Reviewing ReviewMe

Saturday, November 18th, 2006, 3:25 pm

I hate to see a bandwagon go by without jumping on it, so today I signed up with ReviewMe, as many other folks have done the last few weeks. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain how it works. Advertisers ask bloggers to review their products/services on their sites, hoping that site’s readership is a receptive audience for what they have to offer. The price for the review is set by your site’s Google/Alexa/Technorati rank–huh, Bill Rini is ranked a pip higher than me. Well, that’s another day ruined.

Each would-be reviewer is asked to review ReviewMe, so let me review it! And let me say up front–I am getting paid to write this. Take that into account. Buyer beware, as it were.

But I like the idea. When I attended PodCamp Pittsburgh last week people were talking about ways to make money with your blog/podcast/whatever, and with most broadcast media they way you cash in is by selling ads. But with about 5.9 million bloggers out there it’s hard for one tiny voice to attract an advertiser’s eye. It’s also hard for an advertiser to get all that excited about placing an ad on a site that might only get 50 hits a day.

But this a totally different concept. Instead of placing an ad on a page, the blogger is the one writing the copy. And while this isn’t universally true, you would think that bloggers would be fairly good writers. It’s what they do. And since space isn’t a limitation (and the blogger’s time of no concern to the advertiser) a review can provide far more information than an ad.

What’s perhaps more important is the fact that the blogger has already developed a relationship with his/her audience, which was another topic discussed quite a bit at PodCamp. Bloggers spend a lot of time struggling to build an audience. Over time, readers learn to trust (to some extent) the person they’re reading. So if the blogger says, “Hey, I tried this product and it’s pretty cool”, that’s going to carry a lot more weight for the audience than the mere placement of an ad. And since there are blogs about every subject under the sun, advertisers can target very small and very specific audiences–and possibly get results far in excess of a traditional, broad-based approach.

So, an interesting idea. We shall see how things progress. If I post reviews here I promise I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Because I love you people, and no sum of money could ever lead me to betray you. Unless it was, like, you know, A LOT of money. Because under those circumstances I know you’d understand.

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6 Responses to “Reviewing ReviewMe”

  1. Cynthia Closkey Says:

    I’m really interested in how this works out — for you, for the advertisers, and for your readers. It all feels great except for the “pay for review” aspect. The fact that you’re paid for a review makes the concept weaker; but the fact that payment is independent of the results of the review makes the concept a little stronger.

    In fact, because your payment is dependent on your rank, which is indirectly dependent on the quality of your reviews, the idea feels quite a bit better.

    But still, I feel like there’s something vaguely oily about the whole thing. I wish I could pinpoint it.

    And but so (to borrow a phrase), knowing how this works out for all the parties involved will be cool.

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