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Old 02-04-2013, 07:37 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ARSENALFAN View Post
I don't think we are getting anywhere with these posts and may as well just lock this one down too.

1. I really like Snowwolf's reviews and have even PM'd him in the past for advice which he has graciously given me. I appreciate that.
2. I hope that we continue to see reviews on the forum, as that is one of the most interesting aspects. There is no doubt NS has a good product.
3. The bottom line is that the "team" loves their free boards and who wouldn't?
4. I think my personal view on a product could be tainted if I was being given $700 in product for free, and I consider myself a pretty ethical guy. If NS wants the biggest fanboy in the world, just send me a pm and let me know when my first board will arrive. I can just see the smile on my face bombing down the run on a free board.
5. NeverSummer is putting review links on their site which get directed to this forum. So there is some kind of businesslike relationship going on, and when it comes to business, money talks (free boards/free advertising) and bullshit walks.
6. I can tell you that my opinion on the "Cobra" for instance was heavily influenced, if not solely influenced, by Snowwolfs recommendation. I don't have the luxury of test riding a board, so was ready to buy it solely based on his review. I have to admit that I look at it in a different light now that I know free product is involved, even though I am confident Snowwolf is a stand up guy and has everybody's best interest in mind.

7. So there is no right or wrong. The team gets boards and are stoked. The rest of us get a review which may or may not be influenced by graft.
8. There is a reason why almost every company these days does not allow graft: it causes headaches like this.
9. I really like this forum and hope the bickering ends soon.


Yeah, right on. Go shred guys. I would if I could.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I didn't see the other thread until now. Very sad indeed. I will miss the contribution.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Actually that is exactly what separates good review sites from bad ones. Bad ones are in it to get the free shit. If you want to keep something, that decision should be made after you've ridden the product. That way the review is done already and is as unbiased as it can be.

Only picking Mervin cause they have high value, but if you consistently get like 10 Mervins to review that Mervin does not expect back, and you start giving them bad reviews what are the chances the next year they're willing to send another $5000 worth of boards? Expecting the free product influences your review. Don't wanna bite the hand that feeds.
I come from the tech world, where this exact issue is extremely common.

Nivek's second point is certainly correct and it happens very often in tech. Review sites that consistently give bad reviews to products from a certain brand will stop getting pre-release versions of those products to review. The real danger isn't that the reviewer will give an absolutely glowing review to a horrible product, but that a reviewer will ignore certain minor flaws that might taint an otherwise favorable review. This might not even be a conscious action.

I've studied bias in the context of social science research, and unfortunately the nature of human bias is such that it is often undetectable by the person. Even after my short time here, I fully trust that people like Snowolf and Leo would never purposely give a good review to a bad product. However, it's far more likely that the reviewers might unknowingly leave out some minor details that cast a slightly negative light, after their brains have justified them as insignificant or extraneous. Again, this is not the fault of the reviewer, it's simply the nature of the human brain.

I'm certainly not saying that these reviews shouldn't be done, and I for one thought this NS deal was a great idea. I'm simply saying that it's perfectly reasonable to be concerned about bias in this situation. It's not about buying someones integrity (which I'm 100% NOT concerned about), but rather about introducing bias into their thought process by giving them free stuff.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ARSENALFAN View Post
6. I can tell you that my opinion on the "Cobra" for instance was heavily influenced, if not solely influenced, by Snowwolfs recommendation. I don't have the luxury of test riding a board, so was ready to buy it solely based on his review. I have to admit that I look at it in a different light now that I know free product is involved, even though I am confident Snowwolf is a stand up guy and has everybody's best interest in mind.
Don't be afraid of that Cobra. It's a great ride.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I was approached. I denied. I also wasn't told I'd be a part of this "team". If I had known that's what I was being approached for the denial wouldn't have been because of company conflict, but because this isn't a good idea. Giving product for reviews is a sponsored review. No way around that. The idea of splitting the board review section up so that it isn't overwhelmed by one brand is a great idea, just like it was with the 2014 preview thread. That's all I'll say for now, bitch at me if you want, you wont get a response.
So how does it work with the bindings you get to review on the Angry Snowboarder site? Is getting product in that instance considered a "sponsored review"? Genuinely interested, not out to troll or cause more angst on what is perceived corporate bribery vs remaing true to core values etc.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Wow, this idea blew up quicker than I thought it would...

Full disclosure: I currently have 2 NS boards (Proto and Cobra). Also had a Heritage and wife had an infinity. Awesome Boards and great company. With that said...

