This issue has been boiling inside of me for a few months now, and was reconfirmed, again, when I attended the Type A Mom Conference town hall meeting, and heard the same conversation ignited.
Product reviewers. Giveaways. Apparently, it is a HUGE deal.
Product reviewers seem to be looked down upon, or considered the "bottom rung" of the blogging ladder. Why? Maybe because it doesn't fit inside the blogger mold? Some would even dare to say that review and giveaway bloggers are not real writers. But, then, what is a real writer, and can bloggers only be real writers?
I think the underlying issue is that, to some, review and giveaway bloggers are not bloggers at all, so this raises a very important question-
What is the definition of a blogger?
So, after reading the true definition of a blog (weblog) and blogger, what are the rules, now? Notice that in the definition of a weblog, it mentions "commentaries and recommendations complied by the user" AND "also may include journal entries". The definition is VERY broad. Basically, if you use a blog platform with "chronological order" of postings and "links to comments", you are a blogger. There are no other rules beyond that. YOU choose the content.
So, why the discontent for review and giveaway bloggers? I heard at the Type A Mom Conference that levels, such as the "cupcake level", is okay at first, but you obviously need to work your way up. You may have seen my tweet during the conversation that said, "What if you are content at 'cupcake level'"? My point being that not all of us are unhappy with our "level" or "status", yet there is an angst in the air that tells us we should be. The negativity is discouraging, and honestly, not necessary. Many of us are happy making little or NO money. Heck, some of us even feel blessed to have what we do, as little as it may be to some. Some ARE successful doing product reviews. None of us are entitled to ANYTHING, and I am embarrassed by fellow bloggers who believe they are. The very fact that anyone values our opinions, at all, is compensation enough.
The truth is, products are a part of our lives. A HUGE part of it. We are consumers, so in my opinion, it is natural to discuss products and give recommendations. Not all product reviewers are "sell-outs" or "product whores". If reviews and giveaways aren't your thing, don't read it and don't blog about it. There is room for all of us, and an audience for each one of us.
I say blog, and let blog. Support ALL bloggers.
What is your opinion of a product reviewer?