We’d tossed around the idea of producing some user-generated review articles that would be posted on Pocketables as featured articles. As I’m currently running absurdly slowly, and I’m suffering tech overload after CES and looking at the review pile every day. I’d like to lay the groundwork for that today.

This is also spurred today because my 5 month old spent the night cooing and singing the songs of her people. Absurdly late start. Might as well get one good thing accomplished.

Below are my thoughts on the thing. These are not set in stone. This is also not a sign-up page. Hopefully this is a discussion about what will work for people and also hopefully someone will tell me what I’m missing or that I sound like a total dick.expert. I tend to sound that way when I’m this tired.

The object here is to get some user reviews that are actually honest and unbiased, as opposed to nearly every single one on Amazon that claims they are. You write a detailed honest review, you get more product to play with. Keep in mind you’re probably realistically getting $20-30 bucks of stuff for an hour of writing and photos.

What the idea for the reviewers is we’ll have a few people in my database. I’ll need to know a real name, shipping address, phone number for contact on shipping, and alternate “someone’s gotta sign for this” shipping if someone had to be there to sign for it.

Each one of you on the list I need a list of the tech you’ve got and are willing to try (if this sounds like I’m casing your house, seriously, you can give me a work address for shipping.) I’ll contact the people on the list when I’m offered something that can be tested with their tech and see if anyone wants it.

You would supply photos of the product without socks or unfortunate reflections of junk in the background, three hundred or more words on the thing, and agree to get me a review within a week or two unless there’s a reason it needs extended testing. We can’t do life tests of the products unfortunately because once they’re dead probably a couple of years have gone by.

You’re under no obligation to love the product. Star ratings starts at 2.5 is completely average. If product X was completely average with no distinguishing features, you give it 2.5 or a 3.0. You don’t, however, bash a completely average product for being completely average.

I generally start at 2.5 or 3.0 and work my way up or down. That half point quite honestly is generally spurred by how much I’ve slept.

Where it gets to sounding like a scam

Reviews will be posted under my name. They will start with “this is a review of the so and so sent in by this person.” If things keep going on I’ll see about getting the more prolific writers accounts to post things.

Is this worth it?

Maybe. You get some tech stuff, may or may not be worth your time to review it. You also keep Pocketables up with content, which may or may not be a good thing, we’ll see what happens now that the department in charge of the money is being sold off.

If you have a couple of amazing portable chargers and you get asked to do another portable charger review, no, not worth it.

Pass, pass, Passion!

When I send out emails there will be no negative marks for not being interested in something. I’d really rather not have reviews that start with “if nobody else is interested I guess I could do it.”

Can I sell the product?

No. This is kind of a point. While I’m not sure if selling a review unit is technically immoral, I want no impropriety suspected. If someone sees a review by Big_X and then they’re selling it the next day on Amazon or ebay, bam, any appearance of not being influenced to give a review goes out the window.

That said, I don’t see a problem giving these to friends, friends doing whatever they like with it as long as Pocketables review page doesn’t come into the equation. You have to get rid of products some time.

Can I review something I really like?

I have no problem with you reviewing tech product you purchased yourself or already own, or played with. Keep in mind though a 1500 word piece on why Brand X sucks because you got one faulty product I’m probably not going to post. Notable exceptions to that would be if there’s a fun email thread where they call you names, or if the product blew up on video.

I’d actually love a “tech we love” segment, but that’s entirely your call.

Thoughts?

As I said, not set in stone. You might get compensated in the form of product for reviews. If Pocketables ever opens up the money gates again people might get some beer money. If Pocketables goes down in flames you might have wasted your time.

Also, do not supply me with any personal information yet.