This is a suggestion that came out of a lengthy forum discussion in March 2010, in response to Ars Technica's article on Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love
1) SPCR's revenue (mostly from ads) is modest and prevents full-time work on content creation by editorial staff.
2) SPCR reviews maintain a high standard of comprehensiveness and accuracy, especially in the core concerns around noise, thermals and power. The content is unique, and it serves a relatively niche community, although mainstream web sites and computer users also benefit.
3) Reviews cost much time and effort, which is money.
4) If readers "vote" for products to be reviewed with donations, the funds would go directly towards reviews of those items, which hopefully, will be a win-win situation for both SPCR content creators (outside the forums) and for the readers. It's a popular vote system, but also one in which your money talks, much like in the rest of life.
This FAQ is going to be pretty short because this is the start, and no questions have been asked yet. Here are a few that can be anticipated. They will change as this experiment evolves.
Q1: How do I donate for a product review? Send a donation via Paypal
with the header, "Donate: Review Tesla Roadster" -- if that is the make /model of the item you want to see reviewed.
Also start a thread in this forum with the same headline, indicating your proposed product.
Q2: Is there a minimum donation amount?
Yes. $10, to keep the management of donated funds from getting complicated when there are many products on the nominated list and many donations. The base currency is US$; AUS$ and CA$ will also be accept at par at this time.
Q3: When will my nominated product be reviewed?
When the total amount of donations for that product review reaches or exceeds the required total.
Q4: What is the total value of donations needed before a product is reviewed?
The idea is not for donations to cover the entire cost of our review, but to subsidize them. The total donation targets for these various product categories are based roughly on real costs:
hard drive: $120
power supply: $200
complete computer: $200
Q5: Where and how will the review sample be acquired?
There are several options:
a. You can send us the product you want reviewed. This is obviously a bonafide donation for review, and the value of the donation will be set at typical market value. But we need to be able to determine that the sample is typical and representative of the product in the marketplace. Ideally, it should be new and sealed in the box; alternatively, it should be new or hardly used, with good documentation. Use the address at the bottom of this post.
b. We may turn to the manufacturer or some other organization in the distribution stream if it is an expensive product for a free sample or loaner.
c. SPCR may buy the item locally or online; naturally we'll seek the best price.
The source and manner of acquisition will be accounted in the review. As with all reviews at SPCR, the source of the sample will have no bearing on our published qualitative / quantitative review.
Q6: What will you do with the reviewed sample?
If is deemed to be a "reference" class item, we'll keep it in the lab to be used in comparisions against other review products in future. Otherwise, it will be sold off, as is the norm, in our usual lab clearance corner
at heavy discount.
Q7: If I am really keen on having a product reviewed by SPCR, can I try to "sell" it to the forum members so that they will donate more (and more quickly) to that product review?
Of course. We anticipate that some competition might arise. Links to the product promotional details, other reviews, or even discussions on forums about the product are all fair game here.
Q8: Will my donation for review count toward anything else?
If they meet or exceed donation requirements for SPCR Friend, Patron & Lifetime Patron status, then the appropriate tags will be awarded to your forum ID. These status ranks will have other value in the near future.
Q9: What if I don't want to use Paypal?
There is no other simple and quick way for funds to be donated to SPCR. You can mail a personal check (which must wait to clear), travellers check, money order or bank certified check to the following name/address. Keep in mind that this will take time to reach us, and for your donation to be attributed to the product review of your choice:
Silent PC Review
361-6417 Fraser St
Vancouver, BC V5W3A6