Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 21:21 UTC
In the News Pretty scummy stuff by Samsung, this. The company apologised, but what it shows is just how warped tech reporting and blogging really is. Websites are dependent on review items, early access, and press invites, and we really have no idea just how much this influences reporting. Do you really think that reviewers and bloggers who are too critical will get invited to the next product unveil in Cupertino or will get early access to the next Galaxy device? If so, I have a palace to sell you.
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Shady stuff
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 22:32 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Do you really think that reviewers and bloggers who are too critical will get invited to the next product unveil in Cupertino or will get early access to the next Galaxy device?


And this is why you put zero trust into these bloggers.

Pretty shady behavior of Samsung nonetheless although it could just have been a Samsung India screwup.

Moral of the story? If a company flies you half across the world for what is essentially a PR event, get it in writing exactly what is expected of you.
While that might not get you invited you have to decide if you're going to suck it up and be impartial or play along with the PR show.

Reply Score: 2

This Space for Rent!
by bornagainenguin on Mon 3rd Sep 2012 22:54 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Accepting payment in both cash and gizmos. Will provide positively inspiring reviews for items I get to keep after the review. Contact me at my username at Gmail for details.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 7

Comment by pucko
by pucko on Tue 4th Sep 2012 01:19 UTC
pucko
Member since:
2006-07-17

Here is another side of the story;
http://www.amitbhawani.com/blog/samsung-mobilers-ifa-2012/

Reply Score: 4

It happens
by jessesmith on Tue 4th Sep 2012 01:58 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

I write reviews in a few places and it certainly is true companies and organizations will stop doing business with you if they don't like your reviews. Now this article shows an extreme example, but reviewers have to be aware that the company isn't sending you stuff and granting interviews because they like you, they are doing it to further their own goals. Once a writer has shown they will offer an unfavorable opinion the company will move on to find someone else who will play ball. Companies that used to seek me out for reviews and interviews now refuse to take my calls and one company even has an employee that will spam the comments section of my reviews when I write about their products.

A reviewer can either be liked or they can be honest. It is rare that a writer can be both, unless they only write about products they really enjoy.

Reply Score: 3

Forgiveness
by kwan_e on Tue 4th Sep 2012 04:06 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

Reply Score: 2

Go Nokia :)
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2012 04:41 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Did anyone else notice that Nokia took it upon themselves to pay for the bloggers' hotel room expenses and their tickets? That's quite commendable.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Go Nokia :)
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Sep 2012 05:04 UTC in reply to "Go Nokia :)"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yes, I'm sure they had no ulterior motive for that ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Go Nokia :)
by arpan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 05:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Nokia :)"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

Actually it is quite commendable, especially since these bloggers proved that they wouldn't give favorable reviews just because they were flown there.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Go Nokia :)
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Sep 2012 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go Nokia :)"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yes, I'm sure it wasn't because it is good PR that cost virtually nothing and makes them look like the good guy in comparison to Samsung. No, not at all.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Go Nokia :)
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2012 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go Nokia :)"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Of course they calculated that it'd be good PR for them, that still doesn't change the fact that they paid a good sum of money to accommodate two people who had clearly shown they don't make any favors, ie. getting some good PR out of it doesn't make it not-commendable, especially when Nokia didn't even politely ask anything in return, let alone demand anything such.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Go Nokia :)
by ephracis on Tue 4th Sep 2012 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go Nokia :)"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

If people or companies do good stuff because it will make people like them I am all for it. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Go Nokia :)
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 4th Sep 2012 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go Nokia :)"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No. The bloggers proved they have zero credibility and ethics by accepting free flights by a subject they intended to cover.

Edited 2012-09-04 23:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Go Nokia :)
by Laurence on Tue 4th Sep 2012 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Nokia :)"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yes, I'm sure they had no ulterior motive for that ;)

Is there ever such thing as a 100% selfless act?

Regardless of motives, Nokia did a good thing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Go Nokia :)
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Sep 2012 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go Nokia :)"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sure but I dont think I would consider it commendable ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Go Nokia :)
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2012 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go Nokia :)"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Sure but I dont think I would consider it commendable ;)


This is off-topic, but I really have to ask: when would it be commendable then? Are things only commendable when a private person does them?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Go Nokia :)
by Morgan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go Nokia :)"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Is there ever such thing as a 100% selfless act?


Theoretically, yes. Most human beings are quite capable of fully selfless acts. Not everyone runs across an opportunity to perform random kindness every day, but I'm sure most of us have found ourselves helping someone out of purely humanitarian feelings.

Of course, we all know that Nokia got good public karma for this act, but what if they were the only ones to step up? As WereCatf said, the bloggers had already stood their ground and maintained a neutral stance despite the threat of being marooned, so I am inclined to think that Nokia had a heap of goodwill in this situation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Go Nokia :)
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2012 12:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go Nokia :)"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Theoretically, yes. Most human beings are quite capable of fully selfless acts. Not everyone runs across an opportunity to perform random kindness every day, but I'm sure most of us have found ourselves helping someone out of purely humanitarian feelings.


Actually no, such is still driven by selfish motives: you get a "feel good" feedback from performing such acts, ie. you do it to please yourself. Everything we human beings do voluntarily is driven by selfish motives, whether it be helping out some random person we meet, agreeing to do something we don't really want to but believe we'll benefit in one way or another in the long run or be able to avoid some negative feelings/consequences and so on. The only things we do that aren't driven by selfish motives are those that we do not do voluntarily.

