Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – May 30, 2008: DON’T JUMP AT EVERY WEBSITE OPPORTUNITY.

Because of our high visibility, we get frequent offers from various companies out there who want to cash in on what we have.

One such offer came in about a month ago from a very high profile website that lets a reader get comparison prices listed on a particular item mentioned. So, for example, if we reviewed a certain speaker, a reader could click the menu at the bottom of the review and see who sells it, and what the lowest price is out there. They sent us a contract and asked us to sign it, thinking that because they are so prominent, we would jump at the chance to be associated with them.

Wrong.

We showed our attorney the contract, and she said it restricted us from doing certain things but did not restrict them in any similar way. Also, there were line items on the contract that were irrelevant to our A/V focus. Lastly, we did not want to make any income from actual sale of a product, because that is a huge conflict of interest with reviewing the product objectively. We would make income only from click throughs to the various companies who sell the product, whether or not the reader bought anything. If a reader was interested in the product we reviewed (obviously based on a favorable review) he could check out the prices at several stores, and we would get paid for the fact he went from our website to the stores, but we would not make any commission on any sales.

So, she modified the contract, and we sent it back to the company.

They were shocked. They said no one had ever requested so many changes. Others had simply signed the contract. They could not understand why we refused income from actual sales to readers who went from our website to an Internet store and bought products that we reviewed.

So, around and around we went, until finally, they just dropped the whole thing. That’s amusing because we are certain they came to us in the first place as serious competition to their business model has started showing up on the Internet, and they want to sign up as many websites as possible before the others begin eating into their business.

The point is that, if you have a good website, others will want to share your success. You can make a fortune sharing your success with them, but it is not worth selling your credibility. Secondly, don’t just sign any contract that is part of that sharing. Read everything you are about to sign in fine detail. Request changes. If they don’t agree, then to hell with them. Wait for the good stuff. It will get to you sooner or later.

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