Friday, October 16, 2009

Some good, some bad, all honest!

If you read or listen to any of the tech or business blogs or podcasts you may have read or heard (last of the ‘or’s I promise) about the Federal Trade Commission’s guides for bloggers, specifically the requirements, from December 1st, to disclose any connections with advertisers including receipt of free products or payment.

It’s no real surprise to me; while I am no social media or marketing expert you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to see why this regulation has been created.

I originally started reviewing products as a way of sharing my experiences of things that I had discovered that worked (or didn’t) for me. Now that being said if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I have been on the receiving end of my fair share of stuff, swag, freebie call it what you will, donors have included Pearl Izumi, Zensah, ProWash to name but three. More recently I have been very fortunate to have developed a relationship with the Wilderness Running Company from Utah. WRC is a small online business dedicated to serve the trail running community and from whom I have also purchased a fair amount of kit from recently. You can too with a 10% discount if you use the code QUAD10 at checkout, I use the code and it really works.

I have been very diligent about declaring the source of the thing being reviewed and it was a freebie usually, within the opening paragraph or two , I've write “the good folks at XYZ sent me". Typically reviews follow a format of listing the products marketing pitch, usually straight from it's website followed by review, this format is something that I fully intend to continue using.

Having reviewed my list of product reviews I am currently running at around a 50/50 ratio of free vs. purchased, that’s a ratio that’s likely to continue, I am a bit of a kit mapgpie. I also believe my reviews are impartial and fair. If it’s good I’ll say and it not...well I’ll say that too. I am also amazed at the reach of my blog into the big blue interweb thingy, other than my home page my hardest hit pages are product reviews: here’s a screenshot from Google Analytics for the year to date, five items purchased, four items provided:

So coming down the pipe, reviews on Chocolate #9 (originally sent to me by another blogger, then purchased), POM (sent to me), Black Diamond Cosmo Headtorch (purchased) and RecoFit ArmCoolers (sent to me), hey that still makes it 50/50!

Of course if I could make a living from writing product reviews....well that's a no brainer, right?

See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at


  1. Just put up a general disclaimer that sez "Please assume that I get everything for free and intentionally biased towards the company that sent it". The government doesn't have enough to worry about. They feel like it's a solemn duty to protect stupid people.

  2. if anyone could make a living off of doing reviews... IT WOULD BE YOU! Keep them coming.


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