Blogging and ethics

I read blogs all the time about products and product reviews. All seem to be pretty positive about the product. So what do you do when you find a product that you really don’t like? Do you keep your mouth shut or do you say something?
Especially in this sewing community, I have a general feeling that everyone wants each other to succeed in their business ventures so we do what we can to support each other.
So I’m having a bit of a dilemma over what to do.. I truly believe in giving real feedback, how is someone to know how the public really feels if everyone is always putting a smile on and omitting the negative? Also they can never improve if they aren’t aware they need improvements.
On the other hand, I don’t want to come off mean or unsupportive and I don’t want to be bad for someone’s business.
And I think it is easier for me since I’m still just a little beginner blogger and no one is paying me for any of my opinions. I don’t actually have to write anything. What happens if someone pays you to write about their product and you are less than impressed? Do you lie? Only focus on the good? Or do you put all the dirty details out there?
I ask because there is something that I am “less than impressed” with and I’m not sure if I should go into detail or not..
What would you do?

8 thoughts on “Blogging and ethics

  1. I would hope people appreciate honest criticism. But online it’s easy for things to be taken the wrong way or to escalate into something unpleasant. If you have a particular issue that you would like the maker to know about but don’t feel comfortable putting it out there publicly, then you could just send the person a direct email or a dm on Twitter, etc. BUT if someone is paying you to write about their product, that’s another story. In that case, you need to be clear on what the assignment is. I assume they want you to write something positive. If you accepted the assignment/signed a contract, that that’s what you’re obligated to do. If you name will be attached to it, then you may want to withdraw from the assignment. Good luck!

    1. Thank goodness I don’t have the dilemma of actually having to write something, it is just a choice for me. I always wonder what other bloggers do in that situation though, and I do wonder how genuine some reviews really are. I don’t know why DMing the person never crossed my mind, I guess I was just frustrated in the moment and I knew at some point I was going to involve that project in a blog post, I just wasn’t sure about reviewing it. Thank you so much for your input!

  2. That is a really tough one. I think it really depends on the type of business you are leaving feedback for. And I suppose the situation. For big box companies, or orders through amazon, I think it would be ok to just leave negative public feedback. For smaller companies or crafters I would suggest contacting the seller directly for negative feedback. As a new etsy shop owner, I would much prefer one of my buyers to contact me directly about their issues or disappoitments so I can offer some sort of solution ie: discount on next order, partial/full refund etc. and then work on my product so it never happens again. I like to give small business owners the benefit of the doubt that they would do the right thing and improve the product or give a more accurate description- I mean, it should be their livelyhood right?

    1. Hi, Jen!! Yeah I have no idea why it never crossed my mind to directly contact the seller, I think I was just frustrated. I’m not looking for any freebies I really just wanted to maybe let others know the difficulty.. I did scour the Internet for reviews of the same thing and I found one person who mentioned quickly the same problem I had so I felt a little better in thinking “hey it isn’t just me!” But it also makes me want to let the seller know that it is an issue that people are having. So that is what I’ll do :) I certainly don’t want to put bad press all over the interwebs.

  3. Your instincts were right! I often question mine too but when you feel its “right” and you treat the person or business with respect it almost never goes wrong. Just think how many others might benefit if the seller improves the product because of your constructive criticism. Well done you!

  4. Leaving feedback is ALWAYS tricky, especially in text. Tone can’t be heard and is often taken the wrong way. I try and balance good with less than stellar feedback. I was sad to learn that a good deal of the feedback on items on Amazon were paid shills by the manufacturer.

    1. Yeah I usually go straight to read the negative reviews on amazon, lol, you know for sure those are genuine and it is really easy to pick out if the reviewer is just nuts or if the product really is bad!

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