EdAInWestOC wrote:....I can't help but believe that this type of thing could happen and the reviews in question can remain neutral......
There we disagree, Ed. The mere act of a manufacturer choosing the reviewer creates the potential for bias. Simply because the manufacturer seeks a favourable review and would seem likely to select reviewers with that in mind. Foolish to do otherwise. The example I cite is how many times would I be selected to review cables ? Really Which is surely bad, unless one happens to have financial interest in the outcome.
EdInWestOC wrote:Manufacturers already lend out gear for review to "professional" reviewers with the supposed understanding that this arrangement does not obligate said reviewers to provide favorable reviews
Of course, but it would be foolish not to choose even "professional" reviewers on the basis of those most likely to be empathetic, and to do whatever is possible to foster such a relationship and facilitate a result.
EdInWestOC wrote: One could also argue that owners of equipment are not impartial since they have just spent their own money on the equipment in question and therefore have the "rose-colored-glasses" view of their new gear.
Yes. But at least those reviews are spontaneous, randomly selected, and the poster's investment is already made, without commercial motivation, presumably posted with philanthropic motive and in good faith.
EdInWestOC wrote:The argument could go on indefinately as to whether "review gear on loan" or "owners of gear" tend to be more impartial.
The issue is not just the whether the review process is conducted impartially. It's also whether the underlying motivation and initiative is philanthropic, or commercial. Not of the review itself, but of what provoked it.
EdInWestOC wrote:If the infrastructure were in place and that infrastructure set guidelines as to the rules of reviewing gear, then this site could stand to benefit.
If 'benefit' is defined as open as a sales and marketing channel, well yes. But as per previous posts, that devalues other forum content here, IMO.
EdInWestOC wrote:Reviews could be plainly marked whether that review is by an owner or via a review loaner.
Surely that's effectively carrying promotional content by the manufacturer. Where's everybody's 10% ?
EdInWestOC wrote:Reviewers could also receive punishment if they took part in tainted reviews
Can I watch ?