Tag Archives: Brood

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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Coming of Age

by Richard

Today, I am a man.

After taking a severe shellacking at the Caesar’s Casino Sports Book (I still can’t believe both the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts lost), my friends and I were in a bit of a funk. Still, we took it like dudes do. We cried and whined and moaned and complained and all that, but we did recover.

We schlepped back to our hotel (Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon) and were getting ready to slouch back up to the room and do some more dude-ly brooding when I decided to do something to change my luck. I sat down at a blackjack table and tossed out some money. Actually, I didn’t figure to change my luck so much as burn out all the bad luck that must have been hanging around my head like a black cloud.

But that didn’t happen. It turns out I was able to actually win. I doubled my money, but that’s not what en-manned me. Nope. What did it was when I decided to cash out rather than keep pushing my luck. That’s right, I actually left a casino holding more money than when I walked in. Not that I’ve been in many casinos, but that has never happened before.

I actually seemed to have thought my way out of a wet paper bag with this one. Of course, all that self-congratulatory praise I’m busy heaping on myself is just so much air considering I’d already lost earlier in the day.

Oh well. Baby steps. Baby steps.

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Aaaaand They’re Back

by Richard

Finally. Finally. Finally. We’re all back home.

After a summer spent with at least one little dude gone almost the entire summer, the entire brood is finally back home.

I think it’s time to start breaking out the big stick and whacking folks.

Or I might be overcompensating just a bit.

I think it’s going to take more than few days for us to all get used to filling the house once again. Shoulders — used to a bit more freedom — are going to be rubbed raw for a while.

Eventually, though, I”m sure we’ll form some scars and get on with life. Scars. Hmm. Scars of love.

You know? I think I might need a bit of a lie down.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Bed is calling.

Now if only the little dudes would just be quiet.

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