Large publications often try to maintain separation between ad sales and editorial staff. One-person publications don’t have such luxuries, especially when we sell some of our ads directly, but we can at least maintain internal standards of objectivity and separation of priorities.
Since publishing yesterday’s Adobe Revel sponsorship, I’ve had a number of readers make comments that suggest that I wouldn’t criticize Adobe, or that I couldn’t objectively discuss photo apps anymore, because of the sponsorship.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Adobe is a huge company that makes some software that I like and use often, mainly Photoshop and Lightroom, and some software that I dislike and avoid, including Acrobat and Flash. The Adobe Revel sponsorship was a multi-week buy, and it’s not over yet, but I’m not afraid to say here that I don’t like some Adobe software.
Someone at Adobe could see this post and get angry because I don’t like Acrobat or Flash, or because I’m talking about the sponsorship. But I don’t think they’ll care, because the people I’ve spoken with there are extremely reasonable. In fact, while negotiating this sponsorship, I posted this sharp criticism without hesitation, and they never mentioned it.
If a sponsor ever has a problem with something I write, and that affects pending or future sponsorship buys, that’s fine with me. I can find other sponsors. And if I can’t, I’ll write for free, like I did for years. If given the choice between writing for free or censoring myself, I’ll write for free. Fortunately, nobody’s forcing me to make that choice today.
A writer’s reputation can’t be easily jettisoned and started fresh. Writing is extremely important to me, and I never want to compromise it. Any given sponsor is temporary, but credibility is for life.