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Reviews - The Poor Mans Content Source
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You may not have a vast library of books and you may not have degrees establishing yourself as an expert in any particular field but the one thing we all have is stuff. That's right we all have stuff that we have used and can write about. Writing reviews can be simple as boiling an egg (no offense intended to those who haven't mastered the art of boiling water) or as complex as a space shuttle operations manual. You see the manufacturer can provide tomes of information about a particular iron but what people will treasure more is someone who has actually purchased and used said iron.

Personal impressions go a long way to persuade people to buy a product or service. Look around you, yes right now. Look away from the computer screen and see how much stuff you have that you could review and post online for the world to see. You are probably sitting on a veritable gold mine of content without even leaving your home.

Reviews can be a powerful source of content because no one will cover the object you are reviewing like you. The usual "professional" review goes something like this. Here we have this item which the manufacturer says does X, Y and Z. After working with this object for say a day or two here is what we found the item did in terms of X, Y and Z. At the end they will come to some non-commital conclusion regarding the usefulness, aesthetic beauty and general appeal of said item. A review of this sort is utterly boring and useless. Let me know what Miss May down the street thought of this item using it over several months, years, decades, etc. Now you will get the low down, nitty gritty of what this item will really do, not do and what it should have done in the first place.

I do a bit of recording and writing music at home when I am bored. Lovely hobby, but it is expensive. So, where does a guy go to find out about the best devices and software for recording music? I went to HarmonyCentral which I discovered completely by accident. You see their site has a section for user reviews. These reviews gave me the real story not the flouncy oh isn't this audio interface great because they advertise with us song and dance. No there were by real people who have actually used what they are reviewing and are not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. I used to not buy anything until I had read through reviews from several sites to get a good feel for what I wanted to spend my hard earned money on (actually, money my kind and sweet wife would allow me to spend on such frivolity).

If you look at most sites peddling wares of one sort or another, they allow users to post comments. Some sites do not edit these because they will slam the daylights out of a product sometimes if it is not up to snuff (as my grandmother would say). Keeps everything honest. Although you do have to consider all comments and not just the worst one because some people are just evil and will post nonsense because that $99 device doesn't do everything the $5,999 one does. A little common sense goes a long way. Those reviews in total can give you a good picture of what you might expect should you actually purchase said item.

Writing a review is easy enough. Start with a description of what it is and provide a picture of the one you are reviewing so people know without a doubt what you are reviewing. List the features you plan to review. Write a sentence or four on each of these features. Read the manufacturers description and once you stop laughing, give a real deal run down of how this item performs relative to the manufacturers musings. Provide a conclusion that says yes, you should have one of these or run as far away from this trash as you can or somewhere in between. The main thing is take a stand. You like it, you don't like it and give good reasons why. This review will provide real information us potential purchasers can really use. Now I must go review that handy dandy potato peeler...


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