I'm not too proud to steal a good idea, in this case Katz's most excellent CNET's HDTV review status report. I, too, get besieged by e-mails asking when we're planning to review camera x, why haven't we yet reviewed camcorder y, as well as escalatingly irritated e-mails as to why I failed to respond to a reader's previous e-mails regarding the previous two questions. And since today is Phil Ryan's last day with us, I, too, have just become a lone reviewer staring down an onrushing tide of the almost 200 new products … Read more
As the principal HDTV reviewer here at CNET, I get a lot of requests that read something like this: "Nice reviews guy, but seriously, where's the review of the LGanasamsorny KDL-42PZA450U/37 I saw yesterday at Best Buy? AVS Forum has a 732 page owner's thread up already, and I'd really like to know what you think before I drop my hard-earned ducats."
I try to answer as many of these questions as I can politely and directly, but it recently occurred to me that readers may appreciate a list of what reviews I'm working on now and which ones are in the pike. So here it is, along with a few notes.
Looking to get started with a blog? More importantly, do you hope to monetize that blog? There are a lot of articles and books on blogging these days, many with limited or inaccurate information, but How To Make Money With Your Blog is one of the most complete and thorough publications on the subject that I've encountered. Authors Duane Forrester (a search engine marketer) and Gavin Powell (a technical writer) have covered all the important bases from identifying the best blogging platforms to covering the ins and outs of blogosphere culture. Oh yeah, and in between, they explain quite … Read more
Yelp, the business reviews site famed for a vociferous user base willing to be brutally honest about the quality of their local restaurants, bars, bookstores, dog groomers, adult gift shops, and what-have-you, has launched a new service for those business owners to interact with the site's users.
Called "Yelp for Business Owners," the section of the site lets business owners register for special Yelp accounts, which they then need to verify by phone. Once registered, they have access to some analytics (namely to see how many people have been viewing their business page), receive e-mail alerts when … Read more
It was a relatively quiet week for digital imaging coverage, but here's the wrap-up (didn't that get you all excited?):Indecent Exposure 2: Intermittently unreliable Samsung SC-HMX10 review and image samples Video: Canon Vixia HF100 Photo samples: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10 Photo samples: Pentax K200D Rumors: Nikon, Canon dSLRs
q&a Last week, business reviews site Yelp (famous for its wild parties and opinionated members) announced that it had raked in $15 million in Series D venture funding--and that the San Francisco-based company would be opening a new office in New York. I caught up with Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman over the weekend to talk about a few numbers other than the five-star rating.
Yelp New York, in Manhattan's West Village, opens Monday. But according to Stoppelman, they won't be celebrating with one of the bashes that made his site a bit notorious.
You … Read more
Yelp, the business reviews site that has gained a loyal following of opinionated young urbanites, as well as a couple of haters, announced on Wednesday that it has raked in a fresh $15 million in venture dough. The funding round, which closed Tuesday, comes from new investor DAG Ventures, as well as a number of existing investors.
Representatives of Yelp, which earns money through advertising revenue and sponsored listings, and has some much larger competitors, such as InterActiveCorp's Citysearch, say the current tally of reviews posted on the site is 2.3 million. Traffic is steadily climbing.
Google Analytics … Read more
In case you can't read from the screenshot above, Blippr lets users browse and rate commercial products including books, video games, movies, and music. The twist is that these reviews are incredibly short at just 160 characters, or the limit on an SMS message on your mobile phone. Twitter, the popular micropublishing tool pioneered this idea, and the folks at Blippr think it might work on product reviews.
The fact that I need to write more about it is also one of the reasons that Blippr doesn't fit he bill for what it was created for. Sometimes reviews just need to be longer to give a product or service justice.
Coming back to the review system, the written reviews are coupled with a 1-4 rating system that uses emoticons (aww how cute) to establish a metascore for how good an item is. In addition to the rest of the Blippr users scores, you can get see a quick friends score as long as your Blippr friends have rated said item. These scores are shown at the top of each review and help sort through content.
Blippr doubles as a social bookmarking tool, letting you create custom lists and subscribe to the day's hot list of products that are getting buzz. There are no ads on the site, so to supplement an income for the creators, the entire thing runs off affiliate links to various online retailers.
Here's the thing, I like this service at a very visceral level. It rips off a lot of GUI from Flickr, but I'm OK with that because writing 160 word reviews is simple and brings that same publishing happiness that Twitter does. What I don't like is that same limitation ends up amounting to something more like one-line comments on a blog post than something constructive or substantial like you'll find on the native user review systems on popular Web retailers such as Amazon and Netflix. Sometimes the details really do amount to something.
The service is in private beta, although the folks at Blippr were kind enough to offer Webware readers some invites. To get yours, click here. More shots after the jump.
Blogged.com, a new blog rating service, officially launches Monday. The service has a decent catalog of blogs in its archive and could be a useful tool if you're looking for blogs on a particular topic, or looking for yet more blogs to read.
There are two types of blog search sites. If you are looking for individual stories or items inside blogs, search tools such as Google Blog Search will do a good job of finding articles. In the other category are the blog directories, such as Blogged.com and BlogCatalog. They're more useful for finding blogs … Read more
Outside.in, a New York-based site that aggregates town-specific news, blog posts, and business listings into a sort of Local News 2.0, formally launched a discussion forum feature on Wednesday.
Obviously, discussion boards don't mean anything if there isn't a solid base of users willing to contribute to them regularly. But there certainly are more than a few people who like to rant about their local school board, sidewalks … Read more