Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lenexa, KS
Bikes: 06 Trek 1200 - 98 DB Outlook - 99 DB Sorrento
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I know it's kind of a different world in the blogosphere, but in the real media world, it's generally poor form to keep the products you're reviewing even if the supplier says you can.
I have two takes on this. My main website is a Ford Focus how-to site. I've reviewed a great many products and I have close personal friends in the Focus aftermarket and enthusiast community. A friend of mine reviewed some stuff, and I reviewed some stuff. We traded parts.
I must admit that I did keep the FocusSport custom chip that they sent me, but again, I'm close friends with the VP of FocusSport, I'm a nerd, and I can help him troubleshoot his tuning programs for the Focus. I've gone through nearly 20 different "programs" on four different Focuses with two different products (SCT Chip and SCT XCalibrator II) so I've gone far above and beyond just a simple product review and pimping the product. I don't feel guilty about keeping the SCT chip at all. He actually sent me two to keep, and I gave one away to the second most active contributor to my site (I'm #1).
Product giveaways (of stuff you've been given to keep) are a huge boon. Sponsor a contest or something, and give the contest a bit of lead time to build up a good head of steam and media buzz before the giveaway.
Here in the blogosphere, the "rules" are a lot more lenient, but the occasional giveaway can actually net a bigger payoff (higher traffic, more exposure, more advertisement hits, and more advertisers targeting your site with their ads if you use a delivery system like AdSense) than keeping the product for yourself. Think of it as "free traffic/ad revenue/street cred" instead of "free goodies".
where's your computer blog?
Or do you mean the pseudo-hacking/security/whatever blog that my friends and I all help with?