*Update* Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews

Bloggers who offer endorsements must disclose any payments they have received from the subjects of their reviews or face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

The agency, charged with protecting consumer interests, had not updated its policy on endorsements in nearly three decades, well before the Internet became a force in shaping consumer tastes. The new rules attempt to make more transparent corporate payments to bloggers, research firms and celebrities that help promote a product…

More here: Washington Post

Hat tip to The Right Blue:professional-blogger_id3720781_size480_2row

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.

The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical…

…Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could result in various sanctions including a lawsuit…

…To placate such fears, Cleland said the FTC will more likely go after an advertiser instead of a blogger for violations…

…The consumer advocacy group said lack of disclosure is a big problem in blogs. To mainly crack down on companies that give out freebies or pay bloggers won’t always solve the problem. By going after bloggers as well, ”you put far more pressure on them to behave properly,” Gillis said.

Cleland said a blogger who receives a freebie without the advertiser knowing would not violate FTC guidelines. For example, someone who gets a free bag of dog food as part of a promotion from a pet shop wouldn’t violate FTC guidelines if he writes about the product on his blog…

More Here: “Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews

Remind myself to disclose EVERYTHING on my blog…  I think I have done that fairly well.

Mahalo to my sponsors… As well as the future sponsors coming on board soon.

Big Island to Get Zip Line Adventure Ride

Media Release:

New Zip Line Attraction is Underway at World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls.

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Construction on the Big Island starts this week on Zip Isle, a new zip line adventure ride allowing riders to fly through the rainforest canopy on long cables. The zip line features five zip lines and one suspension bridge, and is being put up on a small portion of the 275 acres at the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls, 16 miles north of Hilo.

“Special anchoring poles just arrived at the Gardens and a special Hawaiian blessing will take place on October 9,” said Ken Francik, chairman of the board for World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls (WBG). “We are very excited to add this eco-adventure to our beautiful other garden attractions,” he added.

Zip Isle zip line is scheduled to open in mid-November, according to Mark Robinson, Marketing Director for WBG. Engineering documents done by Engineering Partners, Inc. of Hilo were completed and building permits secured from the County of Hawaii in July.

Construction of Zip Isle is being handled by the Zip Line/Canopy Tours Division of Experience Based Learning (EBL), Rockford, IL. EBL has been pivotal in the creation of zip line industry standards with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is the only company in the United States accredited with the Professional Ropes Course Association.

Zip Isle begins with shorter zip line rides of 150 to 450 feet and proceeds through the rainforest canopy to a final zip line over 1,500 feet, according to Robinson. The lines, platforms and suspension bridges linking the zip lines range from ground level to about 100 feet in height.

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“Along with safe excitement, our top priority for Zip Isle is to be an environmental leader on the Big Island,” said Dr. Lanny Neel, Garden Director at World Botanical Gardens and Ph.D. of Botany. “Being a botanical garden and repository for endangered plant species, the environment is extremely important to all of us. We carefully chose a zip line construction – attachment method using utility poles to ensure preservation of the forest beauty.”

“Our guests will not only enjoy the adventure ride of a lifetime, they will experience a beautiful environmental classroom with all the magnificent beauty that Hawaii offers,” Dr. Neel added.

The Zip Isle attraction is located at about the 1,300 foot level, at the base of Mauna Kea, and about 1/2 mile from the World Botanical Gardens Visitor Center. The total adventure takes only a little over two hours and includes safety training and special electric transport from the Gardens to the Zip Isle start.

Admission for the Zip Isle ride is $87, with a significant discount for Kama’aina, according to Robinson and Dr. Neel.Additional information and schedules are available at www.ZipIsle.com Reservations are being taken now, and on-line reservation is encouraged. Reservations may also be made through the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls visitor center, at888-ZipIsle (947-4753), or locally (808) 963-5427. A grand opening will take place in November.

Board Chairman Ken Francik emphasized that a complete Hawaiian family experience in one location is enhanced by the Zip Isle attraction. Other attractions at the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls include Umauma Falls, acclaimed as Hawaii’s most beautiful waterfall; a maze second in size in Hawaii only to the Dole¨ Maze (the largest maze in the world); over 5,000 species of flowers and plants; a 10-acre arboretum; guided tours and lunch with horticultural expert Dr. Neel; and self-guided tours on easy, level walks through natural rainforest all await the visitor to the World Botanical Gardens &

Waterfalls. Cost for adults for the Gardens/Umauma Falls is $13.00, again with  significantly discounted rates for Kama’aina and lower rates for teens and children. Complete information and numerous photos are on-line at www.wbgi.com

Zip Isle and the Gardens are open daily, from 9:00 – 5:30.

Sig Zane Anniversary Sale

Anyone who has been reading my blog… knows I love my Sig Zane shirts.

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The store located in downtown Hilo is celebrating it’s 24th Anniversary with a great sale on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Oct. 9 and 10th

Anyone who has been into the shop… understands that Sig Zane really caters to the customer.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… They have the nicest changing rooms in all of Hawaii.

They also got a pretty styling website as well!

*Disclosure* Sig Zane will be sponsoring this blog soon.