Denying “Reality”

By , April 15, 2010

We just made a pretty big decision that has been on our minds since February, and are relieved to have done so. A respectable television network offered us a segment on their new “reality” show!

We’ve agreed not to provide specifics, so details are vague. Essentially, they asked to profile our life on the homestead through the eyes of a celebrity host (who is NOT a former governor!). We were flattered, curious, intrigued, and scared by the idea, and accepted the initial interview to find out more. Last we heard, our “package” would be presented to the producers. They got back to us this week, hoping to film in late April, early May. After assuming they’d decided against us, we suddenly faced a decision on short notice.

We had reasons to accept; after all, it could be a good self-promotion tool, and we’d be compensated (how much? We decided not to ask). Friends and family “outside” got excited about a chance to see us on T.V. Haines could use the publicity, and the production crew might have contributed to the local economy.

Yet it didn’t feel right that we should be singled out for this, for reasons we’ve explained previously. Also, the timing was poor. Among other issues, the homestead would hardly be shown in its best light right now. A lot of last winter’s debris needs to be cleared away, the garden’s barely started. No one would care, but we would!

We declined the offer. While doubts linger, we feel overwhelmingly that this is the right decision. We’re grateful for the opportunity, and to the local person who suggested us to the network. The idea certainly provided lots of excitement while it lasted!

The experience forces us to evaluate the question of self-promotion. The underlying goal of blogging is supposedly to attract the widest possible audience, but we’re ambivalent about that at best. Also, while this show wouldn’t be like Big Brother or Survivor, we’re suspicious of “reality” T.V. in general.

Sure, we’d love to reap a small fortune from our commercial links and all, or bring in more Web design or editing clients, but more so, we like to at least pretend that the blog is a quiet chat among a few family, friends, and friendly strangers who drop in now and then just to see how we’re doing. Is that reasonable, blogging on the World Wide Web?

No, not really.

But if feels “real” to us.

4 Responses to “Denying “Reality””

  1. Oh, I feel your pain here! I was tempted to say yes at first when an offer like this came our way, but after pondering it for a few weeks, I felt very confident that no was the right answer.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Kristen, I’d intended to email you and ask your opinion, since I knew you’d made a similar decision, but by the time they contacted us, we had to move fast to meet their schedule. The fact that you’d decided against it helped us reach the same decision. A shame to forgo one’s 15 minutes of fame, but I think we’ll survive, huh?

  3. Nancy Durbin says:

    I am so glad you are not doing a reailty show I think it would not be good for Haines Nancy

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Thanks for saying so, Nancy! I suspect many will disagree, but that’s ultimately what we thought as well. Speaking from a promotional standpoint, it seems like when you have an excellent product like Haines, it will sell itself to a large extent. I’ve never been a proponent of the idea that “there’s no bad publicity.”

    I’m pretty confident that when the show comes out it’ll be pretty high quality. It’s more a documentary than a typical “reality” show. Nevertheless, we weren’t willing to take the risk.

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