Hmm… well now, this is an odd predicament I’ve found myself in. I got an email today from a fairly well known candy producer (one of which I happen to love to reach for when my blood sugars are low) suggesting I join their online community.
Apparently they produce no-sugar added products and have partnered with the Canadian Diabetes Association to create this networking community of like-minded diabetics such as myself. If I join, they will publish the title of my blog posts, as well as the first few sentences of each post. And if their readers want to see the full article, they will then be pushed to my site.
The obvious benefits are increased exposure, increased traffic to my blog, and a forum to connect with other diabetics. Seems win-win, especially given that I set out this year to double my blog traffic by the end of the year.
However, here’s where I shy away. Unlike several other diabetic bloggers, I’ve kind of snubbed the diabetic community. I am not a member of DOC, or D-Life, or Tudiabetes, or any other diabetic specific forums. The reason: sometimes I feel like people see me only as diabetes, and I feel that if I attach myself to these communities, that will further ignite those thoughts. But the thing is, I am more than just diabetes, this disease does not define me, and I have spent years fighting against that typecast. And yes, I know my blog largely has to do with diabetic related stuff, but it also has to do with running, cycling, aqua jogging, hiking, etc., etc.. And I know it’s silly, because I have met some incredible diabetics through this blog, and I am sure the benefits of even larger diabetic communities are huge, but I don’t know, the fear of succumbing to that one perceived identity holds me back.
And then, there’s the whole no-sugar added business. I’ll be honest, I am not generally a fan of no-sugar added products. I have lived three quarters of my life with people telling me I can’t eat this and I can’t eat that, and there were several years where I tried to listen, and opted for things like sugar-free chocolates. However, these were in the days when I did not have self control, and did not look closely at warning labels, or ingredients, and would just mow down on the first thing I desired. Let me just say, mowing down on a box of sugar-free chocolates is NOT a smart idea. There was one Christmas where I was sure I had the norwalk, but nope, it was just that good, old-fashioned, sugar-free laxative effect!
I have since gained an appreciation for self-control, but I have also gained an appreciation for what exercising my body can do for me. I do not have to avoid sugar as long as I take care of my body. If I want a piece a chocolate, or a piece of cheese cake, or a scoop of ice cream, I just got to work a little harder for it – and I’m okay with that.
Trying out the new Leonidas in Vancouver… first discovered the beauty of this place and its wonderful chocolates while visiting Ghent, Belgium last year.
So what do I do? Do I accept the offer and risk increasing traffic to my site, or do I continue to snub the online diabetic community and continue to average the same decent, but not super fantastic, site visits day in and day out?
What would you do?
I think you should join….you may gain some valuable knowledge and others may gain something from you too! 🙂
The other reason….you will get more exposure.
Well the upside is exposure and further knowledge and the possibility of so much more, but the downside some may consider a telemarkerter???? 🙂
Just teaing Katie i think your knowledge experience and dedication would be an asset to anything you lend yourself too…
Hi Katie:). It’s been a while since I’ve posted…I have known you for many years and have been following your blog since the beginning. I don’t see you as a diabetic first,,,I see you more for your athleticism, your drive, your comedy and your style.
I don’t think that by signing up for this you will lose any of those qualities, they are what define you and your blog.
I deleted the email once I found out they were not sending me free samples.
Even though I wouldn’t accept sugar free samples any way.
if they are like minded diabetics then it should be all good reading/fun. are they asking to write about their product and do you feel pressure to say nice things about them? are they asking you to change your content in anyway? if no to all of the above then I vote do it and let them link your stuff and you keep doing your thing.
Would you get free candy?
I think you should join. I think you will gain more and be enriched by joining than not joining. And I believe you will enrich others lives. As you do mine! Joining isn’t going to define you or stereotype you, because you won’t let it.
It’s not the right message for you. It’s against everything you believe. I know you want more exposure. I want you to have more exposure. Your message will take longer, but the people who find you (lifestyle-induced, Type 2) will want to read you because you have not been co-opted by the mega-corps and Big Pharma — which invest in disease and cover up, not health. This food/diabetes thing is the new tobacco. Anti-smokers were treated like pariahs and idiots and wackos in the 70s and 80s and 90s. Where are we today? Less than 20% of the population smokes.
Paula Deen epitomizes the new corporate way. The Canadian and American diabetes foundations are in huge conflicts of interest, taking money from the Corps that are “health-washing” their products.
Listening to Marion Nestle, the thorn-in-the-side nutritionist on NPR this morning, she says huge dollars are being spent by food companies to walk both sides of the debate. Think Junior’s Cheesecakes diabetes-friendly pies.
You are the Anti-Diabetic, and you’re smart, and funny and cute and competitive and not used to taking the easy way out and I think you like being a thorn in the big boys side. You will get your following and notoriety by being true to your heart.
If this doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it.
I agree Katie, you do what is in your heart, you always have!!!
I need to start off by saying the high today is -34. Awesome. Anyway I wouldn’t join for a few diff reasons:
1. Sugar free chocolate is an oxymoron. Not only do they taste mediocre at best, you’ve already experienced the laxative effect.
2. The diabetes groups can be a little much at times
3. The company would be using your readers to promote their product, which you don’t get any benefit except exposure, which to me is bogus. 4. What if you want to slam their product, will they have a problem with that?
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking. Happy Friday!
Hmmm. A dilemma. Do you want more readers visiting your blog because you happen to have diabetes? Or because you are a funny read, a bright, delightful, informative, SURPRISING!!!, unfettered, writer who never fails to deliver the goods?
Not to dump on the candy company – but ya don’t need’em!! 🙂
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