Here’s the deal about product reviews on this blog. I’m happy to review all appropriate products. Generally, that means backup software and storage hardware, and related services and accessories. Before you wind up your press-release-sending machine, however, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Read the Blog First
This is good advice for pitching any blogger, or any print journalist, for that matter. Read a few posts to get a sense of what’s appropriate for this blog, though the title should give you a hint. There are lots of products I think are really cool, but I don’t write about them here because they’re not relevant.
SOHO Products Only
I don’t have access to enterprise systems, and I wouldn’t know what to do with them if I did. Besides, most of my readers (the ones who have been with me longest) have offices with at most a few computers in them. They’re not running Exchange or SharePoint. They don’t have the budget to invest in products like that.
Windows Platform Preferred
As of this writing (December 2008), I’m running Windows XP Pro. That means that in order to cover software designed for Linux or Mac, I have to find someone else to write the review. I’m willing to do that, but it may take longer to get your coverage. (Of course, if someone wants to buy me a MacBook Pro so I can review Mac backup software, I won’t object.)
You Get My Honest Opinions
I’m generally inclined to feel favorable toward people who send me free stuff, but sometimes I have a bad experience with a product that I expect to like. (If I really expect to hate it, I won’t agree to review it.) I owe it to my readers to tell it like it is. And I know that you might have gotten a great review over at PCMag or CNET, but I don’t have a test lab here: I have a hardworking computer that’s already running several kinds of backup programs. Sometimes there will be mysterious, idiosyncratic hardware or software conflicts. I try to be as fair as possible, but I have to tell the truth.
If You Want It Back, Include Postage
This should be fairly self-explanatory. I’m not getting paid to write these reviews, and it’s not my job to underwrite your marketing. Likewise, however, I make no claim to be entitled to keep an expensive piece of equipment you send me for testing. So if you need your product back when I’m finished, just tell me so in the pitch, and provide me with return postage.
I Have a Day Job
Well, actually, I have a business. Two of them. That means my paying clients take precedence over writing the Backup Blog. I normally produce one column a week, and I usually have quite a backlog of people who want their products covered. So until and unless I get an army of bloggers working for me, you may have to wait a few weeks, or even longer, for my review. If I know when I’m going to write about your product, I’ll tell you. If the delay seems unusually long, feel free to nag me: sallie [at] fileslinger [dot] com.