Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ReviewMe: a review

Having signed up for ReviewMe, the site suggests that you write a paid review of their site to get warmed up. Righty ho, then.

ReviewMe is a middleman between advertisers, who have money to distribute but no understanding of where it should go, and bloggers, who have the urge to write and bills to pay. The advertisers get a simple, transparent and easy-to-understand way of choosing a blog (the reviewer) based on typical content, readership, and the evaluation of its peers (primarily its Technorati rating); the bloggers get introduced to people who are willing to give them money in exchange for services rendered. ReviewMe takes half of the fee in exchange for their services rendered. Everybody wins. So what's not to like?

The only difficulty that I can see is the readers' possible assumption that the blogger has lied to them in exchange for a handful of coins. (We are conditioned to think of reviews as a cousin of advertising, and this is often true. MacWorld magazine was notorious in the '90s for giving good reviews to companies that advertised with them, the reviewer would say "piece of crap, full of errors, crashes constantly, doesn't work" but the software would still get three stars.)

ReviewMe tries hard to avoid this. The reviewer may decline to review a certain product; the post should be clearly identified as a paid review; and most significantly, that advertisers may not require a positive review.

The ReviewMe website proves that it is possible to be garish while using only muted colours, but de gustibus non est etc. The structure is simple, navigation is easy, the FAQ - and its own blog - is right up front, as is a "contact us" page. There's even an RSS feed for tracking your offers and assignments, which is important because an accepted assignment must be written and posted - and logged on the ReviewMe website! - within 48 hours. Signing up is easy, the hardest part is choosing a single (!) category for your blog. As a website, leaving aside the colours, I'd give it 9 8 out of 10: it does its job well and with very little fuss, which is harder than one might think.

It'll be interesting to see how this works out in the long term.

[Updated on 16. November] downgraded to eight out of ten: the process of registering a completed review on their website is hard to find and very unclear in operation. I thought that I'd registered this review yesterday, but noticed this morning in the RSS feed that it apparently had not "taken." Rating: could do better.

Fourteen down, sixteen to go.


Blogger Savtadotty said...

Be sure to notify ReviewMe of your review's URL. I found it not-so-simple to find where to do that on their web site. I suspect payment is contingent on finishing this last bit of the puzzle.

November 15, 2006 at 6:43:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Oh, thank you! I'd missed that. I'm sure you are right that payment is absolutely dependent on logging the post with them.

November 15, 2006 at 10:09:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

It's an interesting concept and service. What subject did you chose, since you could only chose one? Computers?

November 15, 2006 at 10:23:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

I chose "Living," through gritted teeth. The choices were pretty strange, geared more to advertisers' expectations than to what most bloggers do most often, e.g.

House & Home

I nearly had a fit of despair trying to find something in the list that didn't make my soul cringe. I do write about computers, but that's not My Single Topic; same for music; same for travel; same for politics. I expect that the majority of reviewers will end up choosing "living" or "writing" as being the least inaccurate, least confining, descriptions.

p.s. It must be 2am there, go to bed!

November 15, 2006 at 11:02:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Sounds interesting. You'll have to let me how this goes. And Beth doesn't normally go to bed until about 5 or 6 in the morning.

November 17, 2006 at 6:30:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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