Who Else Got the Letter from News Corp err I Mean Beliefnet? [updated]

[Updated-I got an email from the person who sent the original email requesting that I remove their personal names and contact information from this first email. So I have done that and replace that information with X. ]

So I’ve been asked to be part of a marketing effort to promote Beliefnet on behalf of the commercial corporation News Corp which owns the site. Clearly there are NOT “many natural synergies between your content and ours” as Ms. X states, since I’m making this post. Do these marketing people even bother to read where they attempt to propagate themselves?

Why would I do this? WTF does “partnering” mean in this letter? That I put up a bunch of banners, links and shit. That’s not partnering. There’s just some kind of expectation that people will go along with this. Bloggers are deserting Beliefnet (ie Jundo Cohen has now moved to Shambhala Sunspace) and with all the ads so are readers. Having to get past half a dozen giant ads every time you open the site is not an experience most enjoy.

I do still read the OneCity blog there but that’s the only one. I don’t know if they have a contract to be there for some time or what the story is. I would urge them to find other quarters though, as all the ads look like spiritual pimping.

I don’t advertise here for anybody. Am I a Bad Buddhist for not pushing this corporate agenda? Probably.

Dear Marnie,

My name is X, and I am a Marketing Manager at Beliefnet (http://www.beliefnet.com/).  I recently visited your Blog Smiling Buddhist Cabaret at https://enlightenmentward.wordpress.com, and I really enjoyed it.  I found many natural synergies between your content and ours, and I’d like to ask you to consider linking our online communities.

Beliefnet, now celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary, is the largest multi-faith spiritual and inspirational web site on the internet.  Our mission is to help people find and walk a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength and happiness by providing inspiring features, access to the best spiritual teachers and clergy in the world, thought-provoking commentary and a supportive community.

In our link building efforts, we are reaching out to influential and niche blogger like you in hopes that your readers might enjoy our content. Below you’ll find links to areas of our site that I thought might be of particular interest to you. If so, would you care to link back to us?

1. Every week we feature new Buddhist-themed content, such as these current postings:

· 10 Ways to Increase Acts of Kindness


· Getting Started with Meditation


· Opening the Heart


2. Check out all of our blogs at http://www.beliefnet.com/Blogs/index.aspx or subscribe to the blog of your choice through its RSS feed

3. We also have RSS Feeds for the articles, galleries and videos that we publish.  For example, here’s the feed for our Buddhist content: http://www.beliefnet.com/Feeds/Buddhist.aspx

4. Catch up on the latest Religion News at http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/

5. Subscribe to any of our newsletters at http://www.beliefnet.com/Newsletter/Signup.aspx

6. If you’d prefer to link to us with an image/banner, check out our Link to Us page which provides HTML code that you can easily copy and paste into your blog http://www.beliefnet.com/About-Us/Link-To-Us.aspx

Please let me know if the above provides you with the information you need to review and consider various sections for linking.  If you have any questions or if there is anything I can do for you, please contact me at X or X .  You can also contact our Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Manager, X at X. We are looking forward to partnering with you.



PS: If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, please follow us – see links below.  We’ll be happy to follow you, too!


Beliefnet | Marketing Manager |



Here’s an interesting piece of advice from a writer in Advertising Age magazine:

Brands That Want to Connect Must Cross Boundaries:And They Have to Step Outside Their Comfort Zones


9 comments on “Who Else Got the Letter from News Corp err I Mean Beliefnet? [updated]

  1. Market-y, Market-y, Market-y.

    I just can’t stand the massive pop-up ads and the freaking banners. I’ve been getting a bit of mail from some smaller big bogs that aren’t corporate and would be more willing to link to them.

    The content at One-City isn’t that bad but there is a sense of reciprocity in this game. I will be more likely to link to your site if you link to mine. It isn’t a guarantee but it is an act of kindness, of sorts.

    I didn’t realize that Jundo left to go to Sunspace. Good for him!



  2. I received the boilerplate note and responded asking if this actually was meant to be cross linking.

    Ms Raitt said they’d link my blog at their Buddhist blog site.

    I replied I’d love a button or link for their belief o matic, which is a perennial popular item among my friends.

    I admit I’m not interested in their other suggestions…

    I’ve got no brief against Beliefnet. They’re a commercial enterprise. Got no problem with that. I’ve used them to research an occasional sermon.

    I agree the advertising clutter disinclines my going regularly…

    • Hi James. I like the belief o matic too. That’s how I first found their site.

      I don’t think that recipients should have to be calling them to ask what’s in it for them with this “partnering” That should be at least offered in their request. Probably most people won’t be so pro-active and take that step and will just make links because they are a “big” site.

      What I wonder is if someone doesn’t contact them do they bother to follow up to see who linked or not and give them their due? Not likely.

      And my next wonder is where will such links be placed. With an individual blog like you and I both have those appear right on the front page. How many layers down are the links to “partner” blogs hidden on Beliefnet?

      This reminded me of people getting all riled up about being listed on the Tricycle blog in the summer of 09. [Progressive Buddhism disappeared from there for a while] When my blog got listed there, I didn’t ask for it BTW, for 5 months I got 5 hits from that listing. [Now everyone knows why I don’t care about being listed there] A responsive comment on a much smaller blog can generate 20 times that amount of traffic. [I used to deal with SEO, traffic and related stuff in my old job] So what’s offered (for the asking) is quite a bit less than what’s requested.

      To add insult to injury–or is it injury to insult?

      THEY EVEN GOT MY BLOG NAME WRONG! Read your own blogs once in a while Beliefnet people. Try a search for “mindfulness”. (I do so like irony)

  3. I don’t like beleifnet because it’s all rainbows and candy clouds and field of 4-leaf clovers (man I could go for some Lucky Charms) and that doesn’t really speak to me. I use Shambala and a couple others to stay on top of Buddhisty-news, but I much prefer reading blogs of actual practictioners and teachers. I like to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I find it much more beneficial to hear and learn about the struggles and obstacles that others ACTUALLY face in their lives, and how they deal with them or fail trying. But that’s me. And I agree with James. I love the belief-o-matic. I’m always something a little different each time I use it. Last time I think I was some type of Quaker or something.

    • My friend, you forgot the purple horseshoes. :)

      Belief-o-matic is a clever tool, but if you read the questions carefully, you can guess what religion they’ll lean you toward. They’re kind of obvious and poorly written questions, though surprisingly I pretty much always end up Mahayana Buddhist. Go figure. :-/

  4. NellaLou:

    Rest assured that supreme ignorance, stupidity, and slip-on-a-banana-peel antics permeate the marrow of most corporate life.

    That these guys, can’t even put up an ad structure like Google or Amazon tells volumes – I read your post & my first thought was – what, no quid pro quo?
    This from the corporation that wants to buck the “content wants to be free” nature of the net (i.e., Murdoch wants a kickback from Google).

    What are we, chopped liver?

    Anyway, there’s nothing wrong per se with the corporate world that’s not wrong with the rest of existence, nor is there anything wrong with endeavoring to pursue a right livelihood there.

    But perhaps I’m a Bad Buddhist for thinking about Murdoch, based on the above, “What a wanker.”

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