A Note From the ‘Entitled’ Editor

Ohhhh baby. Ok, I deserved that.

Thank you to everyone who chimed in with valid, constructive, and/or well-spirited insight to the “no/no reply” post. Thanks even to all of you who called me an entitled snob and to that internet cancer trash forum for directing so much traffic here. Get a new hobby. Hate you love you.

(I don’t visit the site but see it as a referrer on my stats page. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m not telling you – your life is better this way)

The post was hastily written, maybe not as well-laid out as it could’ve been, but not untrue. I put my thoughts out there and I’ll own up to them like a big girl. Don’t enter the ring if you’re not ready to take your share of punches, right? And I know you’re not supposed to fight fire with fire but fighting snark with snark seems different and ok somehow…

Anyway I’ve had some time to chew on it all now that I’ve stepped down from my soapbox, and here are my follow up thoughts – some inspired by your comments and some that I just didn’t articulate well the first go-round:

  • Yes, bloggers get free shit. Some more than others. Companies see it as useful marketing and bloggers see it as a way to offer advice, recommendations, and reviews to their readers for products they think they’ll like. Two-way back scratch; three if the reader gets some good out of it, too. Do you complain so vehemently about commercials during your TV shows, previews before your movies, ads in your magazines, or billboards on your highways? Like they’re really infiltrating your life so deeply that it’s altering your quality of life? You’d freaking think sponsored blog posts are the way some people react. (oh unless there’s a giveaway at the end then jk.) It’s a marketing channel; Welcome to the 21st century. And even though I believe in social media advertising and have received free or discounted stuff in the past…
  • I don’t feel entitled to it just because I have a tiny little place on the internet to write about it. I do feel deserving of a response though, because 1) it’s good business practice to be reachable and connected to your customers, and 2)…
  • My offer was “X for you, Y for me”. I wasn’t just asking someone to give me something because I felt I deserved it or didn’t want to pay for it like everyone else. I woulda deleted that beggar shit, too. My proposal was well-thought out and presented as a dual-benefiting partnership, stating that I thought the SUPathlon is really neat, that fits well into the current “phase” of my training and blogging, and that I could provide exposure to create excitement about the event. And since I did(/do) think it’s so rad…
  • I would have registered with my own money if they’d said no. Even if I called bullshit under my breath and held a tiny grudge about it. I likely would not have promoted it as heavily or recapped as extensively, but if it was cool I would have shared it here. Because that’s what this blog is for – talking about myself and all the cool shit I do that I think you’ll get some entertainment out of or like for yourself. I also write about some stuff you probably don’t care about, which is fine, because…
  • This is my space to write what I want, and it’s completely your choice whether you read it or not! How’s that for some first amendment hoo-rah? THANKS, CONSTITUTION!

Lastly (couldn’t figure out a way to flow this into the bullet points), this is a for-profit, established race company with a marathon and half tacked onto the day’s events. I would have totally understood if it was a rookie race, and would have NEVER asked if it was a for-charity event put on by a volunteer group. I am going to go back and make some amendments to the original post though to hopefully add some anonymity, since my point was not to bash the race itself, just make a claim towards the power of customer service.

Ok and also to complain a little bit (reference the female drama queen disclaimer in original post.) WHAT! I’m human. You’ve all felt slightly jilted when you didn’t get something you wanted and you’re a liar if you say you haven’t.

Hopefully that sheds some light on the situation and erases a few hits out on my name. If not whatever. Take your blog-righteous indignation hating somewhere else.

nofucksgiven

most favorite pin ever

Sarah OUaL

* seriously, sincere thanks to everyone who did chime in and added to the conversation in legit ways. I love when we all have differing opinions but use our big people words and non-crazy temperaments to discuss them in adult-like ways. high five, even if you want to high five me in the forehead.

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54 thoughts on “A Note From the ‘Entitled’ Editor

  1. OK cool but the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…” No one was disputing your constitutional right to do want you want with your blog. Just like it’s the right of your readers to complain about it.

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  2. I do think it’s sort of silly to not sign up just because someone didn’t respond to your request for a free entry (in return for what you were offering, sure). But, I mean a no response is a no, right? And nothing really changed other than your perception.

    But, I don’t know that I would have said anything on the original post. I would have expected people too, though. You had to know that post would bring out the internet trolls. I mean that’s what they do. Haven’t you been on the internet before?