The difference comes from the type of selfish reward we are aiming for with some people preferring tangible, physical rewards, some people preferring the intangible rewards, some people feeling that being able to avoid something is a reward enough in and of itself and so on. I, for example, help out people simply because it makes me feel good about myself -- that is clearly driven by the selfish need to boost my own perception of who I am, even if the end result is that I end up benefiting someone else while doing that.

Basic psychology.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Go Nokia :)
by Morgan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Go Nokia :)"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, I think that was what I meant by "humanitarian feelings". ;) It may just be my opinion, but I consider a selfless act one in which I do not gain a measurable profit, e.g., wealth, power, dominance, sustenance, etc. There's nothing wrong with feeling good about helping someone with no tangible return.

As an example, about a year ago I came across an older gentleman whose car was disabled in the parking lot of the market I stopped at to get a drink, on a very hot day. I didn't think twice about getting a second bottle of diet soda (just in case he was diabetic) and handing it to him on the way out. I didn't ask for anything from him, but I did offer to look at his car as I'm a competent mechanic. He declined that offer, saying he had someone on the way, but he gladly took the drink and even tried to pay me for it. I knew he didn't have enough money as he would have bought his own drink, so I declined and wished him well.

Now, sure, I felt really good about what I did, but that wasn't what made me do it. I looked at him the same as I would a family member or friend. I did it on impulse without thinking twice because it was the right thing to do, because that was how I was raised.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Go Nokia :)
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2012 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Go Nokia :)"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

There's nothing wrong with feeling good about helping someone with no tangible return.


I never said it is wrong, but it still is based on a selfish motive.

because that was how I was raised.


Actually, from a psychological standpoint that's how you were conditioned to behave. You wouldn't be doing that if you didn't receive a small boost on your endorphine levels.

I know it sounds rather harsh and it's quite clearly not how you wish to see it -- you obviously feel better about romanticizing the notion of doing something for the benefit of others -- but that is how it works from psychological and physiological standpoint.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Go Nokia :)
by Morgan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Go Nokia :)"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh I'm not denying that everything you said is true! It's been proven, after all. I just have this nagging feeling (there we go again) that it's more than just chemicals every now and then.

But again, that's just my opinion and probably bunk.

And you're not being harsh, or at least I'm not taking it that way. ;) Again, it's no so much that I wish it to be that way, rather that it's just how I feel about it. But feelings can also be misleading, and as I said before I'm not denying anything you've said about it from a scientific standpoint.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Go Nokia :)
by Laurence on Tue 4th Sep 2012 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go Nokia :)"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Theoretically, yes. Most human beings are quite capable of fully selfless acts. Not everyone runs across an opportunity to perform random kindness every day, but I'm sure most of us have found ourselves helping someone out of purely humanitarian feelings.

Only because I get an endorphin boost for doing so. Or because I'd hope someone would do the same if I landed myself in the same situation (kind of like a crude version of karma).

If I felt like crap every time I did someone a favour, I sure as hell wouldn't help people out again.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Go Nokia :)
by Morgan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Go Nokia :)"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Only because I get an endorphin boost for doing so. Or because I'd hope someone would do the same if I landed myself in the same situation (kind of like a crude version of karma).


I feel like I'm in the minority here; I honestly believe that there is good in people beyond reactions to chemical responses. Maybe it's why I was never popular in my psychology classes in college.

If I felt like crap every time I did someone a favour, I sure as hell wouldn't help people out again.


Well you know what they say about no good deed going unpunished right? It could happen to you... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Go Nokia :)
by Laurence on Tue 4th Sep 2012 15:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Go Nokia :)"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


I feel like I'm in the minority here; I honestly believe that there is good in people beyond reactions to chemical responses. Maybe it's why I was never popular in my psychology classes in college.

Some people do it due to psychological reasoning such as:
* religious beliefs (good people go to heaven, reincarnation or karma),
* peer pressure (I want to look favourable in front of my peers)
* or even wider social convention (if I allow a stranger to make use of my phone in an emergency, then others might do the same in return; in essence we're talking applied karma)

The closest to a true selfless act is one that's performed out of empathy. However I'd still say that's falls under the social convention (ie when my wife has a migraine then I play "nurse" because I'd expect her to look after me if/when I should suffer from one too).


Well you know what they say about no good deed going unpunished right? It could happen to you... ;)

But that's exactly my point. You're now talking about selfish motives driving "selfless" acts.

When you think about it logically, true selflessness flies completely against our survival instinct. Now I'm not saying that we haven't evolved to become more than our instincts, however, deep down, there will be some level of rationalisation which keeps our instincts in line with our cerebral decisions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Go Nokia :)
by Morgan on Tue 4th Sep 2012 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Go Nokia :)"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"Well you know what they say about no good deed going unpunished right? It could happen to you... "

But that's exactly my point. You're now talking about selfish motives driving "selfless" acts.


Actually that part was just a joke, it wasn't meant to be deep...

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

The bloggers in question really believed that samsung would out of the desire to get more press actually fly bloggers all the way from india for free?

Even if that were something that samsung would do, that's not an appropriate gift for a "reporter" to accept from a subject.

Reply Score: 3

David Member since:
1997-10-01

They weren't being stupid, because big companies do that kind of thing for bloggers and small-time journalists all the time, and most of them are explicit that they expect no quid pro quo. I personally think that it was a mixup/communication breakdown on the part of Samsung staff, where the people who invited them expected them to blog about the event and nothing more, but the staff on the ground thought they were contract-hired PR staff that were brought in to work the show. But I only think that because I can't fathom that Samsung could have been that stupid on purpose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor

Reply Score: 1