I’ve noticed a thing or two about reviews in the past couple of years. On so many blogs and videos I see people apologizing for their opinion. Like they feel they have to apologize for not having the same opinion. It’s very human to feel like we have to have a certain opinion, just because we’re supposed to. But does this really make for a good review?
I think not. We should stop writing reviews where half of it is a disclaimer in which we apologize for being negative. It is a natural thing to do, because we don’t want to belittle the creators that worked so hard on the product. We also definately don’t want people to get angry because we simply don’t agree with them. I can imagine it’s even more difficult when you’re reviewing a sponsored product. Yet I’d like to go as far as to say that people who write things in their review like: I hate to be negative, I really wanted to like this product, it’s not for me but maybe it’s perfect for you just don’t give themselves enough credit.
It’s okay to dislike or even hate something. A review should be your opinion about a product. There’s no way to write an objective review, because you always write it from your perspective. Meaning you tell people what your experiences with something were. They can be fantastic and it could possible turn into your new favorite and your readers’ next favorite thing, but it’s okay if it’s not. Life is about the balance between ups and downs. It’s naïve to ignore the negativities.
I pledge to all bloggers to write or talk about their honest opinions. You know what the wonderful thing about blogging is? It’s that people have created their own platform to express themselves. It’s a new form of media that doesn’t have to deal with media policies and other opinions. All journalists for traditional media are much more limited in what they can publish in the way that their articles have to align with the image that their media company wants to portray. Every written word has to fit with what they stand for as a whole. Weblogs are much more lowkey. Even though some have become their own company, it is still mostly the vision of one individual. This personal approach to media is the greatest treasure of a blog. It has created a way for everyone to share their opinions on their passion.
Bloggers can learn from traditional media. Reviews in newspapers and magazines are often known to be critical. They don’t shy away from displeasing the producers of a movie, for example. When the reviewer thinks something is bad, he or she writes about that. Why? Because journalists try to be as objective as possible. Yet they can’t be as objective as a blogger can. Journalists have to keep in mind what the readers and their colleagues will think of a movie. I once went to a workshop in reviewing for pop journalism in which a journalist told me he always tries to review the album as if he’s putting the opinion of his readers on paper. It’s not about what he thinks of an album, but it’s about what he expects his overall readers to think.
But isn’t it much more fun to write about what you think of something? Isn’t reviewing on a blog about sharing your passion for products with other readers? I want to rave about books, share my love for songs but also rant about things I don’t like. A blog, magazine or newspaper shouldn’t be associated with a company. A reviewer isn’t there to please others, but should be there to give information and his own opinion about things.
It should speak for itsself that different people like different things. Just because a review is negative it could very well be a good product for you. Bloggers shouldn’t have to mention this in their blogposts. It makes me sad that some people don’t realize that someone else having a different opinion than them is actually a good thing.
Where does The Cardigan Collection come in with all of this? I’m motivated to deliver reviews about things that interest me. I will not put up disclaimers about any different opinions you may have on books, music or other things I will review. This is my personal place on the internet where I feel like I should be able to speak my mind without having to feel guilty about it. I’ve never been called out on having a certain opinion by the few readers I have, but it sucks when I read so many blogposts that have to include all of this obvious information.
Do feel free to start a discussion with me if you don’t agree on anything that is stated in my reviews or other articles. I’m always interested in what you have to say about something. Like I said, different people have different opinions. I’m always interested in what others have to say. Just don’t hate me for disliking something you love.