This week I was approached by a blog site called My Trending Stories (“MTS”). They had apparently seen one of my posts and enjoyed it. The initial approach was so complimentary that I was hugely flattered. Naturally I emailed back and asked for more information.
A generic reply email was sent, but I was still flattered and with nothing much better to do at the time, I reply again with more specific questions.
Sadly, when the reply came through with further flattery and promises to really help mentor me and help me become an influential blogger – rather than answering my direct queries, my natural cynicism kicked in big time.
I had a bit of a Google. I posted on a couple of blogs I found saying the poster had joined MTS. I looked over MTS’s actual website and I read their terms and conditions.
I should have saved everyone time and done that to start with.
It seems to me that MTS has basically contacted everyone with a blog. Whilst some of the posts were fantastic, all too many were poor. It appears not to be about quality but quantity. My ego stood up to me at that moment and told me there was no chance I was going to be one of the masses.
(I didn’t even know I had an ego to this point. It was an impressive discovery!)
The final nail in the coffin however was the T&Cs. I didn’t even read through the whole lot. I got as far as the following two points:
1. MTS has the right to edit your work without your consent or approval.
2. MTS own your work once it’s posted and have every right to pass it onto their affiliates and third parties.
So, firstly, my name and my photo are going on a piece which may or may not be fully representative of what I actually want to say. Nope. Not happening.
On top of that, as soon as its posted, I no longer own my thoughts. Er, no.
And the decider is that they have the potential to earn money by sharing my thoughts and words with unnamed affiliates or third parties.
Take out of the equation the monetary factor, I still don’t want to lose control of where my work is. What if it was edited so it changed my point and then sold into a magazine or website that I fundamentally objected to?
Maybe I am too much of a worrier and none of this would have happened. Maybe it could have launched me onto a wider stage where I could begin to make money from my ramblings. It’s just the fact it COULD happen that made me email back and turn down their offer.
I am still flattered and one day I hope that something comes up where I can be part of a collective of fantastic bloggers. I think before then, my writing needs to make huge improvement!
I am not writing this post to knock MTS. I am writing it in case anyone else has that same sense of unease that I did. I read through half the T&Cs before realising it was a bad idea. Even with my legal background, it was hard going. I thought that by stating my main concerns on here, I may help someone else save the time it takes to read through!!
Good luck to everyone who has joined the MTS team. I have nothing but positive support for you all. I hope that you find this a rich and rewarding experience, and I look forward to reading more of your work.
One thing this whole experience has left me with is a great new site to read random things on!