper (Boston Globe) until last night and found a really interesting article regarding bloggers.  You can read it here.  The title was We're Bloggers We Get Stuff For FREE.  The article goes on to explain a new law that requires bloggers and Twitterers who write a review or endorsement of a product to disclose when they receive free merchandise or payment for writing about the item.  Hmmmm… interesting.  I'm not really sure how they would police that, but I thought it could provoke some interesting conversation.  Is this also a way for the government to track these freebies for taxation purposes?  I don't know,  just asking.  I guess some of the real benefactors are the "Mommy bloggers" and fashion bloggers.  Last year, Proctor and Gamble invited 15 influential bloggers who routinely get freebies like plush toys and strollers (WHAT?!!) to an all expense paid trip to their corp headquarters.  While there,  execs asked for feedback and informed them of their charitable efforts.  I know that Hickory Chair has done something similar.  In the past, they have invited bloggers to Hickory Chair University which is all expense paid class.  Having gone to a business school that Proctor and Gamble heavily recruits from, I just think these companies are savvy and smart.  The article was a bit of a buyer beware.  Essentially, the goal was to have readers understand the relationship between the the company from which the products are being reviewed and the reviewers.  So, what says you?  For the record, I haven't received anything for free.  However, I did attend HCU on their nickel, but I have an account, and have been buying from them for a year. I'm not sure that counts but I'm disclosing just in case.  For the future, if I don't love it, I won't be writing about it.  Discuss!

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