Addicted to novelty since 2001

Reviewing ReviewMe.com, the Review Site

Via Neatorama, I read about ReviewMe, a site that aspires to connect advertisers with bloggers. The idea, more or less, is that advertisers pay a blogger to review a product, using ReviewMe as a third-party escrow for the cash.

According to the ReviewMe FAQ, the blogger has no obligation to be positive:

We do not allow advertisers to require a positive review. The vast majority of reviews are measuredly positive, although many do contain constructive criticism. We view this as a bonus: how else can you quickly and cheaply get feedback on a product or service from influencers?

I can’t imagine how they know that “the vast majority of reviews are measuredly positive”. After all, they just launched, didn’t they? Speaking personally, I’m always keener to negatively review something–it’s much more fun. I’ve heard the same from professional and amateur critics alike.

I know I shouldn’t throw stones in this glass house, but ‘measuredly’ means ‘in a deliberate, unhurried manner’. I’m pretty sure they mean ‘measurably’.

Here’s what will be telling, though: I get paid to write 5 reviews. I write 5 bad reviews. Will future advertisers want to pay me? Somehow I doubt it.

They pay based on the popularity of your blog, as apparently measured by Alexa reports, Technorati links and the like. I registered both this site and GeekyTraveller.com. Here’s how much I’ll make for each site if I write a review. The ‘payout’ is the number that matters:

ReviewMePricing.jpg

In fact, as a launch project, ReviewMe.com is inviting reviewing bloggers to review their own site. For cash. So, this entry could make me US $125. That’s pretty good money for a post I might write anyway.

Speaking of the site, it’s pretty usable, but nothing to write home about. It has that Web 2.0 sparseness that’s so common these days, with a minimum of fuss and colour. I imagine they’ll be revisiting their wordmark/logo before long. It’s like they surgically replaced Mickey Mouse’s torso with a big ‘M’ and ‘E’.

Interestingly, my adblocking Firefox extension actually b0rked the site’s home page, as you can see in this screen capture. I assume this is because the left hand ‘Advertisers’ image is inside a <div id=”advertisers”> tag. Ah, the modern foibles of web design.

What do I think of the service itself? It basically formalizes and commodifies the work we often do in online marketing–connecting companies with online influencers who might be interested in their products. It’s more or less like traditional journalism, except that they’ve removed the ad sales rep, publisher, editor et al from the process. Are those filters important to journalistic integrity? If I believe what I parrot about blogging being about authenticity, and that your readers are your editors, then no, probably not. People will stop reading if I start shilling for, I don’t know, Febreeze.

On the other hand, advertisers are basically buying links (admittedly, I didn’t see any requirement to link to the advertisers’ sites). I guess, though, they’re buying links at their own risk, because they could get reviewed negatively.

All of this feels very Web 2.0 bubble to me, but I’ll be curious to see how it evolves.

9 Responses to “Reviewing ReviewMe.com, the Review Site”

  1. darren

    The factors listed on their site are Alexa ranking, Technorati ranking and RSS subscribers (presumably from FeedBurner/Bloglines or something similar). It’s a little surprising to me that they don’t use Google’s PageRank or more Web 1.0-type data.

  2. Lisa

    I think they do mean measuredly.

    It is not a very lovely word, but it can also mean careful and restrained, which would be appropriate.

    I have a new dictionary, the paper kind :)

  3. jody

    > In fact, as a launch project, ReviewMe.com is inviting reviewing bloggers to review their own site.

    I don’t think that’s correct, although it took me awhile to figure it out: the sites you listed are those that ReviewMe acknowledges as sites where reviews can appear on; they’re not sites for YOU to review. That list is here:
    http://www.reviewme.com/my_account.php?view=reviews_writing
    The Product columns lists the site you’re expected to review and the site the review it supposed to be posted on.

    Their site could use some rework to clarify that.

  4. darren

    Jody: It’s my fault for being unclear, and using a misplaced modifier or some such thing. I meant that ReviewMe.com is asking bloggers to review ReviewMe.com.

  5. Jessica

    People will stop reading if I start shilling for, I don’t know, Febreeze.

    That says it all right there. LMAO!

    that just made me laugh…..

  6. iBackup: The Product’s Fine, But Enough With the Comment Spamming | DarrenBarefoot.com

    […] If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive email updates when I post new stuff. Thanks for visiting! (What’s with this message?)This is a review for ReviewMe, first discussed here. The subject of the review pays me to review their product or service, though I’m under no obligation to provide a positive review. You can judge for yourself if this compromises me–it’s a question I’m eager to explore. […]

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