If you guys remember my 10,000 Facebook fan giveaway, I did something completely different from my normal stuff and made a purely fun giveaway. I picked out, purchased, and shipped the prizes myself.
Since things at home aren’t exactly peachy right now with the whole separation/divorce stuff, it took me a little longer to get them all shipped than I expected.
I apologize to anyone that hasn’t received their prize yet for ruining the surprise – this is what I sent:
They’re Eco Orbies, a product one of my friends sells that I happen to think is really cool. They start out as tiny little bead-looking things, then when you soak them in water, they grow to the size of small marbles. You can use them as decoration, to water your plants, float candles in them, or just as a fun little science experiment with your kids.
I chose them as a prize for several reasons – they’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, and reusable, which are all things I try to look for in products I use for my family. They are also small, easy to ship, and fun.
This photo from Crippled Girl shows just how tiny they are before you soak them in water:
So I’m sure you can imaging my disappointment when I received an email from one of the winners accusing me of, essentially, sending her anthrax in the mail and telling me about her concern for her family’s safety and intent to call the cops. She went on to say my giveaway was a “waste of your fan’s time” and that the prize was lame. She called out my integrity as a blogger citing misuse of her information and urged me to make a public apology here on my blog.
Apparently, this reader did not receive the message I sent out last week letting everyone know what I sent without giving away the surprise:
Subject: NOT DRUGS! – Life With Levi 10,000 fan giveaway
I figured that would get your attention. But since someone asked, I figured I’d better tell y’all – I did not send you drugs. Promise.
I sent you these: http://bit.ly/RU2U1F (If you haven’t received them yet and want to be surprised, do NOT click the link)
The website above includes instructions and ideas for using them. I have some and LOVE them. They’re eco-friendly, non-toxic, and reusable. All things I like in a product.
Please be careful opening your envelope from me. Your surprise is in a plastic baggie inside the inner envelope. Sometimes baggies can break, which is why I put them inside an envelope, too. Totally worth the extra shipping
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. If you come up with a cool idea for using them and send me a photo, I’ll share it on my blog!
Now, I realize my choice of subject line was poor and might have been filtered as SPAM through mail filters – I own that mistake. However, if you read my blog or my Facebook page, you should know that “so random” is kind of my thing.
As far as wasting my fan’s time – I’m pretty sure I didn’t MAKE anyone enter the giveaway. I created fun entry options, like hugging your kids and baking brownies, because the whole point was to be silly about it.
I’m not going to apologize. I didn’t mislead anyone (I offered a mystery prize and sent one to the winners). I didn’t misuse information (winner’s info was only used for the purpose of communicating information about the giveaway prize status and mailing the prize directly to them). I have no intentions of being more prudent in the future – I plan on continuing to be me, since this is my blog and my space to express myself.
I certainly appreciate reader feedback and I can assure you I will keep this email in mind if I ever hit another blogging milestone – by not doing another giveaway like this. Not because it wasn’t fun and I didn’t enjoy it, but because it’s not worth the hassle of receiving hurtful emails that question my integrity as a blogger.
UPDATE: A lot of you saw the original email from the reader I posted here and responded with your thoughts either here or on Facebook. I have since removed the text from her email because she threatened to sue me over it. I probably shouldn’t be surprised since she also thought I sent her anthrax, but really? You couldn’t just ask me to please remove your email from the post? I don’t take kindly to being bullied – there are too many victims of cyber bullying out there already. I did take it down, though, because I don’t like drama as a general principle.
I DO want to share the response I received from my friend Ryan at StudioWars.com after he read the post. (Don’t worry, he gave me permission!) He wanted to make sure everyone could tell the difference between Eco Orbies and Anthrax. Can you see why I like him?
(As a sidenote, I happen to have an intellectual property rights lawyer on retainer right now since I’m going through the trademark process, and he laughed when he read her follow-up “threat” to me. Apparently she understood the basics of copyright law, but conveniently overlooked the consent she gave for me to publish her email by asking for “a public apology on this via your blog.”)