Based on the volume of stuff I am reviewing, I am making a few changes in my review policies. Nothing major, just a recognition that as the site gets bigger I need to be smarter about how stuff gets reviewed.
If you sell or make a product that you would like featured on this website, feel free to contact me.
Here is my email address:
anthonysculimbrene at comcast dot net (in the usual format)
Here is my mailing address:
53 Hancock St.
Fitchburg, MA 01420
If it is something I think people would be interested in I will contact you back and make arrangements for shipping.
Here is the first change. I am now publishing articles twice a week, every week. This routine makes it easier on me and makes this more enjoyable to do. The volume of stuff I am reviewing is increasing a lot and so the lead times on stuff are much longer.
From the time you send me something until the review goes up is now something like two months. I will probably finish testing the product within a month, unless it is a multitool or a bag, which ALWAYS take longer, but be prepared to part with the item for at least one month.
Second, because of the volume, I cannot afford to pay shipping to me. If that is an issue, email me and we can chat. I just dropped $50 in shipping for the 2nd Anniversary Giveaway. I am glad to ship out prizes, but $50 in shipping just ain't a sexy way to spend dough.
A special note about Kickstarter and other crowd sourcing gear. If you want a product review to go out at the same time as your Kickstarter campaign, contact me well in advance and let me know. I will work with you on making stuff synchronize nicely if possible. The more lead time the better. Again, remember I am working on about a two month lead time on review articles, so that should give you an idea about when I would need stuff. I can, of course, work a review to the top of the pile, but it is difficult to do and places more stress on me. This is a hobby for me and the minute it is not fun, I am done. Less rush, less stress, the better.
As always, I do not keep ANYTHING I review. If you want it back that is fine and I will pay return shipping. If you don't I will give it away. I will not buy the item unless I can do so at FULL PRICE, including shipping. I do not want to profit from this site in any way and if I happen to like the item so much that I want to buy it, I do not want a discount. This is not negotiable. I am buying it after a review I must pay a price identical to what a consumer would.
Tweets, Podcasts, and Article Mentions
I will not mention a product or tweet it unless I find it interesting. Bringing it to my attention is fine, but asking for a mention or a link PURELY as an ad is not something I want to get into the habit of doing. I will not do a review of a product without a sample. I know this sounds silly, but it has come up more than once so I guess I have to make it explicit. I am not running a product placement blog. There are many of those and many are quite good, but that is not what I am doing.
Review Formats, Links, and Limitations
I will not send you a preview of the review. I don't want to have any semblance of being tainted or having the review altered by input from the manufacturer. If I make a mistake, say for instance, on a technical detail, contact me after the review is posted and I will both correct the mistake and note that I made a mistake.
Feel free to link to any picture or article I have posted. That is, after all, the beauty of the web. Feel free to use quotes as long as they aren't taken out of context or edited to be unrepresentative of what was said. Feel free to link to logos or designs, with one exception.
The exception is pretty important and pretty simple. The Everyday Commentary "Perfect" seal, seen here:
cannot be used unless the product actually got a "Perfect" review. By that I DO NOT mean it got a 20 out of 20, but that it got an actual Perfect score (I explained the difference in the Pen Scoring System article, found here). If something got a seal in the original review, it was something I deemed perfect. If it didn't, even if it scored a 20 out of 20, I'd ask that you refrain from using it. The reason is this--I want the seal to stand for something. I want to give it to products and designs that are truly outstanding, products and companies that EARNED it. You can copy and paste the seal. The internet allows that to happen. But please refrain from doing it unless the product got the seal in the original review.
Score Updates and Re-Reviews
As I noted in my response to Thomas W.'s criticism of the Cryo review, found here, I have decided that I will re-review products. If you made something I reviewed and were dissatisfied with the review, you can contact me and ask for a re-review. This is distinct from two things. First, if I made technical errors, like getting the steel wrong, you can contact me immediately and I will make the correction to the review AND note my mistake. Second, periodically I go back and update the score of a product. I do this after a year and then after five years (should I be around that long). The purpose of the update is different from a re-review. One issue that comes up with products like knives and flashlights is that as technology improves, scores should reflect that change. The update does this. A knife with S30V steel is still a good knife, but that steel is no longer cutting edge (har, har). Over time this effect will be larger and larger until S30V steel, absent some great heat treat or grind, will merit a score lower than a 2. The Updates capture this.
A re-review, however, is a separate review with a new testing period for an item I already reviewed. Think of it like a brand new review. First, I will do re-reviews at my discretion. Second, I will do them no sooner than 6 months after the first review as this prevents a maker from coming back right away and rigging the review scoring system. Third, I will not do a third review. Once the review and re-review are done, that's it. The idea is to balance two competing concerns--getting something right against a lack of finality and too much influence from makers. This site, to the extent that it works, works because I have no financial stake in this. I don't care if one gear company is mad at me. I'd prefer if they weren't but my first loyalty, and since this is not for money, my ONLY loyalty is to my readers. Getting it right is important. Giving them a final judgment is also important. I hope this re-review policy does that. We'll see how it works with the Cryo and go from there.
If you want me to run data on the site, the twitter account, or the podcast, I can do it. Let me know what you need and I will get it to you if I can. That said, there are some general points. I know for certain that my reviews have sent traffic to people's sites. I know that from Google analysis of my site, information from readers, and from sellers and makers contacting me that the reviews have generated traffic. I know from makers and manufacturers that reviews have boosted page views and sales. I know from commissions at BladeHQ that reviews equate to sales. It is good for your and it helps me get information out to other people about good gear.
I'd be happy to review your product, just contact me.