This may come as a shock to you, but most of us bloggers get a lot of free stuff. Sometimes it’s swag at an event or a result of reaching out to a specific company we’re fans of, but more often than not, we get contacted by a PR firm and offered something to review. Here at GeekDad, we always disclose when that’s the case (check the bottom of our reviews for the disclaimer), and it sure as heck doesn’t mean that we review everything that shows up, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that reviews of stuff beget more stuff to review.
What do I mean? It’s simple—a PR rep reads something we wrote about an item like the one they represent, and get in touch. It’s how my Nerf blaster review (something I sought out) resulted in my getting a box from Dart Zone (a happy surprise). Recently, you may have noticed a whole lot of headphone reviews here—both wired and wireless. It feels like every time one goes up, we get contacted by two other companies, each minutely different. Right now I have a total of four boxes of headphones to review, and I know several other GeekMoms and GeekDads who have them pending.
The thing is, this is supposed to be a GeekParent site, not a GeekAudio site. The reviews are fun, but we know that’s not why you come here. Reviewing anything just to get free stuff makes us cheap shills. This was brought home recently when I read an article on another site, suggesting the top six headphones for the iPhone 7—and they were all free ones we’d been offered here. It was clearly an attempt to “earn” the freebies. Let me stress again that if you see something here, it means we used it and actually liked it.
Before I wrote for GeekDad, I started and wrote for a site called Techcitement. We defined the name as:
“The feeling that comes over you when discovering new (or even old and unfamiliar) tech. Techcitement also relates to the idea of any use of technology that proves to be interesting, from politics to social media to fitness. If a story excites us, we want to share it with you.”
I want that back—the feeling of sharing something techciting with our readers. As such, while I cannot speak for the other GeekDads or GeekMoms, I’m done reviewing random headphones. Once I finish the four on my desk, you will not see my byline on any headphone reviews. The same thing goes for external hard drives; I see that same pattern forming. I’ll be doing my two pending ones, and that’s it. The exception will be if I personally ask for and get them or get an email and think they are worth reviewing. One, for example, is a noise-limiting set specifically for kids. See, that’s cool and something a geek parent should know about.
You can still expect a ton of reviews from me, including headphones, but once my obligations are done, if it’s not techciting, it’s not going up. Because the larger obligation is to you, the reader.
With that in mind, what sort of reviews do you like to see on GeekDad? Toys? Tech? Movies? Let me know in the comments!
[Editors’ Note: we totally understand Mort’s feeling here and were happy to publish his post, but want to point out that this is not editorial policy for GeekDad as a whole, and we plan to continue reviewing audio products, including headphones as we know they are products that our readers are interested in.]