No more stalling.
Here it goes:
I have tried to make this a fun site to read. I have also tried, very, very hard, to make the reviews coherent and intelligible. But I am only one person and in the end, I can't buy or even review everything. So I am opening up the site for reviews as part of the contest for the McGizmo Haiku Giveaway. The user submitted reviews will be published on the main site and then archived on the reviews page under their own categories (unsurprisingly entitled "User Submitted Reviews").
Here are the rules for the Giveaway:
Rule 1: You must be a registered follower of the site.
It takes like half a second to register and the more registered followers I can attract the more manufacturers give me stuff to review and the more I can get stuff away. So please, sign up to be a follower of the blog.
Rule 2: Form of the Review
All reviews must use the 20 point system I have developed for the
given class of products. They can be found here. The review should include at least two
pictures of the item (do not send pictures though, see below). If you can, hyperlink the text. The closer the email is to a purely publishable form, the better.
The review should also include the "here" paragraph if possible (I'll expect one for production stuff, custom stuff is a different story, but the more information the better).
The review should be thorough. I usually carry an item I am reviewing EXCLUSIVELY for two weeks, using it to do normal everyday tasks and occasionally pushing it to its limits. After that I usually carry the item and my current favorite in its same product class for a week. Then I write the review, edit it, score it, let it sit for a day or two and then review it once more before I post the review, to see if the score sits right. This is what I do and what I mean by thorough. It usually means that I have to sharpen the knife once or swap out batteries in a light once (though there are exceptions).
I can't ensure that every reviewer puts their stuff through
the two or three week process I do, so I am going to have to take people
at their word. You all seem like honest folks and in the end these reviews help other people like you decide how to spend their hard earned gear cash. I will check around and try to validate the information
in the review, but in the end, the review will speak for itself in
terms of thoroughness.
Rule 3: Number of Entries
Each person may submit one email. You can include up to four reviews in that one email. You can submit one for each of the product classes that have a scoring system. Reviews of other products will not be considered. Any additional emails or reviews from the same source will be ignored.
Rule 4: Submission Process
The review should be submitted to my new email account for the site:
anthonysculimbrene at comcast dot net (in the usual format)
The email should include:
1) the text of the review (hyperlinked if possible);
2) at least two pictures (via links to a photo storing website or other Internet source, no jpegs); and
3) a subject line that reads: "Haiku Review Contest"
Rule 5: How the Winner is Chosen
The winner will be chosen based on three criteria:
1) the quality of the written review itself (grammar, style, and readability are important; picture quality is also important);
2) the interest level in the item chosen (this does not exclusively mean "expensive" or "custom", I really want a review of the Kershaw Cryo which is neither expensive nor custom); and
3) the feedback to the review.
I will be the sole judge of which review is best. I will obviously
consider the feedback to the article as well, but in the end I am going
to make the call. All of the the reviews that meet a certain level of quality will be
published as soon as practicable after I receive them. If a review you have submitted is
not published, assume that it has not reached the level of quality
necessary to be considered for the giveaway.
Rule 6: Disqualifications
A review not using the 20 point system will not be considered. A review that departs significantly from the Everyday Commentary format will not be considered (the format is: Intro Paragraph, "Here" Paragraph, Scoring Paragraphs, Overall Score, and Conclusion Paragraph). Poorly written reviews will not be published and will not be considered.
Reviews of items already reviewed in a published review will not be considered. This includes items on the "On Deck" window of the main site as of April 6, 2012 (Sunwayman M11R, Leatherman PST, Leatherman Micra, Novatac Storm, and LRI Micro Photon). This does not includes user submitted reviews; I don't really want 50 reviews of the Spyderco Endura, but I see no other FAIR way of doing this. Plain common sense will tell you though, it is much harder to be picked out of a crowd than if you are standing alone, so bear that in mind when you choose the products you want to review. Reviews from other sites will not be considered unless they are adapted to the Everyday Commentary format.
If you are a manufacturer or a small batch custom maker, please do not do a shill review. This is the only thing I am really concerned about. If something sounds to shill-y I am going to exclude it automatically. I have just about the most liberal review policy in the universe (I will review anything anyone wants to submit to me), so don't do this. I might not find out, but if I do, I will do my best to send bad karma that person's way.
Rule 7: Other Details
The contest will start one week after the day this post is published (so that I can make any rules changes necessitated by the comments) end one month after the AdSense revenue reaches $500. The AdSense revenue controls the length of the contest and the sooner it reaches $500 the sooner I can give the Haiku away. I want to give this light away and I want to have the best giveaway ever for an amateur gear review site (I think CajunBlaze's Sebenza giveaway probably holds the record right now). The sooner we reach $500, the sooner someone gets their hands on a shiny, beautiful, McGizmo Haiku. Here is a picture to stoke the fires:
In the event that the Haiku is no longer available by the time the contest ends, I will choose a suitable equivalent from Don's currently line up of gorgeous custom lights.
All reviews, once submitted, will become property of Everyday Commentary and I can do whatever I want with them, including: a) nothing at all; b) edit them; or c) publish them in any format.
I may have to shut down the submissions for a week or two every once in a while if I get a deluge of them, but I will open it up again as soon as I have processed all of the reviews for publication.
Finally because I cannot account for all of the different ways I have missed something or screwed up the rules, I reserve the right to change the rules at any time.
If there are any changes to the rules you think I should make, please comment below. I want everyone to have a fair and equal chance, limited only by your writing skills, so have at it.