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June 02, 2006


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Busy Mom

Truly? (Hi, Charlie) I think people get way too worked up about it. These are just blogs, no more, no less. I actually don't think the oft bandied about term "selling out" applies to this medium when one is a hobby blogger.

I've never been told what to write about any of these things (i.e., I've never been given anything in exchange for a positive review). Perhaps someone has chosen not to return to my site because of it, I don't know. I hope that hasn't happened, and, no one has ever said anything about it.

If someone asks me to talk about a product or service, and, if I like it, I usually don't mind letting other people know about it. I've said "no" to lots of things, and, I'd like to think the things I've reviewd might be useful to someone.

Busy Mom

Um, and, any future "Prata" bags you may or may not receive can live with me. Unless, of course, they're butt ugly or something.


Go on brush your shoulders off...


Hello, Metrodad. Long-time listener, first time caller. It's interesting how PR infiltrates "new" markets. Since my field is PR and graphic design, I'm actually intrigued about new ways to approach audiences. Anyway, I say pimp it up and enjoy. As long as you're honest about your review, I don't think you'll do any harm. Your readers can just take it or leave it, though some of them may start calling you Metrowhore. That's okay...just don't give them Charlie's email address. I'll be happy if you refrain from adding 26 animated ads to your blog.


I have absolutey no problem with you getting free products from PR people. Blogging is a new and interesting way to reach out to different communities. On the other hand, I really don't like seeing an abundance of ads on people's blogs. One or two is ok but more than that and it just makes it hard for me to read. I know it's probably silly of me. I'm not sure that other people feel the same way. Ever since Dooce overloaded her site with ads, I subconciously find that I don't go over there to read her site anymore.


There's no problem with getting free stuff, just keep in mind that the reason people come to YOUR blog is not because they want to know what the best new camcorder or whatever is. It's mainly because of your insight or quirky view of life as a parent. That said, I'd just try to keep the reviews to a one a month kind of thing, and pack 'em all into one post, that way peeps who aren't into it, can just skip over.

Again, keep on rockin.


For Incredibly Visionary Charlie and other savvy, ahead of the curve, on the bleeding edge marketers:
Please send MD more free stuff. He has drawn a great audience. Go back and read his comments... you'll see. For every Dad commenting like myself, there are many, many more lurking. And many of us are professionals with healthy disposable incomes, young children, and a great appreciation for the opportunities fatherhood brings: namely, more toys for Daddy to play with. Yes, I mean LEGO's and other kiddie fare! But really, I'm talking the higher priced techie wet dream stuff I've been trying to rationalize to my dearsweetwifey for years! and now I can do this so much more effectively. "You know, Honey, digital cameras are for pix of junior! And all these accessories make it all better and you have better material for your scrapbooking!" And more toys, you know TiVos or similiar, anything wireless!, gizmo's, gadgets, doodads. If it has a microprocessor, microcontroller, GPS receiver, or hell, flashy lights, I freakin' want to play with it. It's my *duty* as a good Daddy. Please send MD more Daddy toys. He has refined tastes and a real ability to communicate and connect with his audience. Please enable him to share his toy stories with the rest of the daddies in the sandbox.
And, for you MD:
THAT is called "whoring yourself." Carry on with your bad self.


Go for yours, MD! I'd love to see all my favorite bloggers get free swag.


What do I care if you get free swag? As long as you are honest in your reviews--you might be saving one of your readers money and time.

Now if these marketing firms need someone to review products with a certain midwestern flair via New Jersey (or is it New Jersey flair via the Midwest?!), I'm your gal!!!


I totally agree, there are no moral abiguities about free stuff, so long as it's truly free...and you've read the fine print...and your apartment has room.



Ok, that just sounded like I didn't agree with your taking this stuff. Free stuff is free stuff, as long as you're not telling us to go buy something you got NOW, pimp on.


Whored yourself out? Hell no. You're my hero. I am totally jealous of you.


I have a friend who fills out all those ad offers and gets ridiculous shit for it. She just got a scooter (you know, like a moped, not a foot pedaled skateboard with handlebars). and on it, there are these instructions:

Always wear your safy cap.
Remember to wear flashy protectingclothes.

And I can't remember the other two.


Hello Charlie,

My name it CroutonBoy, and I also have a blog which is perfect for your target audience. All six of my readers are gadget hounds who look to me for advice on what products to buy. Many of them are asking me if I could recommend a 42" plasma television and a wireless speaker system with 7.1 channel surround sound. I'm just saying....

Glad to hear you took the loot, MD, but since I though B.U.N.B. was an missile system I'm not sure if it's good or bad.


So I don't think you and your mommy blogger friends should think of yourself as whores. More like, "Charlie's Angels" Yeah! Now you're not only a mommy blogger, but an Angel, MD! And your NewBestFriend Charlie could conference call you all and say things like " Angels, I have an assignment for you. I need you to spritz yourself with this new can of WD-40, infused with vanilla, espresso bean, and J. Lo Booty Sweat (oops, I mean "Glow") and then blog about it using your new MacBookPros. Oh and blog about them too!"
And hey, there should be a TV show called Charlie's Angels and a movie and lots of feathery hair for the mommy bloggers and MD could be played by Lucy Lui and...

