So we've all seen the paid reviews on a variety of the bloggers' sites. This started months ago, and I didn't really have a problem with it. I get it, some of you need the income, some just like it as a supplement, and some use it exclusively to play with.
But last week I really noticed it. At least 3 of the blogs I read had a review for a card room supply store on them. From what I saw, not one of the reviewers had actually used the site, but commented on how it looked, the free shipping, etc.. Whoop-de-doo. Hell, all the reviews sounded the same, and could have just been shipped out as boilerplate. Shit like that just reeks of sellout to me.
Fine, review products to your heart's content, but at least USE the stuff you're reviewing! Your opinion is useless if it's, "well, this LOOKS good from the pictures I've seen." Otherwise it might as well be a banner ad. Maybe it's just me, but I put a lot of research into any purchase I make, and try to find out as much as I can about any merchant I use before I use them. This has resulted in me being happy with just about all my decisions. If, for whatever reason, I'm actually looking for a site to buy a table or set on, and all I get is the same vapid review for it, then I'm not going to be filled with confidence. Hell, if I didn't already READ these blogs, and just stumbled upon them in my searches, I'd assume they were astroturf.
And to the company that pays for these reviews -- MIX IT UP. The poker blogger community is big, but it's interconnected. If you're sending out the same review option to the whole group, then you'll end up with 10 sites that are all reviewing the same service on the same day. This numbs the readers, who are your target audience. When they covered PSO a week or so ago, at least I KNEW that most of the reviewers used them, but seeing the same review 3 or 4 times made me roll my eyes.
I know the market is slowly evaporating in the US with this Neteller crap, so the options are becoming limited, but teh Intarweb is a big place.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Posted by Astin at 11:57 AM