Monday, January 08, 2007

What Is A Review Anyway?

Recently I have been involved in several product reviews. You know, the deals that you read about products that some guy or another is using. Well, I not only have been on the reading end of a review, the writing end of a review, but I have also been on the "inside" of a review. What's that you say? The inside? Yeah..........the inside of a review. Let me explain.

Several folks out there are looking for products, and need a hand in choosing from a selection that is at times bewildering. So, naturally they look for guidance. Some have knowledgeable friends, some have a good bike shop they can rely on, and alot of you just click over to the internet and check out on-line reviews.

The funny thing is, alot of folks think reviews are total B.S. I see comments like "companies pay for that", "it's nothing but a shill", or "this guy is on the take". I've heard them all. I've even accused other reviewers of that myself. But that was before I was on the inside of a review.

Now I can say that, yes: some of those accusations could certainly be true. I can see, (and have heard about) how being in this posistion of responsibility could be tempting to someone. If you have not been around product reviewers, you may not realize this, but there is a very high degree of integrity and responsibility involved in being entrusted to review products. You either "get it" or you don't. The ones who do not "get it" do not last long in the reviewing game, believe me.

Now it may sound like I'm trying to toot my own horn here, but I'm just passing on what it's like to be on the "inside" of this process. It's not all fun and games, getting all kinds of cool stuff, and being caught up in the whole thing. Like I'm somebody super-cool because I got to ride the Dorothy proto, as a for instance. No, it's not like that at all, not if you take reviewing stuff seriously. Not if you really want to serve the readership and be around awhile. Service. Now there's a concept lost on a lot of folks..........but that's a whole 'nuther post!

So, what is a review anyway? Are they for real? Well, you'll have to judge for yourself. Alot of it comes down to trust. Alot of it comes down to folks holding reviewers accountable. I hope ya'all out there will do that for me too. Tell me if I'm getting too "big for my britches", as my Grandpa used to say.

All I know is that I'm taking this whole thing seriously. No matter what people might think!

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