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Last post Author Topic: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please  (Read 16821 times)

mouser

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Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« on: January 29, 2006, 02:33:27 AM »
the latest poll on the site is quite illuminating:
http://www.donationc...index.php?topic=1991

it shows that second to new software releases (which we should have quite a few of in the upcoming months), reviews are the next most wanted thing on the site.

This matches with my feeling that the Reviews are the single most critical aspect of DonationCoder to improve.

I think the quality of our reviews is great, and with a little tweaking, i think we can set a new standard in software reviews.

The problem, as we all know, is the frequency of the reviews.  It's just a ton of work to do these reviews, pure and simple, and *most* people just aren't cut out for writing things like this.  It takes some discipline and love of detail, and real self-motivation.

I've done my share of them, and they are quite satisfying to do, but also exhausting.  Our arguably two best reviews have come from guest reviewers Zaine and Nudone, and both of them had to take a mental vacation afterwards ;)

If we agree that having regular reviews on the site would be a huge difference in terms of making DonationCoder.com a useful site, which i certainly believe, it seems to me that we need to get serious about finding a good long term solution.

I would like to propose the following:  I would like to put out a call for a small group of "Reviewer Elite", people who have as much love for writing good reviews as some of the coders here have of programming.  I don't know if such people exist - it seems like they must but they may be rare.

If we could find 4-8 such people, each doing one review each every 1-2 months, then the site could publish a new review each week.  This is an ambitious goal but i believe it can be met if we can find the right people.

This team of elite reviewers on our site would be treated as the important assets to the site that they would be.  That would mean the following:
1) we would work hard to get them donations from readers and provide some monetary reward from the main donations.
3) we would give them ad revenue from generated from the reviews.
4) we would get them paid syndication in a print magazine.
5) we would get them free software, both to help their reviewing and as a reward.

In other words, we would be looking for a team of reviewers with the same donation-based spirit as the rest of this site, and recognize that their contribution to the site is as important as that of a programmer adding a program.

It's hard to say how much money a reviewer might make at this point - but when you combine the google ad money with syndicated magazine money and contributions from us and readers, and free software, we are probably talking about several hundred dollars per review, perhaps more depending on the print syndication situation which i am currently investigating.

I don't want to turn this into a bounty type situation where people are doing this just for the money - we want to find people with a love of reviewing the way we have a love of programming.  But it is a recognition that these reviews are damn hard work, and deserve recognition and reward like anything else.

Thoughts welcome please - let's figure out how to make this work.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2006, 03:15:06 PM by mouser »

m_s

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2006, 10:15:33 AM »
Sounds good to me, Mouser.  I would be happy to join the team, though it might be hard for me to stick to the program you suggest - one review per month - well, maybe I could do it...  I've several years experience as a print journalist, though software reviews are new for me - but the only ones I've written, I've written on DC, so I'm happy to hear your feedback!

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2006, 10:36:42 AM »
im not asking for commitments to once per month - in fact im not asking for any commitments at all, just trying to find some people who are interested in embarking on a journey to make our review section a real showcase for the site, and expressing my own commitment to make sure those who put in the effort for this are appropriately recognized for the substantial contribution that their reviews make to the site.  i think having a regular frequent high quality review, syndicated in print, would let us reach a whole additional different group of people who would respond positively to the rest of the site once they found us.

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2006, 10:47:14 AM »
well, in the dream world that i tend to make all my promises in, i'd have to say "count me in." but as i've had first hand experience in doing a review i know how much time they can take up. admittedly they don't take up your entire life - you do have time to sleep.

joking apart, it's the discipline that's required and the number of other jobs that you have to balance - can i do this? in dream land i can, but in reality i probably can't. the honest truth is that if i could walk out on the job i get paid for tomorrow (boy, am i ready to quit) and get something part-time instead then i'd make it part of my core existence to write reviews - i'd have the time to spare you see.

i guess we are talking a long term project for donationcoder anyway, so my name has got to be on the review list somewhere - just try and keep me off it.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 05:03:34 AM by nudone »

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2006, 11:31:06 AM »
Quote
so my name has got to be on the review list somewhere - just try and keep me off it.

does this mean we should try to keep you off it but fail and put you on it anyway?  ;D

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2006, 01:07:19 PM »
whoops, i didn't realise that last bit could be read in two entirely different ways. put my name down for all graphics related software reviews - other than that i'm sure there are far better qualified reviewers waiting in the wings to do the other programs.

i'd like to do more but time always gets the better of me - that and wanting to do a million other tasks as the one i'm meant to be doing.


hamradio

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2006, 11:20:23 PM »
I would like to help out with at least one complete review.
Carroll - HamRadioUSA.net

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 03:51:12 AM »
anyone seriously interested in writing a review after reading through some of our previous reviews (see the archive tool, image management tool review, and screencasting tool review as some good examples), please drop me a line at mouser@donationcoder.com, or visit us on the irc chat channel.


i've started contacting print magazines about syndicating our reviews; if anyone has suggestions of magazines they think might be appropriate, let us know.

Baseman

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 07:33:14 AM »
There are a few here in South Africa that I can approach ...Firstly before I approach them I need to know what subjects I need to discuss with them...Please e-mail me reference to discuss the inputs of magazine...
GetBackData...Security Awareness...Beta Tester

Baseman

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2006, 07:37:47 AM »
Beter still shall I just collect the relevent contact details and forward them to you?...Please let me know...
GetBackData...Security Awareness...Beta Tester

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2006, 07:56:12 AM »
sure, just send them to me, mouser@donationcoder.com

we will try to go for the biggest world wide publications first, and then narrow our way down as need be.

