Tuesday, October 6, 2009

in the interest of full disclosure

I do not get paid for reviews. If I ever do anything advertorial on my site, you will be the first to know. If anyone ever wants to sponsor my blog – well, hot dog.

I do receive free items – but not always. I may or may not distinguish, but if I was asked to review it, assume I received the sample at no charge. This is true of homeschool items that I review as part of the TOS Crew, though I do sometimes have to purchase (or already own) items necessary to make the curriculum work. If I review it, assume the manufacturer/distributor provided me with a free copy to test and use in order to write the review.

If I am asked to review something I will do so in the same way I try to live day to day: doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. (Except I don’t say “do unto” very often.) If it’s the worst widget I have ever used in my life, chances are I am going to contact the person who sent it and say, “What gives?” I have a friend in the travel industry who, when she happened to encounter a really bad hotel room, would never write that without first giving the manager or PR rep a call to offer them a chance to explain why it was so bad – maybe they are now under new management, housekeeping was new or whatever. It didn’t change her review, but it did mitigate the damage for someone who was caught on a bad day. The bottom line: I have bad days, too. I would hate for someone’s one and only opinion of me to form on a day when I had been driving my teenager everywhere, homeschooling the boy, working on deadline, trying to clean and cook and dealing with a sick dog. Wait – that’s every day.

I am funny about stuff. That’s probably an understatement. My kids eat junk, sure. However, I strive to maintain certain product standards around here.

The best items:
· Have a small ecological footprint,
· Are made from recycled materials and can be recycled or repurposed without a degree in environmental engineering.
· Do not involve death to or harm of any living creature, (This one is not negotiable.)
· Educate, enlighten, entertain, feed, clothe or just generally make the world a better place,
· Do not belittle my faith, my family, my intellect or my budget, and
· Are made, sold and supported by people of integrity who think what they do is pretty cool.

As always, YMMV.