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  3. Heh. It doesn’t surprise me that bloggers get free shit in exchange for writing things. It may be my personal preference, as someone who runs and blogs as hobbies, not to; but it doesn’t usually stop me reading other people’s blogs, and it won’t stop me reading yours. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone though (… haven’t they been on the Internet before?). I think part of the source of the outrage is that you broke the fourth wall. Like, ‘here exactly is how the freebies-for-writeups deal works’…

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  4. It kind of makes me sad that you have write this to vindicate the original post and that you feel you might have to re-write parts of it. In short, haters gonna hate. I say let them hate on! I for one am a HUGE proponent of advertising-by-way-of-social media-and-blogging. I look to bloggers like you to not only make me laugh, make me forget about the real world, and inspire me to do better, but also to review products and events that I may or may not have originally tried, then go out and try it myself. The power of the internet is amazing and reaches so many people. Case in point: I found out about Oiselle solely through twitter, and now a year later I am not only in love with the brand but am a volee team member. It all started with the internet. I probably would have never even heard of them were it not for social media. You, Ms OUaL, are single handedly responsible for my current Nuun addiction and for my first purchase of Pro Compression socks. Sure, I’ve seen them both in the store, but reading about them from a blogger I follow regularly makes me want to try it too. Know there are people out there that support you — This is YOUR little sliver of the internet and I say do what you want and say what you feel – those who mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind. (Dr Seuss FTW!) And I may or may not have snorted coffee out of my nose with the Julie Andrews meme. Pinning that immediately.

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    • I’m with you Mary!

      Sarah the only reason I read your blog is because you’re real, write about real things, and are seriously hysterical. Keep on doing what you do please. I need the belly laughs you give me every time I read your blog while I’m sitting at my desk job (my co-workers probably think I’m insane for being the girl cracking up to her computer screen).

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  5. I haven’t read your previous post (yet), but one of the reasons I love reading your blog (and Sweaty’s, too) is that, aside from frequent mentions of Nuun and Oiselle, it hardly feels sponsored. It really irks me when other running blogs I used to frequent just slam on sponsored post after sponsored post…about shit like already popular brands of soy milk and hummus. I want to read about running! Self-deprecation is a bonus. You fit the bill, so thanks for that. Fuck the naysayers, but thank them for the “pageview$,” right? ;-) Don’t let this eat at you anymore.

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    • Just read it. Meh. I’d be upset, too, but I get that they’re busy and it was essentially a sakes pitch on your part. But I also get mad when I hear no reply. I say, it looks like fun so you should do it this year on your own buck. Next year, you’ll have more credit with them and then they might consider comping you.

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  6. You said everything I could never articulate, when I accidentally/sought out the cancer trash forum. What. THE FUCK. Is those girls’ problem. THESE ARE BLOGS, NOT FUCKING AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OR NEW LAWS BEING PASSED. I will never get the entitlement THEY feel when they’re like, OMG so-and-so’s blog was one of my favorites and I loved reading it, but NOWWWW, they just have a different voice and they don’t THINK OF THEIR READERS. Like you said, you don’t like it? Don’t read it.

    I’ve never read such hateful bullshit anywhere but that godforsaken forum. I don’t have a blog, but I read a lot of them, and it’s purely for entertainment. If they want facts, structure, news, etc. – go read AP or listen to NPR. All I thought when I read your post yesterday was, hmm, that’s valid. And I MOVED ON.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’ve never seen a blogger call them out so perfectly before (as they fucking should be called out) and also, people are dumb.

    I love your blog, though I’m sure the forum dipshits will say, “look at all of Sarah’s WHITE KNIGHTS coming to her defense! Sneer sneer, we’re so much better over here while we sit behind our computers and say horrible shit about people we don’t know, because we’re MUCH BETTER HUMANS INSIDE THAN THOSE BLOGGERS.”

    End rant. Good for you for not giving a fuck. (Or fucks)

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    • Well you are basically doing the same thing by hiding behind your computer screen bashing people who post on the forum. Looks like you are riding your high horse down a two way street, but good for you for making your point…

      Just like it is OUaL’s right to whine about not getting a free race entry, it’s other people’s right to call out bullshit. CONSTITUTION, F YEAH!!!

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      • I see your point, but I don’t sit behind my computer wasting all of my energy analyzing and tearing down other people as a goddamn hobby, just as Sarah clearly doesn’t either. I read blogs I enjoy and when I stop enjoying them, I stop reading them. I don’t spend hours talking about how awful bloggers are, how fat they are, how their clothes are inappropriate, how they’re clearly getting divorced because they don’t feature their SO, how much they wish harm upon the blogger, how their illnesses are faked, etc. I read GOMI once time and was disgusted, but it was like a train wreck – I couldn’t stop looking/reading. I’m all about constructive criticism, but that is the equivalent of a slam book and about 10000 times worse. I don’t know how any of those women can look at themselves in the mirror and feel good about themselves. THAT was my point. I’m not bashing them for posting on a forum – I’m bashing them for being horrible, unproductive people. All I could think was how many of those women probably have little girls and how they are showing them that it’s okay to tear other people down just because you can. Another generation of “mean girls.” But, you can say what you want about me for being upset by their behavior. Whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess. I’m a horrible person, too, over here on my “high horse” because I think that you shouldn’t be anonymously (or otherwise) shitty to other human beings for no real reason.