This idea was doomed from the start. It SEEMED (true or not) NS tried to grab every high count poster on the forum and give them a board to test, effectively controlling the forum. Sounds like a good idea on paper, but if I was a random person looking for a board and saw the NS "team" dominating the forum I would immediately discredit anything they wrote, regardless if the reviews were honest or not. I think they were already effectively controlling the forum just using Snowolf for reviews, but they went for the kill and it backfired.

What makes regular reviewers more creditable is that they receive free equipment from many different vendors all the time, by default this make them less likely to give a biased review.

On a side note, I'm not on the NS team, but I LOVE my Cobra (thanks Snowolf for the review), I feel like I can do anything on that board. The proto has already been proven to be a beast and totally lives up to the hype.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Why? How is BA able to talk shit about boards given for free, but you can't?

If you won a prize and got a free board, yeahh you're going to love it. You just won the lottery. You're excited.

If you are given a board to review then review it. Hell if someone gave me a board, and told me to tell them what I think, I might even nitpick it more than normal.

I think we need to put the bias accusations away, until there is actually bias. Like, there is a major flaw with a board but every tester ignored it.
You getting the free board is going to bias you subconsciously.

It doesn't really affect me at all because I don't read the review section at all and I already know what I like. But free gear will bias your opinions, it just happens.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Im actually a big fan of reviews. I know the wider opinion is that reviews are next to useless due to the lack of serious information about the dude riding it vis a vis the person reading the review and trying to map their own styles, history and bias onto it. What better way to try and overcome the bias than having a tonne of people demoing the board and offering their own unique take on it? Youll get a multiplicity of perspectives and youll counter each persons intrinsic bias (not from being hooked up, but from the years of preferences and what theyre looking for in a board).

I think this was just brought in a little too suddenly (via the leak) and a little too exclusively focusing on one brand. And one brand in particular that gains a lot of traction here. So it was always going to be extremely controversial.

I think it just needs a little more care and a bit more rounding in the brands or boards chosen. Ive mentioned this elsewhere, but the idea in principal is sound, its just that the first step should be to not simply ASSUME that the team and the process is legit, but to SHOW how it works and leave it to the people reading those reviews to start to work out how it functions in practice.

Step 1: Legitimise the idea and show its value.

After that you can start building up the portfolio with specific brand relationships. But first, alas, the sceptics need convincing. And being sceptical isnt a bad thing, sceptics arent haters. They can be brought around if it shows itself to work.

Good luck with teh relaunch. Sincerely.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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So how does it work with the bindings you get to review on the Angry Snowboarder site? Is getting product in that instance considered a "sponsored review"? Genuinely interested, not out to troll or cause more angst on what is perceived corporate bribery vs remaing true to core values etc.
The only binding I have reviewed that I kept was the 2013 Mission Restricted's. And I wasn't planning on reviewing those and got them from a friend of a friend completely unaffiliated to Angry Snowboarder before I was asked to write the review. I have kept 3 products in my 3 years working with Angry, a couple face masks and some pants.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Actually that is exactly what separates good review sites from bad ones. Bad ones are in it to get the free shit. If you want to keep something, that decision should be made after you've ridden the product. That way the review is done already and is as unbiased as it can be.

Only picking Mervin cause they have high value, but if you consistently get like 10 Mervins to review that Mervin does not expect back, and you start giving them bad reviews what are the chances the next year they're willing to send another $5000 worth of boards? Expecting the free product influences your review. Don't wanna bite the hand that feeds.
That's almost exactly what happened in the case of my 2012 Evo review. That board was a loaner from NS for me to ride and review/give input. A call tag was sent out for it when I was done. I ended up missing the delivery truck. At which point, NS asked if I liked it enough to keep it.

Your Mervin analogy is missing a few variables. What if you actually like most of their boards? What then? What if Mervin actually likes if you don't like a board and can give them specific details on why you dislike it?

This seems to be the common theme with this debacle. People against this are viewing it as negatively as possible. They leave no room for the bright side.

I was going to save this for the review, but eff it now. I'm not particularly stoked on the new Proto. I prefer the old one. I bet now people are going to accuse me of saying that because of this stupid drama.

Funny because I told the people I ride with, some members on this forum like Sabatoa, that I wasn't stoked on the new Proto.

Who knows though? This is only after a day on the board. My opinion could change.

Rest assured, I'll be letting NS know the exact reasons why I prefer my old Proto if it should remain that way as I ride this board more.
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