Monday, August 10, 2009

Full Disclosure

A recent anonymous commenter on this post insinuated that this blog has some nefarious hidden agenda.

“too many local blogs like this one are advertising without disclosing the personal gain involved in the positions taken, leading to straw man arguments that readers know is junk.”

Hmmm, how do I respond to that?

Well, for one, the greatest personal gain I realize from this blog is the satisfaction that people seem to enjoy reading it. I enjoy writing and it is gratifying to have people read and comment (even anonymously) on the things I write.

As far as other personal gain, I assume the commenter meant financial gain. That answer is easy. I don’t get paid by anyone to write this blog. If anything, writing the blog costs me money since the only currency I possess is time and anytime spent doing something other than commercial real estate costs me money. Someday I may sell ad space on this blog to rectify that but as of now it is only a labor of love.

I readily admit that I work as a commercial real estate broker. I have never sought to hide that. There is even a link called “My Real Job” under “Good Stuff” in the right side column of the blog. I help businesses manage their real estate needs whether it is finding a new location and negotiating a lease or finding tenants for the owner of a commercial property. This work gives me a unique opportunity to make observations on the local business climate. I am pro business and make no apologies for it. That being said, I also believe in the public good. When a business does something that betrays the faith of the public, I don’t hesitate to point it out.

I have no business relationship with General Growth Properties. I don’t list any of their buildings. I have represented businesses in lease negotiations with GGP and I have also represented a developer who purchased land from them in Emerson. Presently I do not own, nor am I a partner in, any commercial property in Columbia.

I grew up in Columbia. At various times I have lived in the Columbia neighborhoods of Bryant Woods, Thunderhill, Cradlerock and Vantage Point. I currently live in Ellicott City. I have served on the boards of the Columbia Festival of the Arts, the Columbia Foundation, the Howard County Chapter of the American Heart Association, the Columbia Business Exchange and Leadership Howard County to name a few.

I believe that a healthy business community in Columbia is good for my family, my business, and everybody who has a stake here.


Andy said...

This reader comments don't even warrant a reply. I check this blog almost daily, and I find things, places and events I didn't even know existed. Why doesn't the commenter try to create something that people care to visit, rather and to anonymously bitch.

Freemarket said...

Well said, Andy.

Btw, is "straw man" the phrase of the week among the anon(s) or something?

Bob O said...

I have to echo Freemarket: "Well said."

That guy Anonymous--man, he's everywhere on the interwebs, causing problems everywhere he goes! It's time he gets a life, or at least a real name!

Dave W said...

Does anyone else find ironic that an anonymous commenter is demanding "full disclosure"?

Anonymous said...

Pretending to disclose vs. putting forth a non-disclosure (anon signature) are two different matters entirely.

One is honestly covert, the other is dishonest.

It's clear to me, but those who support this bloggers positions will find it ironic, however dishonest.

MrMuggs said...

I really enjoy this blog. I live in Ellicott City and a lot of times this blog along with HowChow provide me with more information on the area than I can get anywhere.

I believe in a free market and someone being paid for their work if someone else is interested in compensating them in some manner. I think the problem these days is that too many blogs that are somewhat personal in nature are taking "gifts" without disclosing it.

As a reader, you read an article about the blogger's previous night out at a new restaurant and you wonder if the restaurant paid for the blogger's meal along with a few winks and nods so you're not sure if the casual story about a great new restaurant where the blogger took their wife and kids is a real review or a sneaky advertisement. I don't know if I would call them scandals but there have been a number of examples of this over the past few years.

IMO, it all comes down to a matter of trust. Who knows? Maybe seeing the Colosseum and Ryan Real Estate ads gave the Mr. Anonymous an itch they wanted to scratch because they work for Re/Max. =) Either way, I really enjoy your site and I wouldn't let one person's comments bother me!

wordbones said...

Mr. Muggs,

Thanks for the positive feedback. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

The "ads" for Ryan and the Colosseum are simply placeholders for what may eventually become paid ad space. Ryan Commercial is my "real job" so I am simply shamelessly promoting that which puts bread on my table.

The Colosseum is the gym where I work out. I have been training with the one of the owners, Tim Gallagher, for over ten years now. I consider Tim to be a good friend and so, again in the interest of full disclosure, I would have to say I do have a bias towards his gym. On the other hand, he doesn't pay for that ad, he charges me the same rate as any other gym member and he kicks my ass two days a week.