Editorial Policies

These policies are updated from time to time without notice. If you have any questions or comments about these policies, you may contact me here.

My Copyright Policies

All of the posts at this blog, with the rare exception of guests posts that appear from time to time, are my original works of authorship and I own the copyright to each one of them. While I welcome your references and links to my blog, I also expect respect of my copyright.

1. You may link to my blog and any posts appearing here.

2. You may re-post online up to 200 words (no more) of any post here without my express, written permission, so long as you do not make any changes or alterations to the post, and so long as you link back to the post you are re-posting. You must also include this credit with your link back: “© 2010, Donna Maria Coles Johnson. All rights reserved. Originally posted at www.IndieBusinessBlog.com.”

3. You may not print out and publish or distribute any written copies of my posts without my express, written permission.

My Disclosure Policies

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (sometimes called, “Blogger Guidelines”), here are my disclosure policies.

1. I often blog about members of IBN, a trade organization I founded in 2000 and which I now lead. My members pay annual dues to enjoy the benefits of the trade organization. I also blog about some of the companies that sponsor my work in IBN and to support and advocate for small businesses in general. I often blog, Tweet and FaceBook items of interest about these companies.

2. If a product or service I blog about was given to me or I purchased it at a discount, or it is offered as a free or reduced price prize for my blog readers, I will disclose that in the post.

3. I am the host and producer of the Indie Business Radio Show. My author guests provide me with one or more copies of their books so I can review them in preparation for the interview. From time to time, they send me more than one copy and I sometimes give extra copies away as prizes to my blog readers.

4. Companies that are a unique fit for my audience of small and independent business owners provide financial promotional consideration in exchange for the ability to display their branded logos and messages in the right column of my blog. These graphics and links, along with my own, are clearly marked as “Sponsors.”

5. As a member of the editorial influencer team at TJ McCue’s Q4 Sales, LLC, and am occasionally paid to help with content and social media work. Some of my Tweets and other social media sharing involve short consulting projects and promotional updates from Q4 clients.

6. My husband and business partner is a professional videographer and an independent representative with My Video Talk, a service that allows you to create video email messages and Web broadcasts to help you brand your business and connect personally with your customers and other stakeholders. From time to time, I post Tweets and other social media updates to inform my audience about my husband’s videography services and the My Video Talk service (which I use) and the accompanying business opportunity.

Community Guidelines

These polices maintain professionalism and authentic communication at this blog.

1. Registration is not required. At the end of each post, there is space for you to comment, ask questions, and connect with other people via FaceBook. All you need to do is click “LIKE” if you like a post, or you can also comment via the FaceBook Plugin and your comment will appear on your wall. It’s an easy way to share with your friends.

I also use the Disqus comment system, which makes it easy for you to create a profile containing your avatar, website link and other information. While I encourage you to use this commenting system, which increases your online visibility and boosts your brand, you are not required to do so and I will not reject your comments simply because you choose not to register.

2. Reply comments and follow up questions are welcome. As you can see, Disqus allows you to reply to comments using a threaded feature. You don’t have to use this feature, but I encourage it because it makes information easier to find and helps others put your contributions into proper context. I will not reject your comments simply because you choose not to use the threaded comment feature.

3. Disagreement is welcome, nastiness is not. I will approve comments that disagree with me or with other commenters. I will reject comments that are rude, nasty and disrespectful, especially if they are directed at another commenter. I will not send you an explanation if I reject your comment on these grounds.

4. Comments containing poor grammar and spelling errors. From time to time, I receive comments that are riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Most of the time, I delete them because lack of professionalism reflects poorly on me, my blog and the other people who comment here. On rare occasion, if such a comment contains helpful substance, I will edit and then post it.

5. Spam is not tolerated. I reject all comments that are designed solely to draw attention to your business or boost your SEO. If you want to expand your brand, buy an ad, hire an SEO expert, engage a publicist or learn how to maintain your own blog.

6. Unpaid advertising is not tolerated. I delete all comments that are thinly veiled (or not) efforts to promote your products or services at my blog. I have removed the “no follow” designation from my comments so that you enjoy SEO credit for the link you share with your comment. I did this because I want my blog community to receive a boost from participating here. But if your comment, in my discretion, is opportunistic in nature, seeking to use the comment area as a free ad for your products, your comment will be deleted without notice to you. If you’d like to advertise, let me know and I can set you up through my paid sponsorship program.

7. Your comments belong to you. Your comments are your original works of authorship and you are their sole owner. People commenting here often contribute very insightful commentary and I like to share their opinions, with credit to them of course. When you comment here, you are giving me permission to share your comments elsewhere, including on my radio show, here at my blog, at my social networking site, on Twitter, FaceBook and in presentations, talks and media appearances.