Should I start my own review series

Although it may not exhibit it in text, from what my friends, acquaintances and sometimes strangers have told me that when I truly enjoy or dislike something I am very convincing. In one case I caused several of my friends to buy a large variety of goods at a store merely on my word. It may be a talent or just my friends being kind, but it would be nice to think that my word carried some weight. Should I try and make some sort of review type series of podcasts?

Consider it this way...

The Escapist has a User Review forum--that practically no one visits. Seriously, Marter has done a few hundred movie reviews that never received so much as a single reply.

You'll have to have a thick skin for that sort of work. If you can cope with endless lack of responses in anticipation of that rare reply--one which may criticize rather than praise your POV--then go for it!

But do be aware that all you may hear in response is crickets. Lots and lots of crickets.

Copper Zen:
Consider it this way...
snip

Probably true. I would like to do something awesome that people would appreciate in some manner but, I honestly doubt it would be my opinion.

Copper Zen:
Consider it this way...

The Escapist has a User Review forum--that practically no one visits. Seriously, Marter has done a few hundred movie reviews that never received so much as a single reply.

You'll have to have a thick skin for that sort of work. If you can cope with endless lack of responses in anticipation of that rare reply--one which may criticize rather than praise your POV--then go for it!

But do be aware that all you may hear in response is crickets. Lots and lots of crickets.

That reminds me, I have been meaning to try my hand at writing a review for the User reviews section. I just always get lazy before I end up actually doing it. Maybe I'll get around to finally doing it in the next couple days, if I'm not too busy.

titankore:
I would like to do something awesome that people would appreciate in some manner but, I honestly doubt it would be my opinion.

Do you mean your opinion on movies/games/whatever wouldn't be your own opinion? Clarify, please. :)

ohnoitsabear:

That reminds me, I have been meaning to try my hand at writing a review for the User reviews section. I just always get lazy before I end up actually doing it. Maybe I'll get around to finally doing it in the next couple days, if I'm not too busy.

I know all about procrastination, though I'm doing better by focusing on my research more than I did previously where I was always like "Tomorrow I'll get on it. Now I'll reward my new determination by taking the rest of today off to daydream."

Do either of you have personal blogs you could try posting your reviews on? I've toyed with the idea of getting a blog myself but haven't because I see too many people's blogs languish from inactivity because their owners ran out of things to say. It made me realize that without an ongoing subject that interested me I'd let my blog lapse into inactivity.

@all: Just everybody remember that while you can list your personal blog in your profile it's against the Code of Conduct to link it in the forums. I'm always dismayed when I see people receive warnings because they forgot that rule.

Here's the thing about reviews, if you want to get into reviewing things (movies, games, etc.) you're going to want to review things that no one else is reviewing. No one is going to care about your opinion in regardless to the latest AAA release, or the newest blockbuster hit. People are already reviewing those, people who are a lot more famous, people who are known, and whose reviews are trusted. If you want to get into reviews you have to review things that no one else is reviewing and carve yourself a niche. You might be able to expand your niche into more mainstream reviews if you ever get noticed by a large enough collection of people, but that's unlikely to happen, and unless that happens you're either going to have to spend your time reviewing things very few people know or care about, or you're just going to give up from lack of motivation.

Basically, you're going to have to review a lot of crap that no one (probably not even you) cares about. If you're ok with spending tons of your time playing games and watching movies that no one has ever heard of (and which are most likely crap), then feel free to try and attempt becoming a reviewer. If that's not what you want then you might as well give up now, because no one is going to care what your opinion is on the latest Halo game since they'll have Jim Sterling, Yahtzee, and about 1000 other well known reviews all vying for their attention.

I think you should avoid the angry reviewing AVGN popularised in 2007. It's gotten stale, TGWTG views have peaked years ago, and it will be hard for you to get a sizeable audience unless someone puts on the spotlight.

Do it. At least, do it once and see what happens. If the work you put in (which will likely be quite a bit) is worth what you get out of it (likely very little), then keep at it. If not, at least you can say you tried it.

ohnoitsabear:
That reminds me, I have been meaning to try my hand at writing a review for the User reviews section. I just always get lazy before I end up actually doing it. Maybe I'll get around to finally doing it in the next couple days, if I'm not too busy.

Same for you. Do eeeet.

Copper Zen:
@all: Just everybody remember that while you can list your personal blog in your profile it's against the Code of Conduct to link it in the forums.

Except, of course, at the end of a review posted in User Reviews.

Marter:
Do it. At least, do it once and see what happens. If the work you put in (which will likely be quite a bit) is worth what you get out of it (likely very little), then keep at it. If not, at least you can say you tried it.

ohnoitsabear:
That reminds me, I have been meaning to try my hand at writing a review for the User reviews section. I just always get lazy before I end up actually doing it. Maybe I'll get around to finally doing it in the next couple days, if I'm not too busy.

Same for you. Do eeeet.

Copper Zen:
@all: Just everybody remember that while you can list your personal blog in your profile it's against the Code of Conduct to link it in the forums.

Except, of course, at the end of a review posted in User Reviews.

I've often thought about writing a review but I'm always put off by the tyranny of the blank page. I imagine that once you've done a few you develop a kind of... template. Like; open with witty comment or play on words inspired by product title followed by brief backstory on developer/director/franchise, two or four paragraphs on things you liked, two or four paras on things you didn't like, general conclusion and then wait for applause.

Do you think you could give us some tips or possibly even a guide?

titankore:
Although it may not exhibit it in text, from what my friends, acquaintances and sometimes strangers have told me that when I truly enjoy or dislike something I am very convincing. In one case I caused several of my friends to buy a large variety of goods at a store merely on my word. It may be a talent or just my friends being kind, but it would be nice to think that my word carried some weight. Should I try and make some sort of review type series of podcasts?

With skills like these, you should try becoming a salesman.

Marter:
Do it. At least, do it once and see what happens. If the work you put in (which will likely be quite a bit) is worth what you get out of it (likely very little), then keep at it. If not, at least you can say you tried it.

ohnoitsabear:
That reminds me, I have been meaning to try my hand at writing a review for the User reviews section. I just always get lazy before I end up actually doing it. Maybe I'll get around to finally doing it in the next couple days, if I'm not too busy.

Same for you. Do eeeet.

Copper Zen:
@all: Just everybody remember that while you can list your personal blog in your profile it's against the Code of Conduct to link it in the forums.

Except, of course, at the end of a review posted in User Reviews.

I should probably pick mine up again when the exams are over...

If you truly feel you have something new and worthwhile to say then by all means go for it. You really don't have anything to lose just by trying.

You might as well give it a bash, you got services like Youtube completely free and at your disposal, if things take off it can even turn into a full time job.
Sounds like you have the personality for selling your thoughts so something surely can be done with that.

Wouldn't necessarily call that sort of thing reviews but I do still enjoy humorous perspectives on things.

I'd say go for it. For people to succeed it is usually down to something that makes their reviews unique. What also helps is a solid way of reviewing. I started a blog about doing the top 10 films of 2012. Whilst I know alot of people have done this, I got quite alot of positive feedback, stating that the films they hadn't seen which were on the list, made them want to go and see that film.

Though knowing that I can't review every film that comes out (as I can barely afford to go see one film), I decided to put a different angle on my blog. I've started a new series about the worst films of all time, with each segemnt as a different genre (remakes, horror, comdey, sequels etc), and second blog series following that of films I would recommend that not alot of people would have seen.

You can do it with games as well. It's just an idea but if you enjoy writing about something and are passionate about it then that always helps as poeple will be able to see that enthusiasm & passion in your work.

Bertylicious:
I've often thought about writing a review but I'm always put off by the tyranny of the blank page. I imagine that once you've done a few you develop a kind of... template. Like; open with witty comment or play on words inspired by product title followed by brief backstory on developer/director/franchise, two or four paragraphs on things you liked, two or four paras on things you didn't like, general conclusion and then wait for applause.

