We here at The 42nd Estate LLC are very excited about our upcoming launch of OTIBR – Only The Internet’s Best Reviews on September 29, 2008. It’s just a few days away now and day by day all of us here get more and more excited about OTIBR and it’s increasing probability for success.
As we talk to our friends, family members, coaches, strangers, lovers and yes even the haters about OTIBR, two questions pop up over and over. What exactly are we reviewing and what makes OTIBR different?
Well, to answer the first question, we will review everything. No product, person, or place will be spared. It may take forever but hey, we’re determined!
More importantly though, what makes OTIBR different? In other words, what is OTIBR’s competitive advantage?
An excellent question and until today we’ve tried to keep it a little bit of a secret. Well, we’ll hold back no longer and I’m extremely excited to discuss the structure of an OTIBR review and why it separates us from every other review factory on the planet!
We’ve been avid readers of many magazines and web-sites for our entire lives. Over the century plus of experience combined amongst the five of us (yes, we’ve grown, more to come soon!), we’ve noticed a few common user actions and annoyances. Nearly all of us scroll to the end of a review to get the final score. It makes sense, after all if the reviewer gives the product a zero we can safely assume we should avoid that product. That’s why every single OTIBR review will start with the final score, right at the top!
No scrolling needed, you’ll be able to get a general gauge of our opinion of the product within seconds. No need to thank us, we’d have it no other way.
So aside from making it easy for our users to quickly check a rating, what makes OTIBR special?
Glad you asked. The final score at the top is only one part of an OTIBR review. Next we’ll have a brief introduction to the product being reviewed followed by five sections, value, quality, innovation, social benefit, and freestyle.
We at The 42nd Estate pride ourselves on being normal everyday people. We’re not average but we’re not elitist either. We know that the shininess of a product is only one part of it’s importance, and that often we must sacrifice quality to save a few bucks. That’s why every OTIBR review will have a value section, where we discuss whether the product is worth it’s price tag. We promise to be honest and upfront. If we get a deal on a product, we will tell you. If we think something is overpriced, we will let you know. Above all though, we will tell you honestly if it’s wise to spend your hard earned buck on this product or if it’s simply not worth your money.
Now we segue into the second section of an OTIBR review, the quality section. In this section we’ll take the cost of the product out of the equation and focus purely on its craftsmanship, durability, and effectiveness.
This section, along with the previous one and the innovation and social benefit sections discussed below, will be scored out of a maximum of five points.
At OTIBR we reward products that dare to risk epic failure for a chance at epic progress. Products that transgress their genres and advance their industries will be praised; those which fall flat on their face will be mocked, but applauded for the effort (if the effort is there).
At first it might seem innovation is an odd category to include in every review. Surely we can’t punish products for sticking to tried and trued formulas, can we?
Nope, we have no intentions of doing so. In fact, we believe that sometimes not changing is a hugely innovative process. If you get it right the first time, there’s no need to change and at OTIBR we will recognize companies and products who stick to their guns and continue to produce quality products, even though their competitors might have moved onto the newest shiniest marketing feature.
My personal favorite part of OTIBR reviews and, in my humble opinion, the true competitive advantage of OTIBR is our acknowledgment of the effect of every company, product, person and place on their local community, country and the entire global society. Simply put, we recognize that we are now one global community and that the smallest of actions on one side of the planet can have epic and dire consequences on the other side.
By the same token, companies and products may seem pointless in one region but have vast importance in others. Take mosquito nets for instance, which have little purpose in North America but can save lives in Africa. Or consider the energy needed to run this web-site and your computer, is the pollution worth it? Perhaps we will not feel the effects of our actions today, but we must consider future generations and understand that we do not live in a vacuum.
Do not worry, we will not guilt trip you. After all, no one here at The 42nd Estate is perfect and we simply do not believe it is productive to push an agenda. Having said that, we will look at the economic, environmental and social impacts of products and report them as best we can to you.
So each of these four sections will be invididually scored on a 5 point scale and will together account for 20 out of the total 42 points.
Finally we come to the last section of an OTIBR review and arguably it’s most important. Unlike the previous four sections, the freestyle section is worth a whopping 22 points. Yes, you read that number correctly, out of a grand total of 42 points, 22 of them are earned in our last and purposely most ambiguous section. It is in this section that we acknowledge the undeniable fact that we are not robots, we are humans and as such sometimes we act irrationally and unpredictably. Perhaps a product is admittedly terrible, receiving low marks nearly across the board, yet for some reason we still love this piece of shit product!
Don’t act like you haven’t been there fellow consumer, sometimes we humans just cannot be explained. It is here that a reviewer will add any information he or she simply could not fit into the five previous sections. It is also here that a reviewer can inform you of their irrational passion for some crappy product that you probably should not buy, yet the reviewer still loves. Or hey, it could go the other way too, personally no matter how good a Sony product is I simply will not buy anything from them, having had far too many Sony devices fail and die too early and too often. I might be able to acknowledge that a Sony product is valuable, well-made, innovate and beneficial to society but in my freestyle! section I’d discuss my past history with Sony products and why it makes me skeptical to recommend it to you.
It might seem hectic, but really anything goes here in the freestyle section. Read, use, analyze at your own risk!
We’re not done yet though, because at the end of every OTIBR review we’ll repeat the final score, just in case you missed it at the top. We’re nice and accommodating like that. 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed the second and final preview of OTIBR before our launch. Make sure you head on over to OTIBR and sign up for the RSS feed or e-mail updates to read the reviews as they start rolling out. Who knows, you might even get a sneak peak that way…
Once the site is up and running you’ll also be able to sign up to each category and sub-category via an RSS feed too.
See you all September 29th at OTIBR.com!