In Things That Need To Stop, Kara addresses nearly everything related to the subject of reviewing sex toys ~ from censorship and corporate credibility (or lack thereof), to the issue of quality (i.e. phthalates are bad) and the old insecurities that arise when a partner whips-out a sex toy. Each and every one of her 23 points are worthy of reading and discussing; but there’s one I have to focus on now…
It’s her point #3 (which, as the author admits, is related to #4, #9, and #15 as well as, I daresay, a few others).
3.) Expecting fantastic reviewers to NOT get paid for their work. At the end of the day IT’S WORK! Not fun. Well okay it *is* fun…but a shit tonne of free dildos & lube don’t pay the rent. Ya heard!
If I had a dollar for every time someone wrote and asked me to review something, offering a “free” product as payment, I’d have a lot more money to put toward my consumption of booze and time to rage on twitter. Unfortunately you can’t buy drinks with dildos, sure you can stir them but with many being rather girthy it gets kind of messy and wastes alcohol. And we all know wasting alcohol is just stupid.
All jokes aside, at the end of the day it’s reviewers that take countless hours out of their day to write the review, spread it through social media outlets (where your company had no pull), answer questions about your product to help generate sales, directed sales to your site, offered search engine optimization that built up your online rankings and given you direct access to a target market that would have otherwise been inaccessible – with all of it done UNPAID, except for that “free” dildo of course. Maybe it’s just me but that just doesn’t seem fair. Nor does it make the dildo something that was “free”.
So here it is and I’ll say it again: people need to get paid for their work.
Whether it’s paying for the actual content, offering up an affiliate program (where they can make a commission), or creating some form of a reward system so they can save money on other products. The actual way of making it worth our while doesn’t really matter to me, it’s getting people rewarded for their work that does.
The subject of people getting paid for their work, especially writers on the Internet, is a complicated one. If blogs and websites lower the barriers of publishing, and therefore often mean self-publishing enterprises or studios and production companies of one, just where and how does one get paid? It’s something everyone is struggling with right now. Not just because of the economy, but with this new digital world where publishing and productions are products becoming seemingly more ephemeral in light of the technology and the sheer volume of it all. This is especially true for those who wish to avoid payola.
Now it’s less “publish or perish”; it’s more like publish and perish.