It’s apparently all the rage to write a post about the ethical decisions you make when writing a blog. Lucky from One Mile at a Time wrote his. Gary from View From the Wing also wrote his opinions on the subject. The internet is a complicated place and everyone has to draw their own line about what they’re willing to do and what they’re not. Sharon and I try to be truly honest about what we write on the blog. The things we write are our own thoughts and haven’t been cleared by anyone, except maybe each other. When we get any type of compensation for a link or referral, we’re always totally up front about what you’ll get and that we’ll get something, too.
I still have my feelings about what everyone has written on the subject. I don’t want to call this post a rant, because I think all rants ever do are let you get something off of your chest. Instead, I prefer to think of this post as a series of thoughts. The way I wish the world worked, which, for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t. But it should. If I had my way about things. Which I don’t.
I know there are many tips and tricks for travel on the internet. When I read those posts, I know that by publishing this information the author will get more people to click to their website. Unfortunately, the information the reader finds is sometimes either totally wrong, ethically questionable or possibly illegal. Should I share information like this on the blog? Using the lyrics of an often misquoted Meatloaf song for an explanation, “I’ll do anything for the blog, but I won’t do that.”
I got into writing because my friends would constantly ask how Sharon and I were able to travel around the world the way we did without having hit the lottery. I explained some of the basics of points and miles but there’s so much to share that having a reference online was a better way to go. Now when someone wants to change a Southwest Flight, has questions about where to eat in Orlando or even wants to know how to see the sights from The Sound of Music, we have an article to send them with all the information.
So now that I keep looking for articles, what if I find out how you can sneak into an exclusive bar, a way not to have to pay for parking or maybe there’s a way you can get a sign-up bonus for a credit card you aren’t eligible for just by editing an URL? Should I share that information with you? It’s accessible; I mean I found it easy enough. But should I propagate it? (FYI, I’ve known of ways to do all three of the above activities)
I made a conscious decision that I’m not going to write about things like that. If it’s not something I would do or, even more so, if I wouldn’t tell my parents to do it, then I’m not going to publish that info. I don’t want to put you into a situation where you need to explain to someone, “Well the people on Your Mileage May Vary said I could do this.”
Heck, I’ll even share a link. Not from any fly by night page but from READERS
(FREAKIN) DIGEST! The magazine sold at the grocery store for your grandparents to buy. Here’s an article I found on their website:
Finally! Here’s a Map with Airport Wi-Fi Passwords All Over the World
Here’s the kicker, this isn’t just a map for how to get free Wi-Fi at airports as that would be fine. It’s a map with the passwords so you can steal from all the locked airport Wi-Fi networks like lounges, restaurants, etc. Ever wonder why you see people sitting outside airline clubs on computers? They’re usually stealing the Wi-Fi from inside the club. To make things worse, that slows down the network for everyone who is rightfully inside the club.
I would never condone doing this. I’ve never done it. I’d find some way to get internet access through the correct channels or I’d do without. This sets off my moral compass so I’m not going to tell you to do this. I had to share this article as an example, but please don’t do this, OK? Promise? I’m trusting you.
I’ve had many instances of things I’ve read but don’t share. Sometimes they’re just too time sensitive for you to be able to act on them. Other times they’re things I’m not interested in so if you’re looking for cheap airfare from Turkey to New Zealand, not much help will be found on our site. Most importantly, I’m not going to share information that I wouldn’t use myself. End of story!
However, if you want to know about How To Avoid Crazy Toll Charges When Renting A Car in Orlando, or What Are “Preferred” Seats on Delta and Why Pay Extra to Sit There? or even what to do When You’re Staying At A Hotel, Don’t Be Like “Naked Guy” – keep tuned for more of our articles.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary