|A free knife I received to review|
“When’s the last time you read a bad product review on a blog?” This was the question asked by Chris Wallace on Twitter yesterday. It is a subject of quite a bit of concern. Bloggers have motivation to post positive reviews. For one, companies like to send us free stuff if we will write about it. I have thought, as I’m sure several bloggers have, “if I write a negative review, companies wont want to send me free stuff anymore.”
So the question is: are any blog reviews worth anything? I certainly hope so. Here at MyLifeOutdoors I make it my duty to only post honest reviews. In other words, I won’t say I like something if I really thought it was crap. But most of the reviews I have written have been positive, mainly because I think twice before posting a negative review. I admit (as does Brian at Brian’s Backpacking Blog) I have been guilty of not posting a product review because I didn’t like the product. A sort of “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.” But this could be unfair to my readers. After all, I honestly want to know if a product is crap before I buy. I’m sure you do too. So the question becomes… when is it appropriate to post a negative review?
|Free gloves I received to review|
My first response was to look at the company producing the product. Is the company in its early stages (an upstart) with everything on the line. A negative review could sink such a company. On the other hand, a huge company (with deep pockets)…a negative review wont even phase them. I have a harder time giving the former a negative review, and will easily give the latter what they deserve.
But the latter don’t need reviews, at least not often. They have made a name for themselves and will sell products with or without blog reviews. Only once have I been offered a product by a well known manufacture. And then the never sent it anyway.
Most of the products I am offered to review are from companies who are trying to get their name out into the outdoor community. They have spent their life’s savings on a small production run and are offering a handful to bloggers in hopes we can help publicize their product. Most of these offers I don’t even respond to, because I know they won’t like what I have to say.
But Chris brings up a good point. Are we doing the company a disservice by allowing them to go to market with a crummy product? Maybe what we bloggers should do is review the product and then send it to the manufacture for consideration before posting it publicly on our blogs. This would, hopefully, allow the company to make needed changes before a large production is made. I don’t know. Would a company even listen…I would say most are sold on their product the way it is. They might even become defensive.
But what I really want to know is what you think? After all you (my readers) are my first obligation.
When is it appropriate to post a negative review?
Should I post all reviews, even if they are negative?
And what I would really like to know from you…
Should I accept all products offered to me, no matter how small or silly, no matter how I think I might feel about them, and review them for you all to read?
I would really like to know what you think.
To see the whole twitter discussion please visit the Storify created by Tookie Bunten
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