Sunday, January 09, 2005

Did Glenn Reynolds really comment on my blog?

In my previous post about Glenn Reynolds, a commentor named "Glenn" wrote the following:

Er, try reading my FAQs before you call me a hypocrite, next time. OK?

I wrote the following comment in response:

I'm sure the real Glenn has been called a lot worse then a hypocrite, and he's not going to waste his time with semi-anonymous comments on my unknown blog.

I have since received an email claiming to be from Glenn, which I feel I can publish since it doesn't say anything he wouldn't want published:

That actually was me commenting on your blog. And the point was *undisclosed* payments. They're disclosed in my FAQs.

Unfortunately there's no way of knowing if the email really came from Glenn. He used a Gmail account. There were no IP addresses in any of the email headers from Tennessee or anything, so it could be Glenn or it could be an elaborate ruse. Who knows?

When I did a Technorati search for http://www.instapundit.com, my post came up pretty prominantly, really screaming for attention. Glenn probably uses Technorati to see if he's being blogged about, so I guess he really did read the post, and probably he did leave the comment.

So let's look at Glenn's FAQ:

Are you as good-looking as your picture?

No. Unlike Rachael Klein, I am not as good looking as my picture.

Oops, wrong issue. Glenn didn't have any complaints about my comment that he was handsome. I think it's this that he was referring to:

Why do you link to Amazon so much?

Amazon's not just a bookstore, it's a major source of information, with reviews, etc. Plus, since Virginia Postrel browbeat me into it a while back, I started putting my wife's referrer code in the links (when I remember) which makes her a little money. And I like Amazon -- I buy a lot of stuff from them -- so I like to support them.

This comment from the FAQ doesn't really address the point of my post. I never said his affiliate links were hidden. They were obvious to me. The exact words from my previous post:

Glenn Reynolds might point out that it's transparent he's getting a kickback from the percolator, because anyone can tell by examining the link. And he would have a point, but I think that the majority of web surfers don't realize the true nature of affiliate links and they think Glenn is just enthusiastic about a percolator.

I should also add that the majority of web surfers have not bothered to read the FAQ.

But I also said that I don't have a problem with people making money from their web traffic. Glenn puts a lot of effort into his blog and he's entitled to reap some monetary rewards!

"Hypocrite" is probably too strong of a word considering that Armstrong Williams made a vastly larger amount of money from shilling for Bush than Glenn made from his percolator post. And it's true that Glenn's links are semi-disclosed.

But am I really the only person on the whole internet that doesn't see the irony of Glenn trying to make some money by posting about a percolator on the same day he complains about someone else writing for money?

I guess now that I'm on Glenn's enemy list, no Instalaunches for me. I'm going to cry :(

UPDATE

Well, it was definitely Glenn, because he responded to my reply which went to the email address posted on his blog. He claims he wasn't really trying to sell the percolator. :)

7 comments:

mdmhvonpa said...

Made the big time, eh?

Libertarian Girl said...

No, I made the small time. Glenn Reynolds will never link to after I called him a hypocrite.

Paul Snively said...

It might be time to insist that folks start digitally signing their e-mails with a key that has itself been signed by at least three other people with signed keys, and so on. PGP and GPG both support this, and I'd support holding key-signing parties in the Los Angeles area. Note that the e-mail address doesn't have to have anything to do with one's real name or location; you just have to come up with at least three people with keys of their own who are willing to vouch that it's your e-mail address. It's not anonymity; it's pseudonymity with trust, which I think is a vastly more important tool to have.

Greg said...

He seems to respond to queries about his personal life more than issue criticisms. Once I did a post expressing surprise that he identified himself as a Presbyterian, since he doesn't sound especially religious on the site, and got a comment response from a "Glenn Reynolds," although the e-mail bounced back when I wrote to the address this person left (post and comment here: http://www.gregpiper.com/archives/002640.html). I still think it's him, since he mentioned a band that I turned him onto a couple years ago.

Bowly said...

Oliver Willis calls him shit like "shill" all the time. It usually actually results in a link. Calling Glenn names appears to help get linked.

bob d said...

Libertarian Girl, I agree with what you originally said. Glenn Reynolds said he was never paid any money for his blog posts, and you correctly called him out on it. Even if it's not a lot of money, everytime he makes a post with a link to Amazon.com or some other site, he's potentially making some money from it. Considering how much traffic he has, he's probably making a LOT of money because he does posts like that all the time.

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