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  7. Chicky, this is your blog, you do what ya gotta do! Please do not ever feel the need to cater to “the big man” and write nice-nice things about everyone and everything. Peeps don’t like it? Well clearly they need to get over themselves because if they’re yelling at you from behind a computer screen, what does that say about their character? I read the post yesterday and laughed; actually, I said “good for her”. I agree that the non-response is rude, and honestly, that’s the stuff I want to hear about! I’d rather not waste my time or money if the race organizers are too pompous to respond to their clientele. Get it girl.

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  8. It’s your blog and you are awesome. And GOMI is a disgusting place for haters who hate. Pay no attention to them, go out and be awesome as they sit in their basements and snark from behind the safety of anonymity. UGH.
    Anyway. I love your blog and agree that you should give not one flying fuck about yesterdays ridiculous mayhem. :-)

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    • I read GOMI from time to time for entertainment, but defintiely not from a basement. Hate to say it but, if you operate a PUBLIC blog, then you risk the potential for both PUBLIC acknowledgement and ridicule. Welcome to life and the theory of human nature.

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      • I would have no problem if someone, in real life, came up to me and said “I dislike what you write/you/your face” Why? Because it takes a little bit of guts to do that.
        I firmly believe that if you do not like a persons blog, save yourself the trouble and rage and stop reading. People seem to have a lot of time on their hands to snark away endlessly regarding people they have never even met. (perhaps not from a basement, probably from work.) It is easy to cut people down when you do not have to look them in the eye, speak to them in person, and own what you are saying.
        It bothers me to see adults acting worse than the High School kids I teach.

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        • Well truth be told, a lot of people on GOMI actually DO stop reading these blogs. They simply go to GOMI to further validate why they stopped reading. Furthermore, most of the them are not horrible people. In fact, many of them are bloggers themselves! Typically, they’re just bored at work and looking for a good laugh. Sorry if that concept offends you but, again, human nature.

          Oh and also, most people don’t go up to bloggers and say “I dislike what you write/you/your face,” seeing as how most people don’t live within a 1000 mile radius of said bloggers.

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          • Not to mention that a lot of the bloggers “featured” on GOMI heavily moderate their comments. I understand filtering out obvious spam and “omg ur ugly” comments but there are some bloggers who won’t let any questions or polite criticism through. So I’ll applaud Sarah OUaL for allowing an actual discussion here.

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  9. For what it’s worth, I love your blog, it’s real, well written, always entertaining and often motivational. Kinda surprised people went so batshit crazy?
    The takeaway was pretty obvious first time around–responsiveness to customers, potential and current is basic. Nothing pisses me off more than an ignored inquiry. I never do it, certainly never in my professional life. It’s bad business and bad manners. How did we get into a debate about the constitution??

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  10. It’s your blog and you have your right to write what you want! I know from working in the corporate world for a while I HATED when people just didn’t respond so I understand. Sorry for all the backlash you received!

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  11. As someone holding grudges that extend decades over tiny things that other people wouldn’t even remember I’m totally okay with your response because it’s exactly how I live my life–and as an adult I stop reading blogs I don’t like that sound more like infomercials for craptastic stuff I don’t want and that’s like my internet dvr. Free will is totally amazing in these ways.

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  12. I didn’t see what the big deal was with yesterday’s post so I went back to re read it and still don’t see what the big deal is. Haters gonna hate.
    In the end it’s your blog so do and say what you want. (that’s what I always tell everyone and I follow as well).
    xoxo

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  13. Stand your ground Sarah. You’re so right, it makes me laugh at people that think you’re entitled or whatever. I worked in the insurance business for 6 years and customer service (or lack there of) is extremely important to me. Whether its a waiter, bank teller, or a race director–professionalism and customer service should always be their #1 concern. And a quick, “sorry, no we can’t help you” should have been sent out of courtesy. So unless all the emails you used somehow weren’t right, shame on that race.

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  14. It’s your blog — write what you want!

    I discovered GOMI a few months ago…it makes me sad that people can be so mean (and usually about really petty things). If you don’t like what a blogger has to say, don’t read it!