Note to self: No more reading MD's posts Friday mornings (TGIF) over your Venti coffee.

"Hurry Angels, we don't have much time!"


Play on playa.


As long as the freebie schwag is filtered through your honest voice, I not only approve but will relish your reviews of any and all products. As long as the review is filtered through the meta-sarcastic, kimchi-centric, always insightful voice of MetroWhore, I'll read it every time. However, no ads, ever, please - as a previous poster said, they're a subconscious turn off - the cock-blocker of a free-wheeling browser. Does Chuck happen to work with The Chief? If so, throw my name in the "potential reviewer" hat. Oh, one more thing: WHEN THE GIANTS COME TO TOWN, IT'S BYE-BYE BABY!


"the smell of artifical butter always get us in the mood." Bwahahahaa! Too funny, MD.

Pickle's Papa

. . . the same thing happened to me, except it was various brands of anti-depressants.


I can't believe that anyone would have a problem with bloggers reviewing cool products, as long as we're honest about what we think. The main thing for me is that we're all doing this for free- so if I can get a free DVD player out of it, then hell yeah! I'll take it! And I love mine too, by the way. I can't wait to take it on the long flights to and from LA this summer...


I'm so disappointed. You...you product whore!

But seriously, I will be VERY, VERY JEALOUS if Apple starts sending you stuff to review.

"Prata"...love it!

(and thanks for the linky love)


Whore yourself out as much as you want, and I if you need some 'management' I will be more than happy to be your Pimp. I only take 10%. I've got a camera connection in Chicago. Think about it. Oh, and mention me to Sir Charlie, and tell him I think he's hot.

I aspire to be a popular enough blogger to receive attention from companies and get free shit. Hell, I'd be super excited about the KY, and I'd probably have a stroke if I got a DVD player. So lube yourself up with Pam and whore on MD. We're all behind you.


Please follow up with an update in 4 weeks--we want to know if it breaks, how it broke, if it was you, Peanut or BL that broke it, and if dropping,food or goo had anything to do with the breaking. Also, more details like price point, actual battery life, etc. We're on our second DVD player and figure to go through a couple more, so would appreciate a real world review. Note: not to put any pressure on you, but the best lubricant in the world comes from the pregnant wife!

A. Tsai

Damn. I might even start a blog if I was guaranteed to get some free shit. Rock on, MD. As long as you don't turn this into a product site (which i can't imagine ever happening), I couldn't give a hoot. Since you don't have any ads on the site and have a loyal readership, you definitely deserve free swag.


Oh, and on the butttery PAM as lube thing- gee!, another great parent hack; I find it works best if after applying a nice film of PAM, I flop around in a large bag of flour and breadcrumbs. Are you listenin' Pilsbury?

Bob the Builder

As someone who has spent the past 48 hours trying to build some Ikea cabinetry, I couldn't help but laugh at your description of the instructions. Who writes these things? Also, why is it that whenever I'm building some Ikea crap, I either end up with not enough parts or 50 too many. Aaarrrgh!


I'm all for free stuff! And if it's GOOD free stuff, then so much the better!

Olive oil PAM. That's the hard stuff. ;)


Geez! and to think, for a while there, I was jealous of the free lube.

There seems to be a real lack of designer shoe and "no frizz" hair products that don't leave greasy build-up reviews and chatter among the lady bloggers.

Free stuff people, I'd be happy to get right on that.


i've been reading your blog for about six months now, and it's hilarious.

my main qualm with product review is that it seems like it's forced into/with the general themes of your blog (you know, parenting and crap). so i would say, don't do product review for aesthetic reasons... but if you can reach a happy medium like leora wrote (and keep it to once a month), then i would hesitantly say, go for it.

and on another note, which i will say is blatantly anti-corporate, the one thing which would bug me about product review is the infiltration of viral marketing into personal relationships... which says a lot about your blog, in particular, that in some ways i feel like i've kind of developed relationships with the writers and their readers through shared commentary. but i guess i won't be too worried unless my best (real life, not virtual) friend suddenly went off on which kind of dog food she absolutely has to get her precious pet--keeping in mind that i don't have one.


Dude. Free shit? Unless it's made by 3 year olds in sweatshops who have their asses super-glued to their chairs, I say it rocks. I wouldn't be averse to it myself, as I recently posted. And more than just books. I mean, I dig books, but come on. A camcorder is so much cooler.


Considering that was a pretty luke warm endorsement of Insignia DVD players, I think it's safe to say that your dignity is still intact, Metro! (kidding!) Don't sweat it, man. If people want to send you free stuff, go for it. Since you don't even have to review the stuff, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. I'm jealous!


