Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Honesty in Blogging

I do not consider myself a 'professional' blogger. I consider myself a blogger - that's it. I like to share my interests, specifically nail polish and art, with a few others thrown in and with any luck, a few polish addicts find my ramblings amusing. (See header -"The awkward, not so graceful, confession of a polish addict")

The reason for this long post is this, my lovelies: there has been some discussion, and flat out drama (real shocker in the nail polish world, right?!?), regarding what an honest review is and how bloggers should handle reviews. Kirby at The Mercurial Magpie and Sarah at Tunay Na Mahal have done wonderful posts on this issue. (I highly recommend their blogs) This post is mostly my opinion on the issue.

 But first...

Polish:
When it comes to polish, I've turned into an Indie Polish Snob - I LOOOVEEE them! And having worked for small businesses almost exclusively, I equally love to support indie polish makers in their endeavor to make a business out of their passion for polish.
No matter if an Indie Maker is well established or just starting out, sometimes problems just happen. It's just life, and that's just part of being in business and producing a product. Be it a bad batch of polish, a wonky brush, a defective bottle, whatever, things get messed up. It's not the end of the world, it's just a bump that can be overcome - and that goes for mainstream and indies.
I feel confident saying that a majority of the Indie Makers I have encountered and/or  worked and dealt with are committed to making sure their customers (which include bloggers too, kids - bloggers are just consumers with a blog) are happy with their product and have a great experience with their customer service. After all, it's their business, sometimes their means of income - of course they want happy customers.

Reviews vs. Promotions
For me and my blog, reviews are my opinion of my personal experiences regarding a product. From nail polish to beauty products, every day or specialty products, what I write about is my own experience - good and bad. Most of the products I review, I've purchased with my own money, sometimes on sale, and a few with a discount. I always try to be tactful about problems or issues I have with a product, but I'm going to be honest and open about what I like or don't like about it. Again, I write about my experience and my opinion of the product. Not everyone is going to have the same experiences, and that just fine.
More than likely, I'm going to review a polish based on my initial experience, right at usage after delivery, regardless of it being a good or bad, or even just a 'meh' experience. If it's a problem that I think should be fixed, such as a bad batch of polish or a bad brush, I'm definitely going to reach out to the Indie Maker and let them know, but probably not before I review it. The exception to this is if the product is essentially unusable because of the defect/problem, then of course I can't review it and would go to the Maker first. The reason for this is - I'm a consumer. With a blog. I'm no different than any other consumer who purchased the same bottle of polish. My experience might be shared, it might not. (Let's face it, I have 'DUH' moments where it's totally not the polish, it's really just me and my clumsiness/ignorance).
 However, I'm also going to tell you when an issue has been rectified, because to me, that's as important as the issue or problem itself.  I'm far more likely to support and recommend a product/brand that takes responsibility for an issue or problem and makes it right. Who wouldn't?!? That's a key attribute for any business, to identify and work through problems to achieve positive results. That's a brand/business/product I'm proud to support.

Promotions are completely different than reviews, in my opinion. If I've agreed to promote a product, then protocol for me is to test it out, get back to the Indie Maker if there's any problems, and then post a promotional review. Promotional reviews may or may not be something you've paid for - that's between you and the Indie Maker. But to me, a promotional review/post is that I'm promoting the product on behalf of the business/brand in order for them to gain exposure, and as such, I would want to post a good review. Again, after having worked out any potential issues.

Regarding negative comments on blogs - again, that's up to individual preferences, and frankly I don't blame anyone for deleting rude and nasty comments. I am happy to have comments that disagree with an experience or a product - but if you get nasty or hateful, don't be shocked at the responses, either from me or other readers. My only promise is that you're not going to get an emotionally charged response from me. You will, however, are most likely going to get beaten at your own game with logic, facts, and probably your own words used against you. So think carefully about what you want to say. ;-)

In conclusion - I apply honesty (with tactfulness) in my reviews of products. You're going to get the good, the bad, and the ugly here, kiddos. That's just how I roll. It wouldn't be my blog if I did it another persons way.

Honest Blogger
Courtesy of Tunay Na Mahal