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Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Keeping with the theme of creating posts that really shouldn't be posts, but I need to have an appropriate page in my blog, I thought I should take the opportunity to create a page where I can list any and all disclosures about relationships with vendors, people, companies that may appear in my writing or speaking.

Editorial Firewall

Before I mention these relationships, with any and all companies that I work with in a consulting capacity and who I will discuss in my blog, I include in my contract what I call an editorial firewall clause. That clause says:

  • I have a responsibility to provide unbiased content in my blog, presentations and consulting.
  • All relationships will be disclosed and transparent.
  • All communications in my blog, presentations and consulting will be authentic. In other words, there is no editorial control by anyone over spoken or written statements. There is no offer of editing comments to have a positive slant. I will talk about competitors. Basically, I'm going to say what I'm going to say.

You might think that this would be an issue, but I have yet to have any trouble. The reason is that it really doesn't do a vendor any good to have anything but a fair representation of where they fit in the market. What they are good at. When you might use someone else. It's a waste of everyone's time to say anything else.

Disclosed Relationships

I'm sure this list will grow over time, but the two that I know I should mention are …

  • Adobe – Member of the eLearning Advisory Board – High level discussions with Adobe around product direction.
  • Upside Learning – Advisor discussing product and services direction, positioning and product marketing.
  • ProProfs - consulting around market positioning

If you have any questions, comments or concerns – feel free to email me at:


Sreya Dutta said...

Tony, I agree with you :)

Jenise Cook said...


What a great post, and I'm glad you took the time to write this.

You've definitely raised my awareness, and I'll be revising my agreements.

Again, thank you.

Jenise Cook
Jenise | Ridge View Media Blog

Amit said...


Let me bring in (your) client’s perspective to this. 

There is no doubt that we appreciate this - that's one of the reasons we are working together. I see this (disclosure) to be genuinely helpful for both you and Upside Learning in the long run.

Your credibility is paramount to the success of your business and unless you disclose like this and write in an unbiased manner that is probably at stake. For us, it helps in keeping the consultant a consultant and not become an 'internal sales person' (by that I mean someone who is selling Upside Learning to Upside Learning, which in any case, like any other organization, would have difficulty finding issues with itself) which would defeat the whole purpose.

We hope to learn, improve, and grow in this association with you.

Amit Garg
Co-founder & Director
Upside Learning

Nancy Harris said...

Yes, I agree, the mechanism of information disclosure is central to effective learning.