Hi there, you’re reading this page because you have clicked the little link I put in my reviews. Or as a vendor, I’ve sent you here prior to reviewing/featuring/blogging about your headset/phone/doohicky.
Keep in mind that Australia has laws the govern how online reviews by influencers can be performed. More information is available over here
- I respect my audience and treat them as such.
- Free hardware is no guarantee of a positive review. If it has flaws they will be called out
- I try to not let free hardware sway my opinion of anything (most of it ends up with my friends anyway)
- Paid content is called out as a commision and I will not accept payment for a review, or positive comments
- I play nicely with everyone and expect vendors do the same
- Stand by your product. If I review something and I or my audience find issues with it later on. Users should be able to get this sorted without issue.
Vendors, Read First!
First things first. I’ve built my audience over years of being open and honest with them. I and any other Microsoft MVP are not a marketing engine, not even for Microsoft. We just genuinely love talking about technology. Please don’t expect to send me your thing and me to regurgitate your marketing piece from the reviewer’s guide. If your product is awesome, I’ll say that, if it has inherent issues, I’ll say that too.
All articles on the UcMadScientist Blog and Youtube Channel have for quite some time declared very openly if a vendor has provided a review unit as a loan or to keep. I do this to let my audience know that I don’t have every single option out there in front of me. I also am aware that whilst we try to not let it happen unintentional bias can still affect a review. So I feel it’s important to call it out.
(Some older articles when I was starting out are missing this, I’ve left these alone)
This openness is also expected to extend out to vendor staff.
Should a vendor comment on their or a competitors product, they are expected to be open about who they are. They shouldn’t bad mouth a product or vendor under the guise of keyboard anonymity. Otherwise, I may call out their behaviour. This kind of stuff has happened to my articles before and to be honest, just looks bad!
Special consideration / review limitations
(IE, only comparing against a certain other unit or in a certain scenario)
Doesn’t happen, please don’t ask. I’ll review the unit in the market segment I feel it fits into. If the doohicky is expensive, it needs to do its job as well as its peers in that price range. If the doohickey usually comes with X feature and it’s missing on the product. It will get called out.
My audience also reaches out to me on many social platforms asking about products. As always my response is my own based on my experiences with the hardware.
Paid reviews, content length and talking points
Sorry, I don’t do paid reviews. I won’t let financial incentives influence my review process unconsciously.
If your item has been sent out as “free to keep” for review, content can range from unboxing to an overview or spotlight. usually being one video or one blog post. There are no guarantees of content length or type unless previously discussed.
Just as an idea, a short unboxing video can easily chew 1-2 days in filming/editing and other resources and a review can eat a solid week in testing, scripting, vendor feedback, filming, editing and publishing.
So please don’t expect a 20-minute breakdown video for a $100 headset that isn’t relevant to my audience.
If a vendor is looking for a more intricate deep dive, a breakout of a particular feature, or even a commissioned series explaining things or a howto that requires significant time investment these can be discussed but will likely attract fee’s
Scoring, competitive breakdowns, Holden vs Ford etc
I don’t do these anymore, I’m sorry. Some of my older articles would do things like Product X vs Product Y and to be honest, it’s unfair on all parties involved as it “declares a winner” in an open market place. It’s unfair on vendors as they already compete against each other, it’s unfair on my audience as I only know the pros and cons from my perspective.
Instead these days I focus on what makes the product under review great and where it lacks so my audience can make the decision for themselves.
Bugs, Flaws and Major issues
Sometimes I’m sent review hardware before it’s released to the public, and sometimes it’s ready for showtime, sometimes it’s not.
When I receive a product that has a major breaking issue, the vendor will be given an opportunity to address the issue before the review is published. If the issue is addressed, then there may be a small mention in the article/video of that issue. If after working with the vendor to try and solve the issue I still feel the product is majorly flawed or unusable. I will withhold my review. I don’t want to be seen endorsing something that is broken. I’m sorry.
I’ve done this for a few products already and it’s completely up to the vendor what I do with that hardware afterwards. If they have offered a free product for review and I haven’t provided one. I simply ask they send me a shipping label and I’ll send it back.
If the product has minor issues they will be called out. If its something that a user in the real world is going to experience. It’s important that they know it.
Playing nice also extends to after-sales support. Again my audience reads my articles because they trust me. Should a vendor ship a product I’ve reviewed that then develops an issue thanks to a firmware update or some major issue that affects all units after normal usage. I expect the vendor to own the issue and resolve it appropriately.
Failure to do so may result in a note placed on their review, removal of the review or publicly requesting updates on the issue via my social channels.
End users will also occasionally contact me asking “how to fix x on y” and I reserve the right to defer this to the vendors’ support team. Should they not help the user, I may reach out on their behalf.
Timeline on reviews / Embargo dates
I’m happy to work with any vendor on any pre-release hardware to have something ready for an embargo lift. But sometimes I can’t always commit to a hard date. I like many of you have a family, a job and all the other MVP bits I need to do. So sometimes a review can take me a few months as I need to find the time / be in the right frame of mind. I’d rather not rush and write something bad just to commit to a timeline. Again if I haven’t reviewed a product in an appropriate amount of time, It may get sent back.
After all that
If you’re still willing to engage in a review on UcMadScientist please reach out to me on Twitter via DM, It’s the best way to reach me and make sure you don’t get caught in a spam filter.
PS: In keeping “on brand” with my online persona, there may be Ponies.