Do you think you could give us some tips or possibly even a guide?

I'd suggest the following:

1. Actually give opinion on something.

This might sound obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many 'reviewers' are really just giving 'overviews' and stating what something is, rather than whether it's good or bad and why it does or doesn't work. I'd say this is the single biggest problem with 90% of reviews out there. Give your actual opinion, and you're already doing better than most.

2. Keep it simple.

Don't worry about being clever with your leads and hooks. A sentence or two that shows you have an understanding of the genre/creator/product history etc. is fine. If you have genuine passion about something, that's when you can possibly include a more detailed anecdotal lead. Rhetorical questions are great when you are stuck on openings, but use them sparingly for best effect. Also AVOID using too many adjectives and adverbs.

3. Be consistent.

In terms of overall style, that takes time to figure out. Write in whatever style that comes naturally to you. Get feedback, change what needs to be changed and then try to be as consistent as possible with it. People HATE inconsistency when it comes to reviews because it gives the impression of bias (even if it's not a reality).

A Routine in writing reviews whether it's weekly or monthly is also good and helps stave off procrastination.

Pick a gimmick and go with it. It isnt bad to have a gimmick as long as the review ends up giving a somewhat clear idea of what to expect of the product. There are a shit ton of reviewers out there so the only thing you got going for you is that you can make something that they still havent made yet. And for easy views pick a controversial gimmick (I dont recommend it though due to the fact that you have to sell your soul to the devil).

Sure, go ahead. I probably won't watch it, but if you think it might be a good idea I don't see why not. Who knows, it might even get big. Go for it man!

titankore:
Although it may not exhibit it in text, from what my friends, acquaintances and sometimes strangers have told me that when I truly enjoy or dislike something I am very convincing. In one case I caused several of my friends to buy a large variety of goods at a store merely on my word. It may be a talent or just my friends being kind, but it would be nice to think that my word carried some weight. Should I try and make some sort of review type series of podcasts?

If you want, i've been looking for a partner for a dual series of reviews. I've just started my own couple of video review series (posted in the user forums), they aren't getting many views yet, but they are generating a bit of discussion (my review of infinite stirred up a few passions). PM me if interested.

Yes, do it. You'll either develop a taste for it or you won't. But if you don't do it, you'll always be left wondering. Just make sure you have some thick skin and recognize legitimate constructive criticism.

Reviewing stuff is fun. I write reviews for products on Amazon--mainly Kotobukiya and other statues--and it always fills me with a sense of pride whenever someone clicks that 'Yes' option. It's even more fun when people leave comments behind asking for my thoughts on other things. I'm currently ranked around 24,000 in the world, so I like to think that I'm doing pretty good. Here are some tips if you decide to do this:

Find your own voice, your own style. Don't try to copy other people's style or voice. It won't work well in most cases, and you'll often come across as a coattail rider, trying to cash in on another person's work.

Make sure you HAVE a voice and style. A lot of people will just go in the completely opposite direction and make their reviews a simple, "Here's why I like it" little thing that has zero personality. "The color is good. The game is fun. I laughed." Boring. As. Hell. No one's going to want to read/listen to your reviews if all you do is give the basics of stuff. Okay, there are some people who prefer that, but it won't make you stand out if everyone else does that too. An excuse people use to get away with that style is, "That's how I talk." No. No it's not. If that's how you talk, you are a robot poorly imitating a human. You need to let your voice come through in your review.
Now, if you can put your own little twist on the "Here's why I like it" style of listing good and bad things, then go for it.

Finally, you need to be ready to have people tear you down for no other reason than they disagree with you. Tough skin and all that stuff. As I said, I write reviews on Amazon. The first comment I ever got on any of my reviews was for RE6:

"You must be 18 or younger, making you a part of the "Call of Duty generation." This game is soul crushingly bad. You mention at the end of your review that Capcom is at least trying to do something different. No they are not.
They are simply taking more and more away from each Resident Evil installment and making it more mass market friendly. Their aim seems to be the appeasement of mindless action fans. They are pretty much trying to turn this franchise into the next COD or Halo. Obviously that's not gonna work. They'll keep releasing a game that's mediocre at best if they keep this up.If you like this game that's fine, those are your tastes. Most of us though don't like being treated like idiots. We go to the mainstream games when we want that. Resident Evil use to be fun at the very least, now it's just a broken shell of it's former glory. Heck even RE5 was a master piece compared to this turd."

