Over the last 12 months, SafetyAtWorkBlog has received many unsolicited “guest posts” and almost all of these include links back to commercial sites that have some relationship to the author. I consider this advertising and reject the posts. However the writers and, sometime, public relations agencies could be coming cleverer. The following article is not about workplace safety per se but if safety professionals and others are going to rely on safety information available on social media, Facebook, blogs etc. it is essential they can have faith in the reliability of this information. Below is a record of a brief search for such reliability in a blog article submission, a search for reliability that all blog owners should consider.
An unsolicited guest post was submitted to SafetyAtWorkBlog by Brooke Kerwin on 6 March 2012. A sample article was requested with a brief profile of the author. An article was received entitled “Employees in Automobile Industry Face Changing Safety with Technology“. The article ( that “I have written specifically for your blog”) contained three links – two to category links within the SafetyAtWorkBlog and one to distracteddrivinghelp.com. The third link actually related to the subject matter of this article but as there was no profile provided for Brooke Kerwin, I searched for the name through the internet.
On March 8 2012, Brooke Kerwin had a guest post published at Rethinking Patient Safety. That article had one link to the Rethinking Patient Safety blog, a link to National Patient Safety Week and a third link to distracteddrivinghelp.com.
On March 8 2012, Brook Kerwin had another guest post published this time at teensagainstdistracteddriving.com. The article was called ” The New Car Distraction: Tablets and iPads”. The article had three links – two to earlier articles in that blog and a third, as a potential example of distracted driving, to distracteddrivinghelp.com.
The last example of this coincidence relates to an article “Distractions in the Car: An Issue for Teens, Children and Parents“. The author is described as
“… a creative writer from Central Michigan University. As an aspiring writer she specializes in writing about local community issues.”
This child safety blog article, posted also on March 8 2012, again has two links from the blog and a link through to distracteddrivinghelp.com
Who is Brooke Kerwin? SafetyAtWorkBlog has asked her again for an author profile and has yet to receive anything. A profile on the Rethinking Patient Safety website says something similar to the quote above:
“Brooke Kerwin is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University looking to excel in creative writing post-college. Her writing topics often span subjects such as community and health issues, as well as technology. Brooke has taken specific interest in patient safety because of past experiences with family members in the hospital and the growing importance of awareness on the subject.”
Internet searches only turn up guest blog articles by Brooke Kerwin. Not all the articles include a link to the distracted driving website but almost all do. One guest blog article states that Brooke Kerwin is associated with the Distracted Driving Help website
Like so many websites and blogs today, there are no details listed in the distracted driving site about who runs it. The “contact” page is only an email form to a webmaster. The website has a Facebook page that, coincidentally, was created on 9 March 2012 and has no details of authorship.
A Whois search shows the Distracted Driving Help’s domain name was created on 15 January 2012 and lists the registrant as
201 S. Orange Ave
Orlando, Florida 32801
That exact address is also the business address of Newsome Melton, a law firm that specialises in cases that seeks recompense for “needless, preventable injury” and is led by Rich Newsome. A search of the Newsome Melton website reveals no one named Brooke Kerwin but Rich Newsome has written in his blog about distracted driving back in February 2012. No mention of his new website though.
There are many uncertainties surrounding the submission of articles by Brooke Kerwin, too many for me to currently approve her article for the SafetyAtWorkBlog. But I suspect that this one instance illustrates the potential unreliability of some of the articles that are submitted to, and accepted by, the operators of social media sites. The internet and social media are wonderful in providing a platform for people to express opinions, report news and share information but there are very few editorial rules except for those we impose on ourselves.
Note: Brooke Kerwin was asked via email about whether there was any relationship between her and the Distracted Driving website and Rich Newsome, but after a week, no response has been received.