*cough* Excuse me while I brush off the dust and cobwebs. One would be forgiven for assuming I’m off enjoying the fabulous sunshine the UK is getting at the moment, but you’d be so wrong. When I’m not working my ass off (even on Fridays at the moment) I’m sleeping. Apparently the “bouncy”/”energetic” second trimester only happens to other people.
Anyway, I’m not blogging to complain about being pregnant (if I get started, you’ll be crying tears of boredom into your keyboard by the end of the 2nd paragraph). Instead, I have another complaint. I have noticed, with some disdain, that “unrequested” reviewing is becoming popular. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I invented unrequested website reviewing (that’s almost as funny as the time I thought I’d invented the word “spork” as a kid…) but I take it to new levels, and so every dodgy review I read that’s filled with errors and half-truths is like a stab through the heart.
Let’s take, for example, this group review of Jessica (swimchick) (it’s not recent, but I’m behind, give me a break). Clearly, given my Pants Award, I’m no stranger to pulling Jessica up on her website. Nonetheless, I’d like to think the things I mentioned were both accurate and reasonable. I don’t consider the following to be accurate or reasonable:
Why would someone need 1000+ unique hits JUST to be affiliates with you? Affiliates are not for hits, they are online friends who you comment regularly.
Now, I’m not sure what kind of happy clappy fairy land world this person lives in, but affiliating websites pre-dates personal sites and the need to pat one another on the back for a job well done each time a person blogs. Affiliation is for driving relevant traffic and backlinks, plain and simple. In light of this, one can clearly see that the reason why Jessica requires a 1000 hit minimum is to weed out the n00bs who open and close sites more often than I change my underpants, and that are only interested in Jessica’s site because they’re infatuated with her apparent popularity.
why donâ€™t you install an ask and answer script? Iâ€™m sure people would appreciate it, seeing as you hardly reply to emails, from what Iâ€™ve been told.
FAQ scripts are more hassle than anything else and the foundation of a decent review should never be hearsay and speculation. (I’d like to point out at this stage that Jessica has always replied to my emails in a timely manner; more so than I ever do.)
Aside from that blatant misunderstanding of what it’s like to own a popular site, there’s also general abundance of dodgy advice:
It’s very important to have readable text, but sometimes, depending on what the links are, it’s good to make them a bit bigger than the rest so that it can pop out and catch the visitorâ€™s attention.
Er, no. Differentiate between links and text with colour and an underline by all mean, but altering the text size is not the way to do it.
Swearing is definitely a turn-off so it is good that you mentioned it in your “guide to websites”.
Joining competitions, forums and such is also a good idea. Too bad I’ve never seen you done any of these things you mentioned.
Jessica is on Snark…
If your own coding isn’t valid then how would you know how easy, hard, or beneficial it can be?
Because one can know how to validate and choose to not bother?
In “You can find the latter.”, “latter.” should be “ladder.”
No, it really shouldn’t.
I thought presentation was everything? I guess I’ve been mistaken… clearly.
Worst. Sarcasm. Ever.
I just moved on to your previous blog (that has a label at the top, ‘You must read this’ – awww mummy do I have too?) and noticed in your bullet point of new things you say youâ€™re going to return comments. You feeling okay?
Seriously.. just what the fuck?
However, your website isn’t very original anymore, but you can’t be blamed for everyone copying you.
…and yet this is the 3rd/4th time it’s been used as criticism.
Note, hopefully with as much amusement as I did, the closing gem:
This review was not written out of spite or jealousy
…because apparently, writing that line will make it true. (Telling someone they “get enough hits” and/or insinuating they don’t deserve their visitors is pretty much as close to admitting you’re jealous without coming out and saying it as you can get.)
And you all thought I was exaggerating that stab to the heart part.
I am hoping at this point that I’m not alone in feeling a little sorry for the world of reviewing. Perhaps I’m just getting old, and my nostalgia for the days of epic length reviews and hours of learning the science behind web pages is misplaced. I can only hope that out there somewhere is a younger me, preparing herself to battle through the hordes of mediocre reviewers if only to carry on the metaphorical torch. Now there’s a scary thought.