I run a website about rockhounding called southwestrockhounding.com (external link). It’s been fun so far. So far. This is what I just posted to that site:
My latest posts reviewing different rock shops have proved popular with my readers and unpopular with a few people who imagine that I am profiting from them. Let me make this very clear, I have no financial relation with any company I review or describe and I make no money from this site. Is that clear?
There are no ads on this site, no effort to monetize my writing or photographs, no copyright restrictions spelled out, nothing. I deliberately started paying for Vimeo to host my videos so people don’t have to see ads with YouTube. I pay full rate for web hosting to avoid all ads.
There are banners for my Patreon site but that is only for people who want to help support me. It’s voluntary, strictly that. I make no money from Patreon by the way, since no one has signed up. No matter. None of the content on this site is locked down or costs. Nothing.
There is no charge to use this site, no e-mail to give, no password to set, no cookies enabled. Nothing. This practice isn’t uncommon. Take Wikipedia for an example. They don’t run ads, they don’t sell or rent their demographic information, and they don’t sell any e-mail address.
My reviews of any rock shop stems from coverage I had originally intended to use in my book. The death of that contract leaves me with hundreds of unused photos that I can now share. I’m getting the text for each post from my travel list, which is also free.
I am very happy to support all of the rocks shops that helped me with my book by letting me take photos and by providing information on their operations. Most of these shops support rockhounds with local hunting advice and they often support their local rock club. We should wish them well and it is sorrowful that some people mistake my promoting for profiteering. Like the poor, the stupid will always be with us.
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