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Where are Weblogs Inc and Gawker Media’s Katrina Appeal ads?

Where are Weblogs Inc and Gawker Media’s Katrina Appeal ads?

Duncan Riley> I have a great deal of respect for both Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis, and indeed both have provided interesting and thoughtful coverage on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but here’s a challenge if you read their blogs: most bloggers and blog networks are now (including Weblog Empire) running support ads and including posts in relation to giving donations to the relief effort for Hurricane Katrina. Sure, life must go on in terms of news and information across all blogs, but it doesn’t hurt to provide at least one ad space for a charity for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Where are the ads on the Gawker Media blogs and Weblogs Inc., blogs as at 9:30 am Saturday US EST?. Jason and Nick, its 9:30pm my time. I want to wake up tomorrow (my 30th birthday by the way) and see those ads on your blogs, otherwise I’ll be getting the readers of the Blog Herald to tell you why you should be listening to my advice. Please join us in helping those in need. All it takes is one small space in your ad inventory.

View Comments (22)
  • Duncan,

    It seems like a simple and reasonable request. Sometimes those are the hardest one’s to get filled.

    Let’s see if they comply or fight…it will take the same amount of effort to do either.

    We have a number of different relief organizations highlighted with banners on our network and intend to continue doing so for a long, long time. This will be a long, methodical process and it will take years to get past it.

    BTW – Happy Birthday !

  • Thanks Mike
    It heartens me to know that I’m not alone in my thinking on this one. My wife is at the stage now that she actually wont read the posts here at the Blog Herald from people looking for loved ones because it upsets her so much, and I’ve got to admit that I’m finding it hard to read the comments to. What can one say…its so sad, so upsetting. At the end of the day our efforts might not amount to much but even if we can make a small difference I know that as human beings we will be better for it.

  • Duncan,

    I think one of the things that has to be considered is that such things can be viewed in a negative light by readers – i.e ‘Oh, another one jumping on the bandwagon’. I’ve read a few blogs today where posters are asking people to give donations etc. Theres nothing wrong with that, but it does wear thin after a while.

    From my personal point of view, I see the news broadcasts and am able to make a decision myself whether or not to give a donation – I don’t need it to be forced upon me everywhere I go.

    Basically, I guess what I’m saying is that alot of folks view these things as a publicity stunt or ‘lets make us look like we are really nice people’ stunts.

    Nothing personal intended – just wanted to give a different opinion across.

  • Gruk
    I respect your opinion, and I’m not even asking for a post, although understand that, and I can assure you unintentionally, traffic has been flooding in, in relations to Katrina. When I posted an appeal to link people up after I got a comment from a reader who was looking for loved ones I honestly didn’t know I’d be looking at over 200 comments (probaby larger now) on the subject.

    I dont think its much to ask to a small ad spot to be provided with a link to give donations across the two largest blog networks on the planet (in terms of traffic)….l suppose its a matter of solidarity. I know realistically that it won’t make a huge difference, but morals aren’t about numbers, they are about doing whats right.

    I also respect that it can wear thin, which is why I think its important to note that life must go on. But to ignore a tragedy like this is, dare I say it,verging on the immoral (although I’d rather not get into a debate about immorality you’d understand, this blog is apolitical and areligous generally speaking)

  • I should ad:
    “Basically, I guess what I’m saying is that alot of folks view these things as a publicity stunt or ‘lets make us look like we are really nice people’ stunts.”

    I’ve been called niave and worse lately in regards to my view on human nature. You know what, I accept that. I’d rather look for the good in all people than the bad. Sure, some might take advantage of it, but take 5 minutes to read the 200+ posts on the missing people appeal here at the Blog Herald and tell me if you seriously wouldn’t be moved enough to make the same call. As I’ve written elsewhere I’ve got a family, and nothing is more important to me in the world. I cant start to imagine the hurt and distress these people are feeling. I have been literally bought to tears by the content on The Blog Herald in the comments. What more can I say….

  • Gruk, there could be some truth in that, which is why I’m not jamming it down my readers throat. I have a simple logo of the American Red Cross which links direct to their donation page … it’s simple and to the point. I think everyone knows what’s it about. There’s nothing more to be said!

    But aren’t we damned-if-we-do and damned-if-we don’t … we don’t help out and we’re seen as selfish whatever – and if we do we are simply using it as a cheap publicity stunt to make us seem like good blogger citizens.

    At this stage, I don’t think the people in the affected areas give a hoot where the money/help comes from … just get it there!

    Duncan – the big 3 0 ! Happy Birthday

  • I agree, it is a tough call – and my comments come purely from a readers point of view, not as a blogger.

    I have given a donation, and did so on the first day. It is upsetting to read some of the stories etc, and I have lots of sympathy for those involved – though it’s saddening to hear of people hampering the efforts by shooting at rescuers etc.