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  15. I have no idea what GOMI is but what’s with all the haters?! I was raised to write thank you notes and as an exec at a tech co I do try to reply to all requests even to say “no thanks”…plenty of other sites for people to surf if they don’t like yours, sheesh! Stand your ground…

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  16. I think you overdid it a tad, but I also think you realized it and there were definite tongue-in-cheek sediments to both posts. What I think is incredibly bothersome is the notion that some commenters have that you should be able to say whatever the hell you want and not be contradicted. Bloggers blog because they want attention (it’s true, I admit it) and interaction- it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. By leaving the comments section open (and I believe un-moderated, which I respect) you’re inviting debate. That’s what makes blogging interesting! It can’t be all oatmeal and negative splits all the time. The whole “fuck the haters who disagree” mentality is a result of too many parents that- okay I’m done.

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  17. The original post that apparently caused an uproar didn’t even phase me. To the point where I had to stop and think what your previous one was about when I read this because I didn’t understand what you were needing to defend. People are too sensitive. In fact, the original ‘problematic’ post made me giggle because I probably would have reacted to it in the same way you did.

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  18. playing catch up on weeks worth of blogs. holy shit. your past 2 have kept me reading for a while. WTF. 1. you are more brave than me to admit to the rejection and how it made you feel. 2. more brave than me to call out the “forum”….although i think i’m too small to be a target. love that you always speak your mind. hoping all is well in your world otherwise, my friend. xoxo

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  19. So basically you are saying Ragnar is only cool because they comped you?? I was pumped to do this in 2014 but really turned off now. Hot Chocolate was already a huge disappointment. What can we trust of what you ‘like’

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    • I was not comped at Ragnar and would 100% encourage anyone to run it or any other relay out there. I’ve paid for far more races than I haven’t, and any that I do quid pro quo I always give honest and fair feedback. That’s races, products, crap in general. Pinky promise.

      >

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  20. Yeah, everybody wants #FREESHIT just not everybody owns up to it. But is it really free if you have to do something for it?
    Oh, and I do oppose most forms of advertising and find that they do detract from the overall quality of life. In fact we got rid of television and magazines and I close my eyes when driving past billboards. But not movie previews. They can stay.

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  21. Would you be willing to specifically mention when a race, event or product you’re writing about was discounted or comped? That disclosure might help sort out some of the confusion your readers (including me) are feeling.

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  22. I know you earn money from your blog (either directly or in the form of comped merchandise and races), but aside from Oiselle and Nuun I’ve never been aware of specific sponsored races. While I can imagine race directors might prefer it this way – and while I think the fact that you can promote races honestly and enthusiastically is a testament to your writing and marketing skills – I agree that I would rather see a bit more explicitness (probably that’s not a real word) regarding your compensation. I know you wouldn’t promote anything you didn’t think was cool to begin with, but I think it would enhance the trust your readers place in you if we knew who was sponsoring your work. This trust is part of what makes social media advertising so powerful, so while of course you can do whatever you want, I think ultimately it would benefit all of us. Just something as simple as an asterisk by the name of a sponsoring brand in its first mention in a post would make me feel like I was in the loop.

    (Also, you should listen to me because I can do more pushups than you, thanks to the 100 pushups app, which is not sponsoring me.)

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    • Advertising disclosure for bloggers actually has been a hot topic lately, which is why you see a sudden influx of #ad #sponsored on twitter and such. I usually thank the company if product/compensation was provided, and never intend to be deceptive as I agree with you and Robyn above it does add validity to the post if it’s clear to the reader.

      This is all flying around like a whole new secret layer of OUaL is being uncovered. In the past three years I have run five (I went back and counted) times where the race has comped me, I receive discounted and some free product from Nuun and Oiselle, and have participated in a few campaigns where product (for me and reader giveaway) was provided for review. I hope that offers a little transparency. I haven’t been slinging shit behind y’alls backs but will make an effort to be even more open about it in the future.

      (I’ll keep working on my push ups)

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      • I’m sorry if my first post sounded confrontational. The amount of sponsorship you receive is about what I had thought it was; only when I read this post did I start to think it was more. And, really, I don’t care or understand why other people do. As far as most of us are concerned, you are a stranger on the internet – an interesting one who sometimes gives helpful pointers (like that inside-out-bra tip… my underboobs are the only part of my body that doesn’t hurt right now), but not someone who has a fiduciary responsibility to us.

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    situations listed here;. Not so long ago I discovered I overpaid
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    the company discovered a mess and netted close to $400 in monies that were not appropriately entered.

    Like

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