In the past two days, I have gotten annoyed with people that have sent me messages. One was from my Facebook page and then there were several more in my email account from various companies and marketing reps.
If you follow Counting Caballeros on Facebook (and you should, I post much more random stuff there), then you already know about half of the inspiration for today's post. I received a message from a fan of the Facebook page telling me that she was "unliking" the page because I didn't post enough. I found it a little annoying that she felt the need to tell me this since I gain and lose fans all the time, and I have a life outside of Facebook that keeps me a little busy (you know, 4 kids, moving cross-country, looking for a place to live so I can get out of my parent's house, etc.). I have pretty much gotten over paying any attention to the number of followers that I have both here and on my page because it fluctuates so much. I will drive myself nuts wondering what I did to make people leave, how I could have pissed people off, etc. since the numbers go up and down for no obvious reasons. In fact, this past weekend I lost 7 followers in less than 12 hours -- I have no idea why. And frankly, it doesn't really matter. So, being my usual snarky and sarcastic self, I responded to her message and told her that I actually post all the time, but that I choose fans to hide posts from because I don't like their names or their profile picture. This prompted a lengthy email where I was called rude and immature and told that I should be ashamed of myself. I let it go. Even though I really wanted to email her back letting her know that it was not possible for a page to hide posts from certain users and that she was obviously way too literal to be a fan of my page anyway. She obviously wasn't a "true" fan since her response indicates that she has no idea who I am.
Then this morning when I checked my email, I had several messages from marketing reps for various products asking me to do reviews and I had a renewed sense of annoyance. I don't do reviews. In fact, in the time since I started this blog, I have done ONE review. I have another product to review, but I have not had a chance to use it yet, with everything that has been going on. However, these emails all said the same things -- "We love your blog and the way that you keep your readers informed about new products with all of your excellent reviews and we'd like to partner with you to do a give away of our products." I have NEVER done a give away. I think that bloggers who do that are awesome, but I am not skilled in writing reviews, and I wouldn't even know how to do a give away or a contest. As I said before, I will gladly tell you when a product, or company, that I have used is amazing or when it is really bad, but that really isn't my thing. So when a company approaches me about doing stuff like that and they preface it with a statement about how they love my previous reviews, I know that they have not looked at my blog. It also annoys me when I get asked to review products that anyone who has read my blog knows I would never use -- like a baby food maker or something equally time consuming that my kids have outgrown or would never be allowed to do like an India Ink set for kids. I have even talked in the past about the ridiculousness of some of the products out there for kids and then received a request to do a review for that product.
If you actually read my blog, then you'd know that I would be perfectly happy to review some new Pop Tart flavor, yoga pants, Rolo's, coffee, Coca-Cola, or even a good red wine. Or if you have a product that keeps something from getting destroyed by kids or makes it easier to clean, I'd be willing to try it. Here's the thing though, if you want me to review your product, you should know exactly what you are getting. I am honest to a fault -- so if I find your product unworthy, I will pass that along to my readers just as honestly as I would pass along that it is great. I don't know how else to do a review and maintain my integrity. If I wasn't honest with my readers then they wouldn't listen to me.
So if you want me to review your product, then I'd like to give you a better way to ask. Instead of a form letter, try actually reading my blog first. Then your request should look something like this:
"Hey, we know that you don't normally do reviews, but you have a pretty good following and we love for you to review our product because we are confident that it is good enough, even for you. You are so freaking honest that we know you will not sugarcoat your opinions and that is what we want, and what your readers expect. Please contact us and let us know if you are interested trying our product; we dare you not to like it."
To everyone else -- companies who do form letters and fans who think that their one "like" to my page is somehow more important to me than the 2,945 others on my Facebook page -- I'd say "Um, hello? Have we met?"