The guy had read the first two sentences of my review, which said the game was soul crushingly bad, but wasn't a masterpiece by any means, and decided to tear into me because of that. I doubt to this day that he read the whole thing, just the first few sentences and the final one. Some people will simply be so upset with you because your opinion doesn't match theirs that they can't help but let their angry flow. My response: "Sigh...I'm well over 18my friend. Well over it." You're going to need to learn quick how to just brush those people aside.

Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to critics. Critics are different than 'haters'. Critics will give you reasons why your reviews aren't good--beyond "Your tastes suck!" You must learn to listen to these people as well if you wish to make improvements. That doesn't mean change your opinion or your style (once you find it), but make adjustments here at there. If someone points out that you didn't spell something correctly, or you're not giving reasons and just blind hating/praising a game, or your style structure is a bit hard to follow, try to address those.

Finally, have fun with it. Once writing reviews becomes a chore, you're going to quickly lose your taste for it.

Also, Rarity is best pony. Good choice! :-)

If you have to ask...
No.

Seconded.
If you expect to get anything out of it besides the satisfaction of having your own review series, don't do it. Odds are you're not going to get it.
If you just want to do your own review series for fun, sure, go ahead, what's stopping you?

Copper Zen:
Consider it this way...

The Escapist has a User Review forum--that practically no one visits. Seriously, Marter has done a few hundred movie reviews that never received so much as a single reply.

You'll have to have a thick skin for that sort of work. If you can cope with endless lack of responses in anticipation of that rare reply--one which may criticize rather than praise your POV--then go for it!

But do be aware that all you may hear in response is crickets. Lots and lots of crickets.

I can relate to that. I've been doing reviews on YouTube for a couple of years now and some of them I post in the User Reviews section here but it's rare for anyone to post a reply. I've got 40 subscribers on YouTube and things really haven't gone as well as I hoped they would but I enjoy making the videos so I'm not too fussed.

Do it. I literally just started a blog including film reviews yesterday. Even just to keep yourself writing. It might not take off in any huge way but for me it was just about finally focusing on something. From my experience doing stand up I can tell you you have to spend a long time talking when nobody's listening, it's the only way to get ahead. Some people here are being negative and you should have realistic expectations, it likely will go nowhere but that's true of basically every creative endeavor there is or has been. For a little perspective. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of the biggest in the world. The average audience at a show? 7. For every sellout show there's one guy doing his 20-30 minutes for the bar staff alone. I know a guy who came on, saw one guy sitting at the back and decided to just go ahead and do his bit. When the lights came up he saw it was just a coat someone had draped over a chair. Not only did he think there was only one person at his show, as far as he knew there was only one guy who didn't even laugh once and he still did his job. And then I saw him playing to a sold out night club a few weeks later and killing.

That's kind of a perfect analogy. If you really want to do something like that then you have to do it, even if fuck all people are listening and the ones that are don't even like it. If you're not up for that then don't bother.

Bertylicious:
Do you think you could give us some tips or possibly even a guide?

Now, now, that would be telling, wouldn't it? ;D

Really, though, it's kind of hard to give any tips without (1) knowing which medium you want to write about and (2) not sounding like someone ill-prepared to give tips. I think I did that before and it sounded awful. Find a style you like and are happy with, and go with it, Make necessary adjustments based on feedback that you deem worthwhile. Back up opinions with facts. And actually know how to write (at least relatively well), or at least be able to fake it.

Binnsyboy:
I should probably pick mine up again when the exams are over...

You really should.

ron1n:
A Routine in writing reviews whether it's weekly or monthly is also good and helps stave off procrastination.

