Disclosures, possible conflicts of interest

I realized on Friday that this was a post I needed to write, not because I’m (currently) running into any conflicts of interest—that I know of—but to head off any future potential ones and establish a line. Also, to put down in writing the "policy" I’m following.

Read on…

If it’s not immediately obvious, I also have two other blogs that I write, my personal one here and one dedicated to beer here. Those are one-man shows, all me, and I have no problem with cross-pollination between them and this blog because they’re separately topical and, well, blogging is what I do. (If I ever launch more blogs, same deal.)

However, there are other sites that I’m associated with, either directly (as in, a partner in the site itself; I benefit from it) or indirectly (I’m the technical/web guy behind the site, but the business and design is someone else’s entirely; they benefit, I just work on it).

Those "indirect" site associations I have no problem linking to, along with a disclaimer that I’m involved with in some way: the Old Mill District, for instance, is one such. There are a good number of others.

It’s with those "direct" associations where a conflict of interest might arise. Those are sites that I’m invested in some way or another, expecting some benefit or gain, and I realized Friday while in a meeting with a group of people about one of these sites, that it wouldn’t be a stretch for someone to recognize me in conjunction with Hack Bend and want me to promote themselves and/or the other site using this blog here. Hence, possible conflict.

So here’s the deal. If/when I write about those sites in this blog, I’ll include the disclaimer that I’m directly involved with the site and to avoid bias or conflict in some way, I’ll not link to the site directly. I may (or may not) publish the domain for people to copy-and-paste themselves if they want to. But by avoiding linking directly, I’ll avoid boosting possible search engine rankings ("Google juice") for my own gain, and also avoid the "link farm" effect that tends to make one look like a spammer.

In essence, it removes the possibility of direct gain for myself, and hopefully, avoids the whole conflict part entirely. So I can be free to blog with impunity.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, in the interests of full disclosure, here are the three sites where there would be a conflict (no links, but I will include the URL to be clear):

  • Rent Bend – www.rentbend.com – online rental listings for Bend/Central Oregon. The site’s due for a major technical overhaul, but you can search the site for available rentals or sign up as a landlord/owner to list your own. This includes two domains that point to this site: www.rentredmond.com and www.gotosunriver.com.
  • Lease Portland – www.leaseportland.com – not live yet, but essentially the same as Rent Bend, except for Portland. I’ve included it here for completeness.
  • Modern Bend – www.modernbend.com – a website started by the company I work for, so while I’m not directly benefiting from it, I’m the "go-to" guy for the technical end of things, and I may well end up dealing with people here in town who might expect a plug to the site/themselves from me here.

If/when more sites go online, I’ll post the disclosures on them as well.