I want my blog to be the blog of OrigamiGirl.
I want people looking for OrigamiGirl to find it by searching for Origami Girl.
I want people who are searching for my full name to find my professional work.
I want people who read my blog to not be able to find my details on Facebook.
The ONLY people I want reading about everything I say and everything I do are my close friends. That’s why I keep my Facebook private and picky.
You know what is ruining that? You know what is ruining my happy blog space?
Let me explain. So a giveaway is when a blogger is given an offer by a company of a free object in return for some advertising, usually. She offers, for example, a dress for free to her followers who must fulfil some criteria for a chance to win.
I’m going to talk you through the three stages in the history of giveaways and how this process of trying to win the unobtainable dress via giving up my privacy has left me abandoning a number of blogs.
The follower friendly way. In the historic way the blogger put up some photos of the dress and a link to the dress-shop. Her followers leave a comment below and their choice of how to be contacted if they win. They are perhaps enthralled with the dress and go buy it anyway when they don’t win. The blogger might say that you have to be a follower to enter the competition, but trusts you to follow in the way you choose, and so gains a few people who hadn’t been swayed before, or who were searching for giveaways because they love free things. It’s a win-win all round.
The Facebook way. This is where the blogger and the shop have become obsessed with Facebook. To enter a giveaway now you have to: follow the blog AND ‘like’ the blog on Facebook. Then you have to ‘like’ the shop as well. Perhaps you have to follow the blog on Bloglovin so they can have the pleasure of counting their followers who had the blog on an RSS feed and wouldn’t let them track numbers before. After the Giveaway is over you find yourself with a Facebook page of updates for blogs, pictures of shoes in the Asos sale and Threadesence’s unrealistic models peering at you. All I want on Facebook are my friends, not a cluster of adverts.
The Rafflecopter-complete meltdown. This is where it lately all went a little bit mental.
Someone has decided that giveaways now need to be done through a third party mediator. Now, not only do you allow Romwe, Facebook and the blog running the giveaway access to your name, email address and buying habits, a third party wants them too.
This is how giveaways are that make me mad:
This is the app you have to use to enter a lot of giveaways now. Note the link to Facebook immediately highlighted.
I can just click on ‘recent activity’ and can see who entered!
I entered with a fake name and my email for junk stuff to get to the next page. It asks me to finish this entry to unlock the rest? Oh wait, I haven’t done enough? Apparently I need to follow this blog. I already do follow her via Blogger. But that isn’t enough, it wants Bloglovin as well.
Like the Cat in the Hat the Rafflecopter says, ‘Oh no, that is not all I can do’. For more chances to win a random thing, I have further options to give my privacy away even more. Eleven more entries which, note the language, I can earn.
At no point in it is the giveway framed as thanking supporters for following your blog, for comforting you in hard times and giving you endless compliments. Now you have to earn your right to have a chance for a free thing. As you can see I can combine other accounts I own, such as Twitter and Etsy with the entries. Sigh.
I have at last spotted a ‘Terms and Conditions’ link. However this only comes through on the app, after I have done the first entry and clicking on Terms and Conditions did not bring anything up!
When I see a mess of privacy invasion like this, crossing my Facebook, Google account, Bloglovin and others over without giving me any guarantee as to what they will do with my information I do not want to enter your giveaway. And sadly, it makes me angry with the blogger. This is why I don’t feel any shame in using one blogger’s giveaway to expose the problems in the rest. It’s highly likely that you don’t understand the implications. However, those of you who ask for me to follow you in multiple ways should at least consider that too much of anything becomes an irritant.
You don’t even have to do it this way. SomeoneLikeYou is one of the only people still doing blog giveaways in what I deem a respectable way. I would like to quote what she says in her giveaway:
“You don't even have to be a follower of my blog. You don't have to like this or follow that... This isn't about self promotion. It's about saying thank you. You can be a first time visitor or someone who has visited my blog since it started three years ago...You can be from half way across the world, my home town, my life here at Kent...anyone is welcome to enter.”
Because honestly, I want to spend more time on her blog and appreciate her more because she asks so much less. So please! Stop using Rafflecopter! Let’s make giveaways about community and thanking followers again, rather than about giving our lives to Facebook.
P.S. If you want to see me being happy and skipping instead my previous blog post is all about that and the sea. I'm going to look at those photos now to calm myself down.