Or daily. =D

i have no experience in this area so i can only give you the advise jesse cox always give. advertise like a shameless whore. have your friends post in gaming forums all over the place, promoting your stuff. even promote it yourself, but posing as someone else so it doesnt seem like a desperate cry for attention. but even if everyone looks at your stuff, its pointless if you dont give them a reason to stay there. video games are really popular right now and everyone has video game blogs or youtube channels. you need to find a way to make yourself memorable for the people who watch or read it

Hey go for It I just started one there's nothing stoping you from using the user reviews forum

I've considered doing reviews of Star Wars material ala SF Debris analytical styling.

If you value your sanity, no.

The thing about reviewing things is.. You're the one being reviewed. Constantly.

Ask Jim Sterling if he's not WAYYYYYYY more criticized then anything he's ever reviewed.

Cause he is. Everyone is. The only thing you can do is pick up old shitty games and review those.. they're slow pitch easy things... it's easy to review something that EVERYONE hates, because your audience is primed to agree with you.. But if you're legit trying to tell people about this or that that's in a game, like an actual review.. you don't have that benefit. People are going to hate your review because they love the game and you gave it a shitty score, even if it's an 8. And when they hate your review, they hate you.

You get almost no positive feedback UNTIL you become an actual personality, and that takes time and a LOT of dedication (WAY more then I'm capable of)

Granted, that's only if you plan to take it seriously. If you intend to just write shit and share it with your friends and maybe a couple people who might like it, more power to you.. I've written maybe 20 reviews on Facebook and in the Review Forum here (not for a LONG time at that).. But if you want it to be a thing, be ready to do WAY more work then you probably think.

Marter:

Copper Zen:
@all: Just everybody remember that while you can list your personal blog in your profile it's against the Code of Conduct to link it in the forums.

Except, of course, at the end of a review posted in User Reviews.

Does a Youtube channel count for that loophole, or does it apply to blogs specifically? It's kinda relevant to a "documentary" I'm working on that one could call I review.

OT: The best advice I can give is to just dive in and do it. It really doesn't matter if you don't hear a peep, or if you get negative attention. Worst case scenario is you either can feel accomplished that you did it at all, or learn from the feedback if it's constructive and improve and continue. I wrote a review of Shadow of the Colossus here and everyone in the world reviewed that game. I was happy to have over 100 views, I took the lack of comments as there being nothing too negative to point out.

DrunkOnEstus:
Does a Youtube channel count for that loophole, or does it apply to blogs specifically? It's kinda relevant to a "documentary" I'm working on that one could call I review.

You can link to your channel at the end of a video review, but you can't ask/beg for subscriptions.

Weird, I know, but there you go.

Marter:

DrunkOnEstus:
Does a Youtube channel count for that loophole, or does it apply to blogs specifically? It's kinda relevant to a "documentary" I'm working on that one could call I review.

You can link to your channel at the end of a video review, but you can't ask/beg for subscriptions.

Weird, I know, but there you go.

That's absolutely fine, and good to hear, the quality of the content in question should be what sells someone on a subscribe, not how it was asked for. Thank you for the insight.

I think I'm going to be a bigger part of the User Review section soon in that case (though no one's getting close to you in that regard : ) )

I remember writing silly reviews and blog posts when I was like 10 and a user on GameSpot. No one wrote nor gave a shit I'm sure but it was kinda fun for me at the time... Anyways.

OT: If it's something you wanna do then full speed ahead. Also if you think you maybe able to add your on spin on things then that just an extra little bonus.

So yea, go ahead man.

I say go for it. You might find that some people will genuinely value your opinions about stuff. Although it's hard to say if you haven't picked a specific genre you want to review.

I remember, I wrote a review (more like a first impressions, really) about some of H.P. Lovecraft's works on this very site, and I got a bit of good feedback and some decent conversations going. Not everyone agreed with me, but I still enjoyed doing it. I've even thought of going further with it by reviewing a few other books I've read... or been meaning to read.

Nothing wrong with getting your toes wet, freelancing doesn't hurt anyone.

 

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