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2006, 01:18:21 AM »
Do we have any serious photoshop users here? I'm thinking it might be fun to set up a regular series of photoshop filter reviews.  These wouldn't be nearly as exhausting to do as normal reviews since i think each plugin would be an independent little review.  But we'd want to find one or two people to do a whole series of plugin reviews, not just one or two.
if anyone feels like they'd be interested in this and has the skills to do it, mail me (mouser@donationcoder.com).

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2006, 05:30:47 AM »
could we have a poll to see how many photoshop users there are around here - just wondering if people are going to be appreciative.

if there is enough interest i can start going through a long list of plugins - or, at least, i'll mention the ones that appear to do something useful that photoshop doesn't already do with a little patience.

vegas

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2006, 09:10:46 AM »
could we have a poll to see how many photoshop users there are around here - just wondering if people are going to be appreciative.

if there is enough interest i can start going through a long list of plugins - or, at least, i'll mention the ones that appear to do something useful that photoshop doesn't already do with a little patience.

I would be curious to learn more about these.

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2006, 09:20:26 AM »
it's worth pointing out that most photoshop plugins also work with many other graphics editors, including paint shop pro and some free ones.

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2006, 10:03:26 AM »
good point, never even considered that.

vegas

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2006, 09:19:58 PM »
for Windows, what are considered the best FREE image editors.  I know of PAINT.NET and the Gimp, but it seems I am missing another one I've heard of, plus any others that are out there.  Talking about full-featured programs with a Photoshop like spectrum of power (well at least for Freeware).

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2006, 01:46:54 AM »
if we could collect a list of freeware image editors i'd be prepared to do a review on them - might take me quite a while to finish.

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2006, 01:50:32 AM »

tinyvillager

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2006, 02:01:08 AM »
More Free Ones



Artweaver
http://www.artweaver...index.php?en_version

Really Starting to like Artweaver,very nice interface,running a few paces ahead of Paint.Net imho.



photofiltre-Nice aswell alot of good plugins that make things like page curl real easy.
http://www.photofiltre.com/

dennysstuff

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2006, 04:09:22 PM »
I offer my services if needed.  I have been retired since 1999, so my time is mostly free.   I am not a programmer by any means however, have extensive time involved in Beta testing and was the Editor of a large on-line site for three years.

So if you need help I would be more than willing to donate my time to give it a try.  I know I'm the new Kid on the block (wow like the sound of being a kid ), and this site is awesome so again, if needed I'm available.

Thanks again for such a Fantastic site, and this Old Man love it :)

Den

nudone

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2006, 03:28:26 AM »
welcome Den, i look forward to seeing any of your contributions.

mouser

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2006, 07:59:03 AM »
denny, send me an email (mouser@donationcoder.com) and we can talk about possible review subjects :)

Edvard

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2006, 07:31:11 PM »
You know, since the LateLate 90's to EarlyEarly 2000's I haven't really heard much about lately is Music Software. No, not mp3 encoders or the latest "yet another mp3/ogg/flac player with playlists, skins and cddb" but real, hands-on music creations software. I'm talking the likes of Acid, ReBirth, Cubase, Fruityloops, ProTools, and the scads of free-and-shareware projects that sprang up around them. For that 4 years or so, a few well known names came up and are now almost forgotten due to being snatched up by bigger fish (e.g. Sonic Foundry = Sony orca-bait) or disappearing altogether. Superboyac mentioned a few and it made me wonder... where are they now? Who are the big players? The up-and-comers? The Open Source renegades (Okay, okay... I know the answer to THAT one... Audacity) Is the desktop DAW a dead subject? It's been a long time since I've been in "the scene" but curiosity kills me sometimes... If I had more time I'd do a Mini-Review of "DAW-Tools of Yester, er, uh... 6 Years Ago!! but, you know, if I had the time... I'd still be interested, though. Maybe even help out a tad...

vegas

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Re: Revitalizing the Reviews - Everyone Read in Please
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2006, 09:19:09 AM »
You know, since the LateLate 90's to EarlyEarly 2000's I haven't really heard much about lately is Music Software. No, not mp3 encoders or the latest "yet another mp3/ogg/flac player with playlists, skins and cddb" but real, hands-on music creations software. I'm talking the likes of Acid, ReBirth, Cubase, Fruityloops, ProTools, and the scads of free-and-shareware projects that sprang up around them. For that 4 years or so, a few well known names came up and are now almost forgotten due to being snatched up by bigger fish (e.g. Sonic Foundry = Sony orca-bait) or disappearing altogether. Superboyac mentioned a few and it made me wonder... where are they now? Who are the big players? The up-and-comers? The Open Source renegades (Okay, okay... I know the answer to THAT one... Audacity) Is the desktop DAW a dead subject? It's been a long time since I've been in "the scene" but curiosity kills me sometimes... If I had more time I'd do a Mini-Review of "DAW-Tools of Yester, er, uh... 6 Years Ago!! but, you know, if I had the time... I'd still be interested, though. Maybe even help out a tad...

Don't forget the new freeware one that's been getting daily updates on FileForum, called Reaper.
http://fileforum.bet.../REAPER/1135746938/1
It's freeware until 1.0, then who knows.