Tag Archives: barry robert ozer

Word Of Mouth

How do you know that what you want to buy is any good?

If you’re buying something from a nearby brick-and-mortar store, you simply go there, take a look at it, heft it in your hands and get a feel for the object.

Then you go back home and do the same thing you’d do if you were buying the object, sight unseen, from a store on the internet: you look it up and start reading reviews.

I realize that there are some folks out there who are making a mockery of the review system, in that they are either hiring people to write glowing reviews of their product or scathing reviews of the competitor’s product, but I can’t think of a better system — when it’s not being gamed — for getting the unvarnished truth about a product.

Purchaser reviews are like talking over the backyard fence to your neighbor about her new lawn mower, or asking your cubicle-mate at work what he thought about that new Ethiopian restaurant downtown. You get to hear what each dude or dudette really thinks about the purchase or the food or the service.

You know that the person you asked isn’t being paid to speak only in glowing terms about the new nose-hair trimmer she just purchased. If you trust her, then you’ll trust her opinion of the nose-hair trimmer.

The internet, however, is a bit bigger than only your neighborhood. Odds are, you won’t know who the person recommending a product is, but you can be reasonably certain they are reviewing this under their own initiative, not because it’s their job to shill for Company X.

This came to mind last night, when I received a note from Amazon.Com that my review had helped another customer decide to purchase an item I got for Hyper Lad. It made me glad because, for a long while, I’d been reading reviews, but leaving hardly any.

That is just bad form.

See, you might recall that I’m a writer. (See A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad’s Playbook by Richard Jones and Barry Robert Ozer, on sale at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powells.com and fine brick-and-mortar stores everywhere for proof.)

Since the book came out, I’ve been begging people to read it and then leave a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or anywhere they think others will see the review. The more reviews we get, the more people will see it, the more people will buy it, the better I’ll feel about the whole thing. (Which might not be all that important to you, but is oddly high on my list.)

I still don’t think we have enough reviews, but as I was brooding over that, I realized that I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain. That is, I wanted reviews, but I wasn’t giving reviews.

Now, I understand there’s no big review toteboard up in the sky that ensures if you leave a review, you’ll get a review. But I thought maybe it was time to practice what I preached.

So I’ve been going back and leaving reviews for most of the items I’ve purchased from Amazon.com and other places. It’s taking a long, long, long, long, long (I like to buy things on the internet instead of searching for them IRL), long, long time. But I’m sticking with it.

And I think you should as well. I know you dudes and dudettes have read the reviews others have left, but have you left one in return? If folks don’t keep leaving reviews, the system breaks down and then we have to depend on the paid flacks for their not-so-honest answers.

No one wins when that happens.

Do your part, dudes. Buy a product? Write a review. Read a book? Write a review. Watch a movie? Write a review.

It only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll be glad you did.

You can always start here, reviewing A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad’s Playbook by Richard Jones and Barry Robert Ozer. Just a thought.

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This is the 2,000th post here on the Guide, dudes.

That’s 2,000 times either I (Richard Jones) or Barry (Barry Robert Ozer) have hit publish and sent something out to you, our (hypothetical) constant reader.

This blog has been running in one form or another since about this time in 2008. The first post actually was published by Barry on January 27, 2008.

In fact, Barry actually wrote the entire first week of the blog. Well, the first week’s worth of posts since they weren’t daily back then. After he convinced me, in the best fashion of Tom Sawyer and the whitewashed fence, that I really should be the one to write these things, I’ve been doing most of them ever since.

Although, really, I think the best posts are those that Barry brings to me. He’ll have something happen in his life that sparks an idea, he’ll write it up and then I’ll punch it up a bit, send it back to him, do a bit more editing and then put up here. The collaboration sparks things.

Things like our book, A Dude’s Guide to Babies, still available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine booksellers across this great country and other almost-as-great countries around the world.

When we started this blog, George W. Bush still was the president. Barry was happy about that. I wasn’t. Before our first year was up, Barak Obama was president. I was happy about that. Barry wasn’t.

We started this blog as a way to drum up interest in the idea of publishing our book, the aforementioned A Dude’s Guide to Babiesbut it’s become so much more for me.

While we don’t get all that much feedback here on the site, we do get a number of comments from folks through our Facebook feed, Google + and other social networking sites. We really do appreciate those of you, especially you, Chris Upson, our most frequent commentator, who take the time to let us know where we got it right and where we got it wrong.

I was going to thank the (metaphorical) little people, but realized that might not be as funny as it could. It’s also not true. I might be the person with his fingers on the keyboard, but it’s only because I got invited first.

When we started this blog, there weren’t a whole lot of places where men could go to talk about parenting. The idea of a stay-at-home dad was just beginning to gain traction as something other than a comedy idea. It still was a tremendous step up from where the idea was when I started doing it 14 years ago, but still far below where it is now.

Which is not to say the idea of a dad staying home to care for his kids doesn’t still get mined for far too much silly, dumb attempts-that-miss-wildly at comedy. But it’s growing into an accepted idea you won’t have to fight for.

So, thanks, everybody.

We’ve been having a great time. Spread the word. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends about us.

We’re a fun couple of guys and we’d love to hear from anyone.

Thanks for reading however many of the past 2,000 posts you did manage to read. Thank you for your support.

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I, For One, Welcome Our Facebook Overlords

by Richard

It’s not something you’ll probably notice, but I just wanted to let you know that you can now read all about the blog over on my Facebook account or on Barry’s Facebook account.

It’s just our way of making things even easier for you.

Because we like you all so very much. Especially you, yes, you.

Bask in our attention.

Now, drone!

Ahem. Sorry. Don’t know what came over me.

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