About a year ago traffic here to the website increased substantially. With that came many offers and requests from sound companies. Some of them wanted me to write reviews for their products. Others wanted me to promote them. A few wanted to write keyword-laden guest posts with links back to their websites. Many of them offered me cash.
I refused all of them. Why?
Advertising and Motivations
Well, I don’t really like advertising. I feel it interferes with a message. When I want information, I want to get the facts without an ad being shoved in my face. That’s how I want people to experience this website. I hope you feel the same.
Also, even with the best of intentions, involving cash has the ability to compromise one’s motivations. If the site started to accept endorsements, you would never know if I was writing about software or field recording gear because it was good, or if I was making a buck behind the scenes.
My integrity means a lot to me, so I want to be completely transparent. The writing here on the site is important to me. What is more important to me is that you feel you are getting pure, trustworthy writing. That’s why I never do paid promotion or sponsored posts (for example if someone wants me to review a product in return for money). That’s also why there are no sidebar ads. And, while I do sell my own sound fx books here on the site, I am not pushy about them, and honestly don’t feel comfortable mentioning them often for the reasons I’ve described.
I created this website for one purpose: to share ideas about field recording. No offers of cash, sponsorship, or gear will ever change that.
My opinion cannot be bought.
Reviews and Announcements
It’s true that I sometimes mention field recording events. I also have written articles about software I enjoy, or gear I find useful. Sometime I will mention other websites, movies, or books. I only write about those things if I think they are interesting, newsworthy, or useful to the community.
Once or twice I’ve asked a manufacturer for a demo unit. This has always been with the understanding that it will be returned. So, no exchange or incentive takes place – it has been a loan. I have never received a payout or free equipment in return for website content.
I have always been clear to manufacturers that any review I write will be brutally honest. I tell them that if they can’t take stark criticism, then it’s best not to send the gear or software. That helps you in two ways: it guarantees you’re getting honest information, and it ensures that you read about companies who stand behind their products 100%.
Review and Article Policy
Why am I telling you this?
Well, I thought it was about time to clarify this with you. Here is the non-negotiable website policy regarding articles about products and events:
- I will never write articles or reviews purely on request.
- I will never write articles about gear, software, or events for any compensation whatsoever.
- The site will not feature promotional product guest posts or cross posts.
- I will write a review or mention a product or share an event announcement only if it sincerely helps field recordists and sound designers achieve their goals.
- I will only write unvarnished, honest reviews mentioning both the positive and negative aspects about a product. I will not pull punches when reviewing.
If you have a product, service, or event you wish to share and the policy above seems good to you, please feel free to email me.
I’m listing this mostly so I can link to it when companies contact me in the future. It also helps you know what the plan is moving forward.
Now, at the same time as the manufacturer requests have exploded, there has been a flood of questions about field recording equipment and software from readers. I wrote the Field Recording Gear Buyer’s Guide to help answer many of those questions.
Still, people regularly ask what field recording tools I prefer (I love discussing these things with all of you). To help with this, I have created a “Recommended Resources” page with links to products and services I like and use when field recording.
There are two reasons for this page: it keeps all the recommendations in one small space, and it also allows the rest of the site to have pure information free of being tainted by endorsements.
Many of the things on that page are simple recommendations of favourite gear I use and enjoy. Some of these links have perks that save you money or give you a bonus of some kind. Others are “affiliate links.” These links take you to product listings on other websites (e.g., Amazon, B&H Photo Video). If you click these links, Creative Field Recording will receive a small amount from the destination website, at no cost to yourself.
Please use the links on the Recommended Resources page only if you have enjoyed my writing on Creative Field Recording and you'd like to support the site. It really helps cover the Web hosting fees and bandwidth. This keeps the site ad-free without any annoying pop-ups or sign-up forms.
If you are not interested in them, or don't like referral or affiliate links, you are of course under no obligation to use them, or even visit the page all. Skip the links there and Google the service to use a non-affiliate link. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or they help you achieve your field recording goals. Use the links only if you were considering doing so anyway, and want to support the website.
The page will be an experiment. If it goes over well, it will stay. If not, it will be retired.
About the Recommendations
Any product or service I recommend I personally use and would recommend to friends, family, and colleagues without question. I will never recommend anything I don't believe in. I only recommend things that would be useful to field recordists because it will help them, not because of the small amount I may get for a referral.
There’s only a handful of links now. I plan to keep adding helpful tools on that page. I’ll usually post about it on Twitter or Facebook. You can also bookmark that page and check in to see if new deals have appeared.
My integrity is important to me. If you have any comments or thoughts about this approach, please do feel welcome to write me at any time.
Here is a link to the Recommended Resources page. I hope you find it useful.
– Paul Virostek, Creative Field Recording