Tag Archives: People

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.

Share on Facebook

Are You. . .

You can learn a lot about yourself from some surprising sources.

No, I’m not asking what it says about you that the most-frequently visited place in your browser history is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic bulletin board and fan fiction website.

Still, the internet does make available a plethora of tools you dudes can use to learn a bit about yourself. For instance, I was reading an article about introverts and extroverts and how to tell the difference between the two, which is a bit more difficult in some cases than others, and I realized that I do display a tremendous amount of signs that point to my being an introvert. Especially when it comes to interacting with people in person. It’s exhausting.

Personally, that’s something I think is the defining characteristic difference between the two. Interacting with people is exhilarating for an extrovert and exhausting for an introvert.

I also had occasion recently to do a little research into diagnosing for attention deficit disorder, or ADD. Most assuredly, this is something that should be left for the professionals. However, I find these sorts of tests to be useful in helping you to assess whether a behavior or suite of behaviors is something that needs to be brought to a professional.

The good folks at ADDitude Magazine, a magazine for people living with ADD and for people caring for those people, posted a link to a pretty good screening test for ADD.

This questionnaire was adapted from the ASRS Screener developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD. It is intended for people ages 18 and older. If you answer yes to a significant number of these questions, consult a licensed mental health practitioner. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation.

Yeah, what they said.

I realize there could be quite a bit of observational bias here. (That is, you dudes see what you’re looking for. AKA the Odyssey Effect. I never saw a Honda Odyssey on the road until I purchased one and then saw them everywhere.) Still, I found that I was answering yes to a lot of these questions. Well, I was answering yes to a lot of the questions when I wasn’t flipping over to other pages, or getting up to get a few other things done while I waited impatiently for the next question to load.

“I often have trouble wrapping up the final details to a project when all the interesting stuff has already been done.”

That’s a big yes.

Whether or not we can depend on these sorts of tests, whether or not the insights gleaned from them are anything more than the gross overgeneralizations you’d get from a lot of the stuff you get on the internet, at least they can give you a place to start.

Share on Facebook

Memorial Day

A happy Memorial Day to all you dudes and dudettes out there.

Even though this is a terrible day in theory (during which we “celebrate” those men and women who died in the service, ostensibly to keep our country free), it leaves us with a nice holiday after the observances.

Yes it’s sad that men and women had to die to defend what should be inalienable rights of every single person born on this Earth, but it’s also a day to celebrate.

We celebrate that there is a nation still worth defending, that a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this Earth, and that there still are men and women who believe that our country is worth protecting.

And we celebrate a day off, with summer on the way, warm weather closer to making its stay permanent.

It’s a good day to be alive.

Which means we’re out there enjoying it.

And so should you be.

Thank a vet for not having to be remembered today, remember those who do, and then enjoy what you can.

Share on Facebook