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Thoughts and Updates

The last article I wrote for this blog was back in June, so I thought I would touch base with my readers because I wanted to say that while I have really enjoyed starting up this blog, I still had some internal conflicts going on with it as well as a reaction to an artisan’s statement about reviewers.

I hit a wall with how I wanted to go forward with this blog and so with some deeper thoughts, I feel like I need to share with you all on how I feel about my blog so far, where I want to go with it now and what I intend to accomplish with it.

I think for the most part, we have as a community, a lot of people that are much better at reviewing product than I can.  Their knowledge of products and how each perform is unsurpassed and I just am not good at it.  While I have done the reviews in the past, I like the idea of doing more research, more storytelling about what products mean to me and basic discussion and updates within the community.

My reaction to Douglas Smythe’s comment in one of the Cutting Edge Podcasts was very strong but it brought up a good point.  What is the point of reviewing a product that you are not paying for, but was sent to you free of charge?  And then, is there a possibility that reviewers are just doing this to get free product?

I wanted to comment that reviewers, I feel are very passionate about the hobby in general, and I really don’t think the end goal is for a reviewer to get free product.  I will admit, it had crossed my mind in the beginning, and I had the thought that what it would be like is the process in how say, a CD is promoted within the Music Industry.

When I was working as an Intern at Sony Music Inc., in the Epic Records Media Relations department, we sent out hundreds of promo cds to reviewers from a list.  These reviewers were legit and the purpose of them was to honestly critique the music for readers of major publications across the company.  They also sent out complimentary tickets to concerts to writers so they would write concert reviews.

Is it a fair comparison to say the idea of free product to reviewers for honest feedback is a good thing for the companies?  How is that a bad thing when the reviewers are creating awareness of a product in exchange for the product itself?  There seems to be a division here and I wanted to see what everyone thought about that.

I know that there are a lot of reviewers in Pass Arounds and I guess I get this feeling like that is the step I knew little about – where Pass Arounds are and should be used for the purpose of reviewing the product.  Then there is the idea that every reviewer should buy their own product to review.  Then, there is also the free product that is sent to reviewers.

I’d like more sharing about this topic from other reviewers so this is a direct question to all of them.  What is your take on getting free product in exchange for a review?  Does it help or hinder your review and how do you feel about it?

I have felt personally, that because it is such a heated debate, I want to get out of the reviewing business and just report about product information and people.  This seems to be the logical step for me.

Good luck to the rest of the reviewers.  Thanks for staying with me – I am in school, studying composition and Child Psychology so I can move forward to study Journalism at a four year institution.  Hope everyone has a great day and please, just enjoy your shaves.  I’ll be doing less reviewing and more commentary and opinion based articles as that seems to be what I really like doing.


1 Comment

  1. It’s a fine line when doing reviews of products, especially artisan products as it is usually mom and pop operations who have dumped a lot of money into it and live off of that business.

    I DO think reviews are something that is needed, but I wonder if there should be a commonly accepted disclosure. 1) I bought this product, this product was a PIF / trade 3) this product was given for free in exchange for a review.

    I have only done a few reviews for this very reason and tried to focus on the basics for new wet shavers.


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