Reviewing Things

I have a couple of reviews that I want to write, in fact, they're in various stages of completion as I type this. But I wanted to take a quick moment to talk about how I review things.

It should be fairly obvious that this site is no big-budget production. So, I feel that the standards should be set accordingly. By no means am I admitting to purposefully producing terrible content (that happens naturally), instead, I just want to draw attention to my own limitations. Apart from making more jokes at my expense, these limitations largely come down to ability, or lack thereof.

For instance, I do not have the ability to conclusively test durability. Each of the products I review were bought with my own hard-won earnings. Add to that fact that (I assume) meaningful data about durability will ultimately be realized through torturing devices until the point of failure. Math was never my strongest suit, so I always estimate the probability of failure as nearly inevitable; therefore I try my best to prolong the inevitable.

Another example of my inability you say? Yes, please. Audio quality, while subjective to an absurd degree, is not something I can comment on with confidence. At best I could, perhaps, muster up something like, "[product X] sounded less bad than [product G]". Inevitably any audio review will be a review steeped in highly relative anecdotes.

I could go on forever, but there are only so many emotional scars I dare to show at any one time.

How then does a single, dull-witted, pseudo-human being write meaningful content about a particular device/tool/whatever given the biblically awesome magnitude of his own incompetence? The answer is an easy one. All I need to do is to look for gaps in the written market.

There are many high-profile/technical reviews about new and exciting hardware. Similarly, there are many personal reviews and accounts of the same hardware. The sheer amount of writing about a single device will undoubtably cover every opinion I could possibly have. Therefore, I have saved my efforts and will focus them on smaller fish. That means covering products that are much more mundane than the newest phablet, e.g., think Marco Arment's extensive lightbulb coverage or Debby Herbenick's search for the best vibrator.

I want to situate myself somewhere between an Siracusan-esque exposé on OS X and a lowly Amazon review. This is my sweet spot.

This is probably a good time to ask myself "why?", or better yet, "so what?" I want to provide value for anyone who may be interested in the same every-day tool that I have experience with. Often times the things I want to review have no meaningfully written experiences that accompany them.

To me, that's a big problem.

I'm incredibly foolish with my money. I buy things on a whim, with no other direction to help steer my opinion, often times because there is none to consult. As you might imagine, I have been both burned and delightfully surprised. So, if I can help just one person stave off a horrible series of burns from a remote-control quadrocopter with integrated waffle iron, despite how cool the product shots look, I will die a happy primate.

I used to be quite self-conscious about the quality of my opinions, however, that stage has long since passed. I realized that these insights of mine are at the very least not the craziest on the internet and broach on useful, perhaps.

While I can't be a high-profile tech reviewer, I can write exactly how I feel about the device/tool/whatever in question. If it feels good in the hand, I'll say so. If it causes sever back pain, I'll continue to use it for another week to verify and then I'll say so. I realize that's vague and unscientific to a massive degree, but them's the breaks.


Nope. Don't worry about leaving them here, instead hit me up @TRST_Blog and share your thoughts.