You are such a blog whore. But I love you anyways. And I'd give just aboput anything away, including my first born for a brand new camcorder.



You get FREE STUFF and you can choose to write about it or not?! Even if you don't like it?!


I'm so totally jealous I can hardly even hold it in.

And, ummm ... congrats.


Doesn't bother me either.


Hey, if you can get free stuff, I say go for it. The marketers are smart enough to recognize that there are tons of potential buyers reading blogs like this one, and I'm sure they'll see profit from this move. But they'd be selling their wares anyway, and like I said, if THIS particular method gets some of my blogging friends some cool crap to play with, who am I to argue with that? :-)

dutch from sweet juniper

hey bud, I knew there would come a time when the virtual handjob of a popular blogger's comments section wouldn't be enough for you, and you'd have to move on to the gimcracks and gewgaws of the postmodern industrial marketing complex.

do I think you're a sell out? I make a living helping gigantic corporations fight like lumbering Rock’em Sock’em Robots. so that would be a gigantic black pot you'd see behind the window of his giant glass house saying such things, bee-yotch.

would I do it? Probably not. why? I view sweet juniper as my own personal space where I can write about whateverthefuck I want and not be beholden to anyone. No one's gonna pay me my normal hourly rate for all the time I spend getting high and blogging imaginary sequels to the big lebowski, etc., so I'd best just do this just for me and for the well-lubed fists of my readership. that's why I don't do ads. it's my personal ethical thing. But I am not entitled to judge anyone else for shit. because there's always some hippie living in a yurt somewhere shaking his fist at me for being such a sellout yuppie whore.

if they send you something that you already have or that is inferior to what you already have though, don't sell that shit on eBay: hold contests to give it away to your readers.

have a contest to see who can describe the perfect handjob.

zygote daddy

Hey Charlie,

Just thought you should know that my readership consists primarily of well-heeled captains of industry, Russian oligarchs, and the heads of state of several African kleptocracies. But you should probably be aware that a fleet of Maybachs probably won't fit in my garage, and I couldn't possibly make room for another learjet.

Ten Feet of Steel

Er, will Charlie give women gadgets, too? It seems very unfair that you get to test out fun gadgets, and the mommies get spray lube. On the other hand, it seems more fun to review the "intimate toiletries", both in the writing and the testing.


I certainly don't have a problem with it! I had the same question when I chose the format for my blog, but the idea of a little extra cash sounds good when paying for groceries and daycare now seem mutually exclusive. Perhaps one day, when more than two people read my blog, I too can offer advice on free goodies that arrive at my door to sample and promote (or not)!

Seriously, though, your voice gets heard, and clearly lots of us out here have the "respect" thing going on for you -- and if our presence and willingness to listen and learn from you leads to some free swag and possibly a good buy, then what's the harm!


Absolutely you're a sell out.

But, I'm here to help you out.

Just put all those evil things in a box. I'll email you my address shortly...


Yes, you are a whore - and I am so proud of you. I can hardly wait for the day (which must surely come) when I can be a whore, too.

*snort* I can't hold the straight face any longer. You are providing the service they are asking in return for the goods. They aren't asking you to be a paid pitch man, they are asking you to be reviewer - and they accept the risk that you will review them poorly or not at all. Take the stuff... and put in a good word with Charlie for me.


i am so jealous. i want to be a whore too. Man i need to be cool like you. my blog is lame b/c it doesnt get me free stuff. ;) Thats pretty awesome dude. especially b.c of the free part and you can be absolutely honest about the products and still keep em,. neato.


Free electronics because you have a penis? I don't think that's quite fair. I got Fabreeze air freshener, you get a DVD player. Hmmmm, what am I doing wrong? Perhaps you might mention to Charlie that some of us mommies like electronics a lot. And we have older kids, like teens, to try the products, too. And we could use from free swag.

And, just as an idea, if you start getting stuff you don't want to keep, how about a contest or two to keep your readership panting for more?


i personally dislike it when i see advertising on blogs. it just...doesn't seem like a blog anymore then. unless, of course, it was a review blog in the first place ;x

but regardless i'll still be reading your blog just cuz you write really well and it's fun to read...plus i love reading the comments on your blog whenever you end your entry with a question to the internet hehe


MD, y'all do what you need to do. We'll keep reading.

But let me just say, if you open up the 'best hand job' contest, it better be for both genders! And I'm not talking about the writers.


Dude, what good are kids if you can't get some money or swag from them? Cash in, now!


Me too! Me too! I love Charlie. I posted my review today!

June Cleaver Diaries

And where does one go to sign up to be a whore???? I'm in!


just wanted to say that i agree with the general consensus: product reviews are fine as long as you're being honest and don't do too many


Dude, if someone gave me free electronic gear to review on my blog, I'd change the name of my blog and offer to change the name of my kids to whatever product was being offered.

Granted, Andrea might be a little put off by me calling Jonathan "Insignia" all the time, but she'd get used to it.

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