My Ethics Statement

This statement governs my principles regarding my online activities. I’ve made this information public for transparency, consistency, and fairness in my dealings with viewers, readers, employers, and sponsors alike. It is a list of my expectations from others, but it also a list of what others can expect from me.

Relationship disclosures

I am currently employed by Grafana Labs as a Senior Developer Advocate. This is my full-time job. Part of my job is to talk about Grafana Labs OSS projects (Grafana, Loki, Mimir, Tempo, Pyroscope, k6, Grafana Agent, Beyla, k6, and more) and occasionally paid products (such as Grafana Cloud). I speak online and at in-person conferences about these projects in the context of software engineering, performance testing, DevOps, and development. However, I have been a fan of Grafana Labs products since long before I joined the company and speak about them because I genuinely believe in them and have used them in previous professional roles. I am not involved in sales and do not have quotas for acquiring leads. I just like talking about cool stuff. I am not paid to promote Grafana Labs products on my personal channels, but I do use them in my personal projects.

I have no contractual relationship to Obsidian and have never received compensation from them. Once I got something like a year’s credit towards Obsidian Publish/Sync because I was part of their Obsidian Gems awards. I’m a VIP member and I pay for a business license of Obsidian.

Personal Information

In the course of my activities, it may sometimes be necessary to collect some personal information from viewers or subscribers such as email addresses, names, and other contact information from people who have chosen to subscribe to newsletters or memberships.

These are always opt-in. I will only collect this information when it is necessary for the purpose of providing the service or product that have requested. I will NEVER sell or share this information with any third party without explicit consent. Just the thought of doing so makes me feel icky.

When people pay me for stuff

I’ve personally paid for at least 95%, if not more, of the gear and apps I use to create content. The remaining 5% have been purchased for me by previous and current employers in the course of my normal day job. These cases cover things like laptops that I am allowed to use for personal work as well. I never expense items through my employer if their primary use is for my personal projects.

Promotions and sponsorships

In my view, “promotion” includes me doing one, or a combination, of the following things:

  • Talking positively about a product or service, digital or analog, in any form of media, including social media networks, videos, blog posts, or collaborations.
  • Using a product in a video or photo.
  • Showing a product on video or in a photo, including in the background.
  • Reviewing a product or service.

For the most part, I do promotions without reaching out to companies. For example, I make a lot of Obsidian videos but I’ve never gotten compensation or special support from the Obsidian team. I’ll never shy away from mentioning an app or service just because I don’t get paid. However, it’s cool when I get something in return for promoting products I love!

Paid promotion might consist of compensation in the following forms:

  • money (a commission for people who use my affiliate links, or money offered to me to promote a product)
  • access to a digital app/service
  • “free” physical products

When I promote a product or service:

  • I clearly spell out in the video and/or text the nature of what I received in compensation for the promotion, if any.
  • I tick the “includes paid promotion” on YouTube videos if I have received money. I do not tick it in the case of free products.
  • I state any potential financial stake I have (such as personal investment, employment, or affiliation) with the company.
  • I do it out in the open. I don’t do sneaky product placements.

I only promote a product or service if:

  • It is something I already use regularly or genuinely feel would add value to my life. This also means that apps I promote must be accessible on devices I actually use! If I don’t think I would continue to use it after the promotion for whatever reason, I won’t promote it.
  • I am excited by the prospect of using it– it’s not enough to think it’s serviceable. I have to think it’s one of the best ones on the market for its class!
  • (In the case of a review) The company does NOT have any input on what I say. They don’t get to see videos for approval or revisions before I publish them.
  • When a company pays for me to mention them in a video, I may allow them to give me talking points on what to say– but I’ll only ever say them if I believe what I’m saying. I may also let them approve the sponsored part of the video, but not the rest of it.
  • The company that produces it is ethical in its practices. I don’t claim to know everything, but I will never knowingly promote a product from a company with deplorable practices.
  • It is open-source OR has features that make it more compelling than open-source alternatives. I always prioritize open-source tools over commercial offerings.
  • It does not directly compete with my full-time employer, (Grafana Labs) – I am under contractual obligations to avoid this conflict of interest.

Unsolicited benefits

Giving me a free product does not mean I am under an obligation to mention it, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee a positive review. Please don’t send me anything with strings attached.

Community code of conduct

It’s ok to disagree with me, and I especially welcome constructive feedback. I don’t delete comments that disagree with me, but be nice; I’m a person too. So are other commenters.

Having said that, I look at my social media pages as MY spaces. They are not community spaces. I have the sole right to decide what is acceptable, and I can change my mind at any time.

I will not hesitate to delete, block, or reject comments if:

  • they are discriminatory in any way (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, anything that involves projecting qualities onto an entire group).
  • they include swear words meant to denigrate others. Be civil and rational in your discourse.
  • they are spam.
  • they are obvious attempts to promote your own product, service, or content.
  • they reveal personally identifiable information about anyone that has not consented.
  • they constitute harassment or bullying.
  • they are offensive.

I am unapologetically queer, sex-positive, and feminist. I believe in giving members of underrepresented groups a voice, but I also believe that doesn’t have to come at the cost of silencing majority voices.

I will only start or join communities and companies that share these values.

If you’d still like to support me after reading this statement, check out my Affiliates page.