Regarding Software Reviews, Sponsorships, and Affiliate Links

Every word published to this site is done with prudence and honesty. Since this site has grown from a hobby weblog into a full-time business, I want to be clear about how the revenue streams relate to what gets written and published.

The short of it is:

– Every word I write here is always my own honest opinion. I have never, nor will I ever, accept payment in exchange for writing a positive review.

– Sponsors and advertisers will always be identified.

– When using an affiliate link, it is never in an attempt to trick you into buying something just so I can get a small kickback.

Here it is in a bit more detail:

#### Regarding Reviews

My favorite software reviews are the ones that are honest, written from someone who regularly uses the app, and has a clear (if not expert) understanding of how it works. Though it is not uncommon for writers to request or require payment from a developer to write a review of their app, I have never once been paid for any of the Mac or iPhone applications [reviewed]( or linked to on this site.

Except for a few apps in which I have been part of a private beta testing group, I have paid full price for every piece of software I’ve written a review about.

There are apps which I have beta test and also reviewed. Never was I given beta tester access in exchange for a review, link, or even a mention on this website. My “payment” to the respective developers has been my private feedback and bug reports to help them build their apps.

Moreover, it is not uncommon for developers to email me offering me a free download, or promo code, or to join the beta list for their software. But never have I accepted their generosity with a promise of promoting their app in return. I tell them that I will write about what I will write about.

I do not see anything evil or dishonest about charging for an app review — it is how many websites support themselves, and how many developers spend their marketing and advertising dollars. However, this site’s links and reviews will always be posted of my own volition. If I ever begin writing sponsored reviews, it will be clearly noted as such and always with the understanding that I will write my honest opinion.

#### Regarding Sponsorships:

At the beginning of each week a promotional sponsorship item is posted to the RSS feed. That post is clearly marked with “[Sponsor]” in the title. The title, linked-to URL, and text for these promotional items are provided by the sponsor. They write it, I post it.

At the end of the week I write my own thank-you post and once again link to the sponsor. The text in these thank-you posts is written by me. If I genuinely like the product or service I am thanking, then I will say so. Any accolades I give are always of my own accord and never done simply because I have to say nice things about the sponsors. Fortunately for me, the fine folks who sponsor this site seem to all make wonderful and interesting products or else provide helpful services. This naturally makes saying positive things easy.

There are times when I write about a product or a service that has been, or later becomes, a sponsor. Sponsors only get two links: the promotional link at the beginning of the week and the thank-you at the end. Any links or articles in addition to the two you get as a sponsor are of my own accord and were not paid for.

#### Regarding Affiliate Links

I have two affiliate accounts: one with Amazon and one with iTunes (via Linkshare). I have these because it is common to link to items on Amazon or in iTunes, the iOS App Store, and the Mac App Store.

I try to be prudent with any links to Amazon or iTunes. If I am linking to a product, app, album, etc., it is because I have genuine reason and not because I simply want an excuse to post an affiliate link. Since I would be linking to these things anyway, there’s no reason not to use an affiliate link in the process.