    Personally, I would say the best route would be to make a single post saying ‘we are thinking about you, here’s where folks can make a donation’.

    There are a few blogs that have posted 1) A post saying they are going to write another post about donations, followed by 2) A post about ad space they have dedicated to donations, followed by 3) A post about everyone else that has done the same and finally 4) A post updating everything in the last 3. It’s just too much quite frankly.

  • Katrina is a disaster no doubt, but keep in mind that others are suffering from other types of “disasters” that are just as important to them. It’s dishonorable to imply that Nick and Jason are ignoring the problem or behaving selfishly simply because they don’t display certain ads on their blogs. Shall we also begin campaigns to pressure bloggers to do more to fight cancer… starvation… domestic violence… animal cruelty?

    Personal I would like to wake up tomorrow and see ads on this blog for a variety of different charities which are important to me. But if I don’t see them, I shall respect your decision, and I won’t make posts on my blog to send supporters of that charity chasing you down to force your compliance. I think you should show that same level of respect to Nick and Jason. If you want to ask them about their decisions, do so privately.

  • Anyone can put up an ad or a post about donating to the hurricane efforts – what about giving a percentage of a certain month’s ad revenue?

    That would do more than just an ad.

  • Funny when I mentioned that people should not be making money off of their google ads from this hurricane, you said I was trying to be provacative, now you are spouting the exact same provacative statements.

    Now of course you will be rebut about this post, thats cool its a free country. I still stand by what i say if you are going to report about the hurricane, you should not be making money on it. Google should flip a switch and put PSA’s on those pages that are reporting about the hurricane. I said this a week ago, and i still believe this. my previous comment is on this post

    You have a great blog, and I read it everyday so don’t think this is a major criticism, its just to pint out that I made these comments back on August 29th.

  • Hey Steve,

    ” I think you should show that same level of respect to Nick and Jason. If you want to ask them about their decisions, do so privately. ”

    Kinda like what you COULD have done with Duncan, is it not ?

    BTW – I’m not trying to attack Steve, just pointing out a small inconsistency. Also, I link to Steve from my blob.

    Just a thought.

  • Uhhh…. our you reading our blogs?!?!?!?

    Our bloggers have been blogging about giving in their posts since this all started!!!!

    Blog posts work much better then ads slots, and it was my call to do that.

    Additionally, Weblogs, Inc. is matching donations from our bloggers which is going to be a couple of thousand dollars (one of our bloggers donated their entire pay check for the month!!!). Just because we haven’t been telling everyone how much we’re donating doesn’t mean we’re not doing it.

    You have me on your IM and email… why wouldn’t you do your homework before you call us out?!

  • Hey Duncan, this may sound dumb but do you have the code where I can place the “Feed the children” Ad at? And is it customizable? (as in I can change the layout from banner to tower like in Google Ads?)

  • Actually I made a deliberate decision not to put donation ads on my blogs. My reasoning on this is quite simple. People have been made very well aware of the situation and of the many ways to donate. At this point my adding additional links and banners isn’t going to make any difference to awareness on the subject. This isn’t a cause that needs championing.

    My main blog is a science fiction and fantasy one. It’s about entertainment and escape from the real world. I think its quite reasonable to present people with a place where they can escape from some of the horrors of real life for a while.

    Personally I’ve about got to the point where the coverage of Hurricane Katrina is so constant that I’m switching off.

  • Eduardo: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Calling out Weblogs, Inc’s 130+ bloggers–two of which were displaced–without knowing all the facts is just dumb. Duncan knows my email and IM and phone number and Skype. He could have pinged me, instead he called me out in public without the facts.

    WIN bloggers have no donated $5k–their money! Not telling other people to do it… that’s impressive.

    Duncan: In the future just call me–don’t call me out!

  • Yes it is rather stunning that they are not raising money or helping to raise money. While I do not have the most professional blog, I have raised about $600 for America’s Second Harvest, a food bank network.

    I thought that by my not talking about Katrina for my entire two hour program, that I would see some criticism but actually my listenership has shot up. I think people were looking for some escape from the depressing coverage and hear other news and comments. Most emails said, they wanted normalcy restored to some extent.

    While yes I am struggling to gain audience and get my program more visible, I am VERY proud of the amount I have raised.

    Come on Gawker, I know you can do much better.


  • Duncan apologized to me on his personal blog:

    Let’s let this one go folks… everyone was upset at what they saw last week. Duncan lashed out, we got hit… but he didn’t mean to do it.

    We’ve raised $6,000 and created the “dog ear” graphics that a lot of folks are using across the Internet. I feel like we’re doing a lot and I think everyone will do a lot more over the next couple of weeks.

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