Poor Joel can't stop getting under my skin. Bribing Bloggers - Joel on Software:

[Joel claims he accepted free hosting services for blather blather...] and only because Joel on Software is really a non-profit, advertising-free site and I was happy to accept the sponsorship.

Please, unless there were a few years I've missed (which could be the case, certainly), I always remember joelonsoftware linking to Fog Creek pretty directly. Self-pimping's fine (see page header). Pretending self-pimping's not advertising for profit ain't.

Here's an example of the current self-pimp at the bottom of the blog I'm quoting from, above:

About the Author: I'm your host, Joel Spolsky, a software developer in New York City. Since 2000, I've been writing about software development, management, business, and the Internet on this site. For my day job, I run Fog Creek Software, makers of FogBugz - the smart bug tracking software with the stupid name, and Fog Creek Copilot - the easiest way to provide remote tech support over the Internet, with nothing to install or configure.

Pretty pimpy.

Luckily, he does have the decently to make light of his pimpige, which mitigates the under-skinness a bit.

By reading this article you are contributing, at least indirectly, to the Joel Gets a Hot Tub fund.

Here's the issue: If you're a pimp, be comfortable admitting you're a pimp. There's really nothing wrong with having a business and trying to make a buck. This is not done mechanically. Heck, even the law isn't a set of rules; it's a conversation. Have conversations. Situationally decide your morals. I love being idealistic, but being so means operating with one hand tied behind your back. Being so is not, however, trying to confangle some wack explanation when you've stepped over your own idealistic lines.

There's a great line from Robin Williams' character in the movie Dead Again where he tells Kenneth Branaugh's character, who is constantly figeting with a pen, to decide if he's a smoker and be that. Same advice for Joel. You're successful now. Embrace the hot tub. Decide/realize you're the president/owner/CEO of a company, and be that.

What's the real issue that'll have to wait until I have more time? It's, of course, whether you can schizophrenically be two people, one who is a less-than-perfectly idealistic businessperson and another who is an idealistic blogger with unquestionable morals. The short answer is that you cannot, and that he has not. The long answer, well, will have to wait, and will boil down to the same answer, I'm betting.

(Btw, this ctrl-i, etc, shortcuts in Blogger plus Firefox's spellcheck (which I obviously ignore with regularity) make for a pretty neat in-browser app.)