What should the scope & purpose of the Photo.SE Blog be? raises the possibility of doing photography equipment reviews for the site blog. We're hoping we could do this in a way similar to the gaming-SE promotion — using Stack Exchange's money in order to grow content on the site. Not only we would get the blog reviews, but we'd also increase expertise in newly-released and specialist equipment, helping with QA.
The idea would be to get hands-on reviews from a variety of expert users. Rather than a technical-measurements review a la DPreview, or a gee-wiz-lookit-that thing as seen on Cnet or Engadget, we'd concentrate on using the thing for real. I'm envisioning something similar to Mike Johnston's review of the Ricoh GXR — Day 1, Day 2 — with a few polished along-the-way posts like those, plus a "roundtable" wrap-up.
Specifically, we'd choose an item, and then three or four appropriate community members to review it, and each person would spend a week with it. They'd be responsible for maybe two blog posts during the week they have the item, and then would participate in the final chat. That chat session would then be written up by a review coordinator as a roundtable-discussion final blog post.
Additionally, we could ask that participants ask and answer some number of questions related to the review item, as in the gaming-SE community promotion. This could be Jeopardy-style, or an exchange between participants, or of course best of all answering questions from other (perhaps new!) users.
I'm thinking we'd do this either monthly or every other month. If it's successful and we have enough participants, we could have several running at a time.
For some more high-ticket items, the equipment could be rented — perhaps each person would rent the thing individually, with reimbursement from SE. For things like The Newest Hot Digicam, SE could just buy it outright and reviewers would pass it around. (At the end, it could go to one of the reviewers as perk, or it could become the subject of a giveaway contest, or it could go back to SE HQ and put in a big pile of loot.) For smaller accessories, multiple copies could be purchased.
I'm expecting we'd mostly cover cameras, but lenses, lighting, and smaller accessories would fit too. Usually, it'd be be focused on mainstream new releases, because that's where the audience is, but we should cover special-purpose things too (because other places don't!).
- Is this — particularly, the using Stack Exchange's money part — a realistic possibility?
- Is there enough interest?
- Is the format I've suggested workable? Are there other/better suggestions?
- And, how do we make it happen?