If you are like us, you already have a bunch of questions about gadgets that you already own or about products you expect to purchase in the next few months. There are three ways that we have found in order to get the answers that you are looking for:
- Go it Alone - through exploration, experimentation, and trial-and-error, you can always learn the hard way. Sometimes it pays off to spend the time to investigate it yourself but in many cases, this is the longest and hardest road.
- Rely on Paid Experts - the editors of industry publications and web sites make a living by getting their hands on products before the rest of us and providing information and advice on them to the wider audience. The good news is that these people know what to look for and can generally provide fairly balanced views of a wide range or products - the bad news is that they very rarely have real-world experience with the gear they review. (Retailers also fall into this category, though just by the fact that they are paid to sell devices makes their advice suspect and sometimes skewed)
- Seek out the Real Experts - often there are experts within reach who are actively providing assistance and guidance to their neighbors, family members, colleagues, and friends. This advice is usually given freely and is often based on extended periods of actual use with the same or similar gadgets.
Our Approach - Street Credibility vs. Lab CredibilityWhen we started TechLore, we made a choice. Instead of hiring a staff of editors who have to crank out an opinion in a short time for hundreds or even thousands of devices, we hit the streets to recruit thousands of actual device owners and users to tap into their own knowledge and experience. We feel that real-world experience is the best and most useful information for consumers.
Most of us seem to consult our local experts almost every time we need answers anyway, so why not recruit these folks and make them available to the world. If we want to know about the newest trends in wireless technology, we consult our local wireless expert. Same for digital cameras, MP3 players, and so on. Through a community approach, we can consult several experts at any time rather than just the one that we already know.
In the editor model, each editor is required to review hundreds of devices and therefore has far less time to spend with each one. In the Community model, each Member can share their experiences with the handful of devices they use all the time. When you are making important decisions about which products to buy and how to get the most out of them, do you think getting first-hand advice from actual owners is more valuable? We do.
Answers for the Rest of UsDon't get us wrong. The editor model is still valuable and serves as a very important resource for the experts and non-experts alike who will readily consume that information. However, the editor is in control of the information that they are disseminating to their audience.
We believe that the average consumer - expert or not - oftentimes just wants to solve an immediate problem and is less concerned with breaking product news or the latest feature set. The Community model embraces the dynamic nature of consumers' information needs by providing content that is relevant to them versus being told what is relevant by someone else.
We think the Consumer Electronic Community is an idea whose day has come. If you are looking for help with your gear, we will help you find your answers at TechLore.