Saturday, November 11, 2006

Electronic Weirdness Department: Don sells out to

Over the last year-and-a-bit, my loyal readers have come to depend on me for... ummm... I’m not actually sure quite what my readers depend on me for, actually. Possibly a good night’s sleep? Proof that good grammar, spelling, and punctuation aren’t enough to make something worth reading?

But in any case, my many several readers have come to expect the utmost in integrity from You’ll Come for the Terrorism, The Blog That Couldn’t Be Bought.

In reality, of course, the reason that this blog couldn’t be bought was that I couldn’t figure out how to sell it. I’ve had the same problem with cars, cats, and lots of other stuff, which is why my closets are full, my bank account is empty, and I’ve got claw marks in all kinds of awkward places.

But now, thanks to Satan Tricia at Tricia’s Musings, I’ve sold my soul connected with an outstanding organization that promises to make me slightly less insolvent, without - I hope - compromising my precious ethical standards more than a little. The organization is called ReviewMe, and they offer opportunities for bloggers to review stuff in exchange for filthy lucre. (Actually, they pay via PayPal, so I think the lucre gets cleaned off somewhere in the process.) So far, so good, ethics-wise: In fully fifteen minutes since I signed up, they haven’t once asked me to say good things about shoddy products or websites. In fact, the only thing they’ve asked me to review so far is their own service.

Now, this is in fact a bit of a challenge. How exactly am I supposed to review their service if I haven’t actually done anything more than sign up and agree to write the review? It’s hard to come up with anything very substantive after such a brief acquaintanceship.

On the other hand, they’re paying me $20.00 for this review, so I’d better come up with something. (Blogs with higher ratings, based on Technorati rankings and the like, are paid more for reviews. While I wasn’t quite in the “beneath our notice” category, I’m one of their cheaper dates. ReviewMe takes 50% of the price paid by reviewees - so the review for which I receive $20.00 costs the reviewee twice that.)

Here, then, is My First Review: I signed up for ReviewMe. The “Create Account” screen worked flawlessly, although, annoyingly, the “Province” field is mandatory even for people who live in Israel, a country the whole of which would fit comfortably inside even a relatively modest province of someplace normal. The “Enter Your Blog” screen was similarly slick - or at least functional. The two automated emails I received (one congratulating me for having signed up, and the other reminding me that I’d agreed to review ReviewMe and that I had 48 hours to do so) were both brief, grammatical, and correctly spelled. The payment, I hope and expect, will be prompt.

The ReviewMe site’s visual esthetics are good; the fonts are all well-chosen, things are properly lined up, they used CSS (Cascading Style-Sheets) to good effect, and so on. Some of the background colors (notably the orange and green on the “Why ReviewMe?” page) were a bit jarring, but in general the website is well thought out. FAQ’s are brief but clear and informative, and navigation around the site’s pages is intuitive. (I hadn’t initially bothered to investigate most of this stuff - I raced straight into the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the service. Then I figured that for $20.00 I should actually look at more of the ReviewMe website, even though I tend to be more concerned with results than with esthetics.)

So - I’ve sold my soul for $20.00.

It feels great.

Categories: .


At Sun Nov 12, 12:37:00 AM GMT+2, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I signed up too, but I think they lowballed me on the price. So no reviews for them!

Integrity? No, I don't think that's what we come here for. That doesn't sound right...

At Sun Nov 12, 12:47:00 AM GMT+2, Anonymous Satan said...

Well hello there Don, I see you've started to succome to my evil spell. Muhahahahaha

At least they had some FAQ's up when you signed up. I signed up on the first day and there were no FAQ's and the site looked slightly different than it does now. I wrote to them asking some questions about how it works and got a reply the following day (within about 12 hours). I'd like to think my note to them helped get the FAQ's up but I'm sure others wrote requesting more info as well.

Many sites have signed up since they launched and I fear that some sites like yours and mine might get buried in the pile and not be discovered by the advertisers requesting reviews. I guess we'll have to wait and see how things work out. Either way it's nice to make $20 at least. BTW payouts are on the first of the month I do believe.

At Thu Nov 16, 12:09:00 AM GMT+2, Anonymous Bean said...

Meh, it's hard to miss a soul when you have $20 extra to spend ;) Good luck refilling that bank account. Want to buy a cat?

At Thu Nov 16, 06:18:00 AM GMT+2, Blogger muse said...

Sounds interesting.
Should I try?
What if they asked you to review something "forbidden?"

At Thu Nov 16, 06:35:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Hi Bean! Hi Muse!

I don't think I want to buy a cat; in fact, I was thinking about sending a few to enjoy the good life in the Australian outback. Need some?

Muse, I think the deal is that I don't have to review anything I don't want to review; so there's no "forbidden item" risk. What exactly were you thinking of, though? Sounds interesting... ;-)

I haven't had any review requests yet, other than the initial one of ReviewMe itself; so I'm not exactly getting rich from blogging just yet. You guys could probably pull in a good bit more than I, since your blogs are pretty popular.

At Sat Nov 18, 07:46:00 PM GMT+2, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Sat Nov 18, 11:54:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Sorry about that, folks: the previous comment was spam - just trying to get people to his own commercial websites by leaving "canned" comments on other people's blogs.

Folks, if you're going to spam me, at least take the time to write a comment that makes me think you read the post you're commenting on!

At Sun Nov 19, 09:59:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, man, and here I am all gloomy, thinking to offer somebody, anybody something in the general area of twenty bucks for even a moderately good review.

And some people are ready to do it.

Talk about coincidences!

At Tue Nov 21, 12:56:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Bad news, Snoop - the review will cost you $40.00 (and more if you want to be reviewed at a more prominent blog than this one); and you can't count on getting a favorable review. Of course, I think SimplyJews is a great blog as long as I'm not being paid to review it; but for a paid review I'd have to provide your money's worth, and so I'd have to be much more critical!


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