Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On writing paid reviews

I've earned the princely sum of US$ 40 (30 Euros) to date from ReviewMe. Given that the reviewing took me about four hours in total, that comes to an hourly wage that lies halfway between McDonalds and the architects. In other words, it's not going to make me rich.

I am in two minds about the whole concept of reviewing. On the one hand, I think it's fair to say "it's not like letting somebody place an ad, those are my words and I can stand by what was said;" on the other hand, the words are put to a use that is not mine, and I worry about the reactions of a reader who missed the "paid review" declaration and expected the post to be the usual Udgely whiffling.

Reviews change the character of the blog by introducing foreign concepts and irrelevant content. It would never occur to me normally to write about an interning agency, unless I had used them professionally and enjoyed the experience. (Because I do believe in giving praise where it is due, e.g. the books and CDs that I mention, or the services of a competent and punctual plumber.) Paid reviews are an irruption in the natural world order of a blog, and readers are entitled to view them askance and to cast doubt upon the blogger who performs them.

With that in mind, I do not wish to burden or offend you, dear Reader, by constantly setting this dross before your eyes. I don't want there ever to be more than one paid review on the front page of my blog (and I have already turned down another request for this reason); since there have only been two such requests in seven weeks, it's unlikely to become a significant problem.

For what it's worth, I am trying to arrange things so that the income from reviewing will be paid directly to worthy causes, starting with the Wikipedia. Call it "blood money" if you will.


Blogger CarpeDM said...

You know, I think it's just fine. I never get offended by these things. In fact, if I see ads on people's sites, I'll usually try to click them. Honestly, I enjoy your reviews on products, especially the electronic ones because you never know when I could be in the market for something. And you list it in the title so if someone can't figure out it's a review, then they are very silly.

December 22, 2006 at 4:23:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

Actually, I rather enjoy reading the reviews, even if they don't apply to your content. It's fun to see what others are looking for or observe in various products.

December 23, 2006 at 5:42:00 a.m. GMT+1  

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