Over the years I’ve started to get more and more press releases that include an offer to review INSERT YOUR STUPID PRODUCT HERE. Most of these get tossed in my trash bin. Sometimes I giggle or roll my eyes before I delete them, like I did all three (yes three!) times they sent me the press release for the arm flab girdle. At first it was fun to get these emails because if I was getting PR spam it meant someone was reading my blog, even if it was only a computer program harvesting email addresses on web pages that use the word “lard.” But I got over that thrill really quickly and now they’re mostly annoying. (Yeah, I know, poor, poor, me.)
Sometimes though, I get sent an offer to review a product that genuinely intrigues me. It could be for a product I’ve heard about or something I think my readers might enjoy. This has always caused an ethical pickle for me because I don’t want my blog to become one long infomercial, but sometimes I’m human and I want to accept the free stuff. In the past, I’ve done the occasional book review and given away products for free, but those situations have always been an ethical gray area for me that I’ve never known how best to deal with.
So, I’m going to try something new. I’ve created an official review policy and I’m going to start occasionally reviewing products. I suspect the majority of you will not care one way or the other about this. You’re already sick of reading this entry and wish I’d get my nose out of my navel and stop blogging about the blog already. A small group of you will be so pissed off that you are right now composing emails to me debating whether I am a five-dollar whore or a two-dollar whore before you storm off in a huff. And another group is probably looking forward to seeing what I’ll review.
Before I do anything though, I thought it best to set some ground rules which I’ve also posted on my advertising page.
PastaQueen’s Official Review Policy – Updated December 13, 2008
- I will only review products which I might consider purchasing or that I believe my readers would find valuable.
- I will at maximum do two reviews a month, but am not obligated to do any in that timeframe.
- I will disclose any payments or exchanges that occurred, including whether I received the product for free. I will also disclose any other partnerships with a company whose product I am reviewing, such as past sponsorships or past exchanges.
- The full text of the review will not appear on the front page. Only the title will appear with a link to read the entire entry. Uninterested readers will be able to easily ignore these entries. People who read via RSS will see the full review. The review will clearly be marked as a review.
- I will give my honest and complete opinion. I will not leave out negative comments I have about a product.
Those are all the ground rules I could think of. If you can think of anything else that might be relevant, feel free to suggest it on the comments of this entry.
I contemplated creating a whole new blog just for reviews, but the amount of time it would take to design a template that I liked and set the whole thing up made my brain implode. It’s easier to post everything here. We’ll see how this goes. If the reviews don’t fit into the flow of the blog, I’ll stop doing them or post them somewhere else. However, I hope you’ll find them useful and also entertaining (This is me we’re talking about. I inserted Sailor Moon analogies into my freshman English papers.) I typically appreciate it when a blogger recommends a product they like or steers me away from something that is awful. I’m not going to be reviewing the Flowbee here. It will only be stuff you might possibly be interested in or will laugh your ass off hearing about. I promise to give you my full, honest opinion and hopefully not annoy you in the process. The first review is posted right before this entry. Enjoy (or not)!