Tag Archives: person

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

What Am I Thinking Now?

Men are not morons. Women are not ineffable*.

Yet every single day, we’re all of us in America and — possibly — elsewhere bombarded with cliché after cliché that says otherwise. We hear that men can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. We hear that women will forever be unknowable to a dude, that he will never actually understand why she does what she does.

It’s demonstrably not true and, yet, we let this prevarication continue ad infinitum.

Why? Why do we allow this? I think it’s because we’ve all run into someone who won’t bust the cliché. Some dude who really is a moron. Some woman who really does operate on a plane above the rest of us. Then we shrug and tell ourselves that the old cliché must be true and here’s the proof.

Really, though, I think those instances are not proof of the majority, but instances of a rarity.

The confusion and condescension occur not because of what we are, but what we say.

The problem is that we dudes won’t talk openly to you dudettes. And you dudettes won’t talk openly about your motivations to we men.

We all are expected to be mind readers. The problem is that telepathy doesn’t actually exist. We can’t read minds.

If men would explain that they, for instance, forgot their anniversary not because they were a moron, but because they were worried about whether they would miss out on the good office chairs and what that meant for their careers. They’d still be in trouble, mind you, but not because they were idiots.

The first woman who steps up and explains exactly why it’s important to her that when she goes to pick out furniture, she not only wants the man in her life to accompany her, but she wants him to want to go as well and if he doesn’t. . . Well, it’s going to be a long day. Explain that thinking and you’d be a national hero to at least slightly less than half the population of this country.

And, dudes, believe it or not, it’s even worse on the romance front.

Zig when she wants you to zag and you’re a moron. She’s angry because you just don’t understand her.

Again, it’s all down to communication. Actually talk out loud and tell your partner what you really want. Don’t hint. Don’t expect him or her to know it and be angry if she/he doesn’t? It can be as simple as that: Ask for what you want. You might not get it, but it’s better to understand desire and taste, than it is to wonder what went wrong.

Open lines of communication allow significant others to actually see what the other person wants, try to fit it in with what they want, and see if there is any way that the two (or however many) of you can get at least part of what you want.

Step out of the stereotype. Talk to each other and you’ll be amazed how good life can be.

Or you’ll find out you can’t stand one another, but then you at least you know it’s time to move on and start over, and that can’t be a bad thing.

 

*look it up.

Share on Facebook

Sunday Stop Light

To help promote A Dude’s Guide to Babies, Barry and I made a whole bunch of postcard-sized copies of the cover, with information about us and the book on the back, and many more business-card-sized promotional bits as well.

We’ve been making sure to give them to anyone who will take them. They’re scattered around at local grocery stores, in convenience stores, in comic book stores, and in schools. I’ve also created some car magnets featuring the cover so I can cover my sweet, sweet mini-van ride with them. A little mobile advertising to supplement the stay-still advertising where we’ve been placing the ads.

Basically, anywhere that will take them, we’ve left them. Even some that didn’t know they were going to take them.

I’ve taken to saying that I’ll give one of these to anyone who’ll stand still long enough for me to give it to them. It turns out, I’ll even give one to someone who doesn’t stand still, but doesn’t run away fast enough.

I was in the mini-van with the magnets on the side with Zippy the College Boy. We were stopped at a stop light. He said that there were two ladies in the car next to us who were looking at the car and giggling. I was getting a bit upset, thinking they were laughing at the sweet, sweet mini-van, when I realized what was going on.

They were looking at the magnet advertising A Dude’s Guide to Babies. I quickly rolled down the window and invited them to do the same.

I explained that it was a book I’d written with a friend. They laughed, said how wonderful. Then they said their neighbor had just had his first child.

The light was still red, but not for long. I grabbed a couple of copies and leaped out into the street.

The light turned green, but I made it to their car and handed over the cards, thanking them kindly.

They drove off, no doubt thinking it was a narrow escape from the crazyperson back there. I hopped back into my sweet, sweet mini-van and, to the accompaniment of many melodic car horns, drove away.

Yeah, I will do just about anything to promote the book. Why do you ask?

Share on Facebook