|To: Chip Anderson who wrote (16304)||5/7/2000 11:39:00 AM|
|From: Michael G. Potter||Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 16960|
I posted this on TMF in response to the lastest conspiracy theories about web reviews:|
When 3dfx bought STB, I remember one of the boardmakers that used to be a 3dfx customer saying that they would now have to do all the dirty work with all the review sites.
I still doubt that there are direct payoffs, but influencing editorial policy or reviewers' point of view has been a part of business well before the web came along.
The primary way to influence editorial policy is through advertising dollars. Companies even do that to Wall Street by witholding investment banking business. That's why I trust the reviews in Consumer Reports the most, they do not accept advertising (although Cunsumer Reports does tend to be stooges for tort lawyers).
In the hardware field, the companies can either withold hardware or change the timing of when hardware is sent out (later than other review sites).
The second way to influence the reviewers is through perks. That's invites to launch parties with free booze. Free copies of games. Job offers within the field (like NVIDIA and Loyd Case and Creative hired Bill Ball) are another draw. Do you really want to attack companies if they may be potential employers down the road?
I would say that I'm even influenced by the second one in some ways. First, I'm long some of the companies in the video area. It's hard to write something negative when it might cost you money. I also try and be somewhat balanced as if I go off on a real rant about any of the companies, there's a great chance that IR will just stop returning my calls.
In many ways, that is marketing at work. It would be nice if every reviewer and every website was a shining example of truth. However, review sites are businesses and they're run by people. If NVIDIA is generating better buzz than their competition, then (if you're not willing to admit that they have a pretty good product) it is simply a sign that they're out marketing their competition.
One last point. If everytime that a review site writes a negative review about a 3dfx videocard and then the reviewer is bombarded by nasty, name calling e-mails, what do you think they're going to think about 3dfx? Many of us have real money on the line which tends to get emotions going, but I've never understood the cultish part of the videocard scene. It's just colouring pixels on my monitor, it isn't my family or something.
ps - hi, Chip. We miss you hosting DD Quake tournaments.