1. A profit making enterprise.
2. A store (never thought I'd have to say that, but one of the recent comments prompted me).
3. A place where manufacturers can place products (I'll take submissions, of course, but only if I think you will be interested in them).
4. A place where you will see analysis of a vast array of products (EDC stuff and other utility tools only).
5. A professional gear blog.
This is a gear blog, that is definitely the case. But it is not like the more "professional" gear blogs out there. I think you know what I mean. I read three and I like many others. Personally here are my favorites:
There are tons more. But these are really just a series of ads with a pinch of commentary and analysis, much like a celebrity interview on Jay Leno's show is really a commercial for a new movie. Additionally, these places have...um...well more than one person. I know that Gear Patrol has an editor (which would be really nice) and a photographer (again nice). Here, I am a one man show. These sites also cover a very wide range of things, things that I will never, ever cover. You will not, for example, read anything here about grooming products. Ever. I don't comb my hair on a regular basis and sometimes when I am in a rush I use my gel aftershave (that I got a Wal Mart) as hair gel too. Not on purpose, mind you, but because really I don't care that much. I don't want to be a slob, not by a long shot, but I leave the Bieber impersonations to someone else.
The final difference in the list above is the most important, I think. Unlike those sites, I actually use the stuff and provide a systematic way of reviewing things. A quick read of the "gear blogs" show that they MAY have hands on time with something, maybe, but even those "hands on" articles involve minimal use. As I have said before, I like to carry a knife until it needs resharpening. I like to carry lights for two weeks. Many of things I have reviewed are things I own or have owned. In those cases the carry time is even longer. So the difference in perspective is huge, I think.
The vast array of products they cover means that they have only a scant knowledge base for each product. They may be able to explain an f stop on a camera and that the Benchmade Mini Grip has a blade of 154CM steel, but I am not sure if they can give reasons why 154CM is better or worse than VG-10. I think I can. It is not because I am a steel expert, far from it, but because I have had lots of experience with both. I may not have the machine of people they do, but I do have the experience they are missing.
All of this adds up to something that is a bit rougher around the edges than the uber-slick pro gear blogs out there. No matter how hard I try there are typos in the stuf that goes up (that one is on purpose). I try to fix them as I see them, but I want to put something out two or three times a week and that means that I am under some time pressure and perfect spelling goes out the window. If this were a full fledged operation with an editor that wouldn't happen. But I hope that the few typos are made up for by the depth of content and the systematic method of review of products. Unlike those guys I don't depend on ad revenue or product placement, so I don't have an allegiance to any particular manufacturer. I can have loyalty to only one group--you the reader. I don't do this for a job, to supplement my income or for any other financial benefit. It means that I have no reason to be swayed by a manufacturer. They can't offer me anything that work as a bribe. I really don't need another knife or flashlight, so offering me freebies won't change my opinion. And since I don't keep any of the ad revenue like the pro gear blogs do, I could give a shit if you click on the links or not, other than the fact that it is fun to give stuff away.
Those gear blogs have their place. I read them regularly. But I hope that this is blog is different. I hope that my opinions, perspectives, and voice are clear. I hope that the systematic nature of the reviews I do is helpful. I also hope that I never have to talk about "man makeup." Ever.