I recently received a comment criticizing my acceptance of free stuff from local businesses. It was written in a troll-like manner (which I’ve said, in my previous post about my blog commenting policy, I wouldn’t post) but I wanted to address the idea of accepting free things in a post.

Whenever I’ve accepted something for free, I’ve said so, and I’ve noted my reservations about it in the post. But, look, unless you’re one of my friends or family members who reads this blog, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. All you have is my word, and the fact that you don’t personally know me. It’s the Internet.

I promise to always say when I accept something free. And honestly, if anything, when accepting something free, I have huge reservations and worry more and am even more careful about writing something up than when I paid.

I have a degree in journalism (and English). Oh, but you can only take me on my word about that too, it’s the Internet and you don’t know me. The point is, I am fully aware of the ethical duties that come with accepting free services when one is a journalist. But, I’m not a journalist nor am I trying to be one. I’m a blogger. I will tell you what I think, I’m not impartial and I’m not trying to be.

My feeling is, as long as I disclose that I accept something free, and you take that for whatever it means, (whether it be that I had more praise for X business because they gave me something free or whether I was even more measured in my praise/criticism because I accepted something free) I think we’re fine. And if you don’t agree, I think that’s fine too. It’s my blog, and this is how I feel about accepting free stuff.

Dear readers, I will be returning to North country for a week starting today. That means that posts will be lighter, and that I’ll only be able to update on what I read on the Internets. This is the first time I’ve been on a vacation since I lost my old job in December (which wasn’t quite a vacation, anyway) so I’m quite looking forward to my time in Massachusetts. There might be some blog posts about my time at home, if you don’t mind.

If you see anything happening in the U street area that you think is worth blogging about, send me an email: ustreetgirl@gmail.com. See you back in the district next week.

Hi all, a quick administrative note: I’m moving on Friday (to another building in the U street area). I have a lot of things to do between then and now, and I still kind of have to work. So, apologies if the posts this week are not as plentiful or in depth. And, even though I hope to have Internet access the day I move in, Comcast is notoriously horrible, so posts might be a little light going into next week as well.

I will be so happy once this whole move is done. You forget how much you hate moving until you find yourself doing it again. I swear, I’m never moving out of my new place, until I decide to move back to Massachusetts for good.

The Internet is a weird thing, especially when it comes to comments. I have a filter that automatically catches “spam” comments and I personally approve all comments that appear on this blog. But, I’ve received a few comments that have finely hit the border between spam/trolling and a legitimate comment and I wanted to set out my philosophy on blog commenting.

First, I will not post comments that are blatant advertisements. I recently received pretty much a press release in form of a comment, and while I know the world of PR is tricky right now (I’ve worked for various organizations with their PR efforts) I don’t think the purpose of blog comments is to advertise services/businesses. I think the purpose of comments is to advance discussion on a given topic the blog addresses.

I will also not post comments that are off-topic, don’t add to the discussion of a particular post, or are inflammatory in any matter. It’s that simple.

I believe that each person who runs/moderates a blog can set out their own policy on commenting, and that any is acceptable for whatever purpose their particular blog serves. Therefore, this is my policy, and I will not argue it.

In other news, I’ve set up a U Street Girl email address for you, my dear readers, to use if you would like to send me any tips, information, etc. I wasn’t comfortable using my personal email address, so that is why none was listed. It is ustreetgirl@gmail.com. It is now also listed in my “About” page.