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Please Read: Pro Review FAQ and Forum Rules


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This is a strictly on-topic forum. Pro Reviews are started ONLY by people affiliated with, or appointed by, Harmony Central. Topics started by users will be deleted, as this forum consists only of Pro Reviews; users are of course invited to post their own reviews in the User Reviews section. If you have general comments or requests about Pro Reviews, feel free to post them in this thread.
HARMONY CENTRAL PRO REVIEW FAQWhat are Pro Reviews?Harmony Central’s Pro Reviews are posted in an open forum format. The reviewer – an industry professional – starts the review as soon as the product package is opened or the software downloaded. As the review unfolds in a forum thread over time (like a “blog”), visitors to the site come to understand the product with a degree of depth that no print review could ever provide.Why do some people call this an “open source” review?Like "open source" code that is made freely available to the public for comment and modifications, Pro Review readers use the forum format to ask questions, contribute their own viewpoints, disagree or agree with conclusions, offer suggestions, and in general, become an important part of the review process. Furthermore, manufacturers are encouraged to participate. The Pro Review brings together reviewer, reader, and manufacturer to provide dynamic, accurate, useful coverage on all kinds of products.Who came up with the Pro Review concept, and why?Harmony Central’s Editorial Director, Craig Anderton, was frustrated by the limitation of print reviews, so he decided to re-invent the product review process from the ground up.What other differences are there compared to print reviews?There are no word count or page count limitations, so the review can be extremely thorough. Graphics, audio examples, and videos can be embedded in posts to provide an immersive, interactive experience.Sounds expensive. How are they monetized?The manufacturer underwrites the review for a nominal fee, which varies depending on the product complexity, to defray the expenses involved in maintaining a Pro Review. The reviewer is not compensated by the manufacturer, but by Harmony Central from the site's general revenue sources.But how does the manufacturer feel if the review has negative comments?It is somewhat of a leap of faith to signup for a review where no one knows what the outcome will be. But we’ve found manufacturers prefer to have any negative comments out in the open, where they can be addressed, rather than just having potshots taken at them all over the web. We’ve also found that manufacturers willing to sponsor a Pro Review have confidence in their product, and that confidence is rarely misplaced.Is the HC community concerned about manufacturer involvement influencing the editorial integrity?No, because this is the only review system with built-in “checks and balances.” It’s not possible to get away with unjustified slams or praise when there are literally thousands, or tens of thousands, of people (as well as the manufacturer) looking over your shoulder. Also, anyone affiliated with the manufacturer is required to state that affiliation.Why would a company want to sign up for a Pro Review?A Pro Review is ongoing - people keep coming back, links are made to it from other sites, and the content is dynamic and changing. It draws a huge amount of attention to a product over the life of the product, and provides valuable feedback to the manufacturer. (Note that HC does not accept all products for Pro Review, only ones that are well-suited to the format.)What kind of feedback have you been receiving?Overwhelmingly positive, from all involved. As one manufacturer said, "I really think you are on to something with the Pro Review format…It is truly a great way to reach users and potential customers with timely, in-depth product information. Also, along with all the 'how-tos' peppered through out the threads, there is much valuable insight into the user perspective regarding what features resonate and really matter to them. Thanks!" Another wrote to say "I got the impression that the participants were also very excited about the 'live' aspect of the Pro Review. I feel the Pro Review format is a great new way to get instant feedback from our customers as well as a cool learning experience." Comments from readers are within the Pro Reviews.I'm a manufacturer and I'm interested in having one of my products subjected to a Pro Review. What do I do next?Contact Dendy Jarrett, djarrett@harmonycentral.com. Edited by Anderton
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