I've mentioned this in passing before, but I get solicited at least a few times a week in conjunction with the blog (I suspect other "niche" bloggers have the same experience). Most of these are requests to exchange links and promote other (usually money making) sites. My feeling is that if you are trying to make money with your site, I'm not going to link to you just in the hopes up getting more traffic to my site--that's not a fair exchange. While I'd like more readers, I won't send my readers to sites I don't enjoy reading. Now, if someone ever offered to pay me…well, I still won't link to them if I don't like the site. I've been offered payments a few times to put banners or links on my site. The requests usually from dating sites and I'm not going to link to dating sites. Get real!
I have done a couple of book reviews. I don't know how good I am at it, but I don't feel any conflict of interest. If I decide I'm "media" then reviewing free copies of books is legit. Even so, I feel weird about giving a negative review. I suppose I've written one negative review, which was a disjointed discussion of "Unhooked Generation." My main criticism was the way it represented a purposive sample as representative of a generation. It wasn't representative of anything.
Recently, I accepted some free products and said I'd consider reviewing them. I'm torn--I don't want to commercialize my site but I'm not getting paid, except in kind.
Ok, so the products were Old Spice body spray and an antiperspirant/ deodorant stick. Years ago I had a boyfriend who wore Old Spice deodorant and I really liked it. I started buying it myself and often rotate it with a full-strength antiperspirant. That's why I agreed to accept the swag--because I like Old Spice scents.
The stick was good. Very strong and more effective than the other antiperspirants I have in my arsenal. (I've collected quite a few since none seem to work very well.) I try not to use the aluminum-based antiperspirants any more than necessary, but in DC, in the summer, with all the running around I do, sometimes it's necessary. Anyway, this one works well and I like the way it smells. Spicy and sweet but not cloying. I like it on me so I'd probably like it on a guy. (The question of whether a guy would like the way it smells on me remains open.)
As to the body spray, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I tried it once or twice and it smells fine but it had no staying power. I can't really recommend it. Maybe I wasn't using enough…I guess sprays are different from other types of colognes. Oh, and it's not a pump spray, it's an aerosol so the mist is very fine. I suspect it's not very concentrated and that's why it wears off quickly. Since I like the scents, I'd recommend it to someone who normally has a heavy hand with cologne. You could put on tons of this stuff and not be one of those stinky over-cologned frat boys. Maybe that's who this is designed for? Heh.
I think this may be the only time I do this kind of review. It doesn't feel quite right. Can't hurt to try though, right?
Grateful for: opportunities.