Thursday, November 23, 2006

ReviewMe Experiment Gone Bad, or Did It???

A few weeks ago I reviewed a paid blogger review service called ReviewMe. It is controversial, the theory that bloggers could be paid to post about a product or service, but I was interested in how it would work, so I signed up.

A lot of bloggers signed up, but apparently the advertisers are not, in that I had not seen any chance to review anything. (Granted, maybe there are a lot of advertisers and nobody has selected me to review them!). So I decided to do an experiment of the service by paying a blogger to review my on-line networking skills assessment tool, The Networking Quotient.

I did some homework and looked for a blog that I enjoyed the authors style. One where the blogger covered a wide variety of business related topics. I found one that had a focus on entrepreneurs, and paid my money to ReviewMe for to do a review.

The good news is the service worked. The blogger almost immediately reviewed The Networking Quotient.

The bad news
is he did not like the quiz. In fact, he did not invest the whole six to eight minutes to complete the quiz, because he did not find any value to spending his time taking a quiz on the topic of business networking skills....and he reviewed it accordingly.

He was cynical in that he thought a negative review might cause him not to get paid. I would never protest his payment, as ReviewMe is very clear that a negative review is a risk you take by using the service. I was a bit offended that he might think I would not pay him....but then I realized that he could only think that because we do not know each other. My whole belief system is based on the importance of real relationships. This is a lesson learned on never thinking that digital connections through an online service of any kind could replace true human connections.

I was not horrified by the review. He was very professional in his tone, but the quiz was not on a topic that was of interest to him. The quiz is designed to make people think about how they react in certain areas of their efforts to make, grow and keep their business relationships....and to show them a comparison of their score to others who have taken taken the quiz. It is a simple assessment tool.

I am not one who believes that everyone in the world will (or should) always agree with my views. Nor will they like everything that I do. In my life I have met people who get angry when others do not fall into step with them. Not me.

Additionally, from negative feedback (delivered in a professional manner) we can learn how to improve. The Networking Quotient is evolving from the positive and negative reactions of those who have invested the time to take the quiz. It will get better, and more valuable, directly because of such comments.

My experiment with ReviewMe did not turn out as I might have wished, but it was worth the investment. For anyone who would look to use this type of service for PR purposes, beware. Negative reviews are a real possibility. And you may not get someone as professional as my reviewer. The web is full of people with axes to grind and who can make all kinds of harsh personal attacks.

My final review of the service is that ReviewMe should be approached with caution. You should know the blogger that you are approaching for a review, so that you can understand their preconceived opinions of your product or service. But if you know them well, the odds are they would happily review you for then you have no need for the paid service. If you think of ReviewMe as a shortcut to making a mutually beneficial friendship with another blogger, you might not be happy with the results.

I am happy to have tried this service, even though my reviewer did not have a good review, as I learned a lot of things from the experiment.

Have A Great Day.

And just for kicks, please take a few minutes to take The Networking Quotient Quiz. If you don't like it, don't tell me! Just kidding, I welcome all feedback!!!

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Rob said...

Why would you link to a negative review of your own product?