A Consumer's Guide to Useless Product Reviews
December 04, 2012
While shopping and reading user product reviews on Amazon, I decided to come up with my own guide detailing how to write a proper review. You're welcome.
Forget performance. The last thing a person wants to see when perusing consumer product reviews is whether or not a product works. Whether the item does what the manufacturer claims, or fails spectacularly, if you're going to mention that information, be sure to bring it up last. Better yet, put it in a lengthy footnote. Really, you don't have to mention performance at all. It's a well-documented fact that long, vague, repetitive reviews rate higher than those that are insightful and succinct.*
Be effusive. Whether or not you like the product, say so as frequently as possible. Verbal abuse and vacuous praise are both signs of a thoughtful, stable person. For bonus points fit in a tired cliche or two (double points for the phrases "works like a charm" and "piece of s#@t").
State the obvious. Remember, the whole point of reading other people's reviews is to find out things about a product that you could easily learn without owning it. If you think an item is overpriced, say so. If you're reviewing electronics, write an in-depth explanation of the underlying technology. If you don't have a good grasp of how the thing works, all the better, the reader is certainly as ignorant as you are. Besides, credibility is overrated. By the same token, there's no need to include relevant information in your review. People like surprises.
One last thing: Whether or not a product is labeled for a particular use is irrelevant. The customer is ALWAYS right. Products should do whatever you want them to. It is perfectly reasonable for the manufacturer, the retailer, and state and local governments to be able to read your mind, and make sure your every need and comfort are met. The reader realizes this, and cares deeply about your needs, so don't be shy about venting your frustrations.
So, go ahead, write your review. We couldn't possibly care more.
*Not a well-documented fact.
That Wasn't So Bad
September 21, 2012
I just got off the roof after cleaning the gutters. Why is it that, as a kid, you do something scary, and afterwards you think, "That wasn't so bad," and from then on it gets easier every time you do it? Yet, as an adult, you do something scary, and afterwards you think, "Thank God that's over! That was a terrible idea! Never again. Never."
Two Dot Oh
September 10, 2012
Well, I went ahead and flipped the switch on my site's redesign. It's actually been waiting, 90% complete, for some time. The one thing that was holding it up was the logo. Up until today there was none. Finally, I hunkered down and determined to get it done. Now, only nine hours later, there it is. So, there may still be a few glitches here and there as I continue to tinker with the site, but I think I have it just about the way I want it now.
May 04, 2012
Content Builders of All Stripes
April 02, 2012
Over on Stuntbox David Sleight has another smart post on content consumption and delivery. As he says, "...the future of media tends towards access...meet a user wherever they are with the content they want...." It's a discussion you can't get away from, whether you're talking about Flash and HTML5 or HBO and "Game of Thrones".
March 09, 2012
Happened to have synced instances of Chrome open on two separate computers sitting next to each other, and was a little surprised to see that toggling the bookmarks bar happens in real time in both windows.