A number of months back I posted a review on LaMarvin’s Dynamic AutoComplete Tool (http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/jkimble/archive/2004/05/18/13941.aspx)]. I did this for a number of reasons: being nice to the community by using my “skills” as a product reviewer, an excuse to play with a dev toy, gave me something to blog about, and (finally and most importantly) a luring mechanism to try to get some free product to review… I really love tools and I love making my programming toolbox large. Mike Schinkel over at Xtras.Net and I have chatted about this and his reaction was that all I ever wanted was a free product (he was dumbfounded). The key here is that I get to keep the product and potentially use it (I also do side consulting... good products are nice to have and not having to pay for them is all that much better for me)…
BTW, I have done this in the past (as a part of ZAC Catalogs and then as a copywriter for Xtras.Net… I have actually been given a few products right as they were being released and asked for advice (I actually saw Softwire probably before too many of you did... too bad they never sent me the free copy they promised... oh well... I've also seen a few products that unfortunately never got released). I was also legendary (in my own mind) in shaping VBCodeDoctor into VBCommander which is now NetCommander (I really wish Les would send me a free copy of their refactoring product… I know I’m cheap… it’s only $79). I’ve said good and bad and will continue to do so (my first impression of VBCodeDoctor, BTW, was that it was really cool except that it was deficient in a number of ways… Les fixed those things and then added a ton of features… the credit really is all his)
Anywho, back to LaMarvin, Palo contact me yesterday requesting that I review his new product (and he gave me a copy… he has already realized how to reach my heart and how to get my attention)… Anyway, I’ll be taking some time to review his product… I’m going to try to find a way to give him something a little more than a good review. I’m still thinking about what I can do… maybe a special (invisible) category so he can easily link back to the tool review… from his site… that is assuming that I find the product favorable (I don’t always). I told Palo that I would not post a bad review, but would let him know privately if I would end up reviewing the product poorly; to his credit he told me that he respected me and wanted me to blog about it regardless (Palo is braver than me!). This is how I prefer to do stuff, but most software publishers don't like working this way...
So to summarize:
1) I'll be reviewing LaMarvin's Constable Authorization Engine
2) I'll try to give Palo some extras that he can use to promote his product (assuming that I like what I see, and he is happy with the publicity)
3) I would like to do this for others (I'll do it either publicly or privately)... the only cost to you is the price of your product (I don't work from trials...)