This page points out where in TNPC we try to line our pockets with Internet gold (which is about all we can do until some venture capitalist on a white charger rides up and offers us a couple of million to buy TNPC). We’re never shy about where we stand to make a buck but every now and then we get some silly email from someone who mistakes us for the Fourth Estate. So here’s what we do to turn an honest farthing.
TNPC is free to anyone who subscribes to it. It is not, however, free to us to write it and send it out every two weeks so wherever we can make an honest dollar you can count on us to try. About the only thing we haven’t done to date is ask for donations (ah, we accept all major credit cards and PayPal in case you’re suddenly overcome with guilt about getting so much out of TNPC for free).
We do not see anything wrong with our trying to make a profit wherever we can and we try to do so. We don’t hide this fact. We’re in it for the fame and fortune and because we know a lot about computers and like having our own soapbox where we can help people, write what we want, and even rant and rave on occasion.
On the TNPC Web site we have banner ads. Sure they’re annoying but we have them. Sometimes we’ve put them in unobtrusive places, like the bottom of a page, but nowadays they’re at the top. Hey, help us out and click on one once in a while, will ya? They look like the one you’ll see at the top of this page.
TNPC accepts advertising. The way this works is someone pays us money and we “rent” them some lines in our free newsletter to try to sell their product or service to you, the reader. Or I suppose they could use the space to propose so their sweetheart but that hasn’t come up yet. We accept money from anyone wanting to sell anything we don’t deem to be illegal or immoral. We clearly mark these advertisements in the body of the newsletter thusly:
+++------------ sponsor -----------+++ Your ad here +++------------ sponsor -----------+++
or like so…
+++--------- classifieds ----------+++ Your ad here +++--------------------------------+++
We don’t run background checks on our advertisers, we don’t ask for fingerprints, references, testimonials, or what political party they are registered with. Just because we run an ad in our newsletter does not mean we are endorsing their product or service. On several occasions we have mentioned a product or Web site upon which TNPC readers have flocked to. The owners of these products/sites have subsequently figured out they know a good thing when they see one and have become regular advertisers in TNPC.
We also recommend our own stuff. Recommend it and run our own ads for it. No, really! We’re proud of our Annoyances books (Jim and Lee are coauthors along with Woody Leonhard), The Unofficial Guide to Personal Computers that Jim, Lee and Dan Butler wrote and have now released on CD-ROM retitled, The Book That Should Have Come with Your Computer, and Jim and Lee’s latest hardware book, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to PC Upgrades. Sometimes we drop in ads for these books (again, clearly marked) or we may just harp on their virtures in an article. What’s more, we’ve even (gasp!) featured our own books in our newsletter’s Recommended Books section (which is not marked as an ad) because we actually recommend them to people. Imagine that.
Speaking of which, we recommend books in TNPC and always provide a link to Amazon where the book we’ve recommended can be purchased. We do this:
- Because it’s convenient, it makes it easy for a reader of our newsletter to find out more about the book (like how much Amazon charges),
- because Amazon has generally good prices (hey, we shop there ourselves), and
- because they have a nifty affiliate program and when you use a TNPC link to Amazon to buy a book we get a small percentage on the deal.
It doesn’t cost the buyer any more on Amazon than if they didn’t use our link so we think it’s a good deal for everyone.
Like the books, depending on the product’s freeware/ shareware/ commercialware status we try to provide an appropriate link to download and/or buy the product. If there is an affiliate program that we can partake in we’ll do so as a way to help defray expenses. For example we try to link to Amazon or Beyond because they generally have good prices and again, because we can make a cut on the transaction. If someone reads about our experience with a product or our review and recommendation of it, in our free newsletter, we think it’s okay to profit on it especially when it doesn’t cost the reader anything extra. And if you want to use an alternate order site please do so with our blessing.
TheNakedPCStore.com and PocketFlashLights.com
Our latest e-commerce venture is the TNPC Company Store and PocketFlashlights.com. When we did a review of the Photon Micro-Lights we had so many inquiries about purchasing these handy gizmos that we worked out a deal with the manufacturer whereby we can sell these pocket flashlights through our Company Store. At our PocketFlashlights.com site you’ll find only the Micro-Lights listed. At the TNPC Company Store you’ll find Micro-Lights, the Easy Hang-Up anti-telemarketing device, and our e-book, The Book That Should Have Come with Your Computer. Should we come across anything else we deem worthy of your consideration we’ll list it on our Company Store site as well. Remember, when you shop at either of these sites part of your purchase price goes to support TNPC.