- Dec 31, 2018 at 10:39 pm #3570905
@ryanLocale: Northern Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to: 2018 Year in Review
Our 18th year of publishing has brought some exciting new things to our community! Here’s a review of our top highlights from the last year, and what’s coming up in 2019.Jan 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm #3570944
Dan YBPL Member
Gear Reviews have always been and will continue to be, a core part of our content strategy. In 2018, we made a very strong push to publish reviews that were timely, technical, and free from the bias that’s inherent in so many gear reviews published online.
The primary problem with gear reviews today is that publishing them is motivated by the dangling carrot of affiliate revenue.
As such, gear review headlines are written for click bait (“Best stoves/tents/backpacks of 2018!”) and feature lists (listicles) of popular gear that will deliver the publisher good revenue. However, seldom do these types of articles feature trustworthy comparisons by writers who actually use the gear or have an in-depth understanding of gear design and performance.
Backpacking Light receives affiliate revenue, of course,
However, seldom do these types of articles feature trustworthy comparisons by writers who actually use the gear or have an in-depth understanding of gear design and performance.
I have witnessed that this past year when an item that I manufacture is compared to an item that offers an affiliate link. Yes, biased comparisons, I agree!Jan 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm #3571099
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
@ Dan Y
I am not sure I care all that much about the affiliate revenue issue unless it effects objectivity of the review or the skewing of editorial coverage in general.
That being said, from the perspective of someone who has been a member of BPL since 2007, except for the Garmin InReach Mini review, I am not sure I can recall any of the BPL reviews that came out in 2018. And that came out after I had just bought my full size Garmin Inreach on sale at REI. :-((
There have been multiple reviews of the latest gear from Patagonia, clothing that offers only minimal improvement over stuff I already own. Why spend the money to upgrade? I did follow with great interest the discussion thread prompted by the BPL member who posed his test results of a number of different batteries by John Papini: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/power-bank-testing-results/
I would rather see more articles about trip planning, trip reports with photos, risk reduction for solo backpacking, navigation, food and menus etc, places to go within 50 to 100 miles of my house. In other words, how to use the gear I have purchased since 2007. Of course such articles will not bring in much affiliate revenue.
Happy New Year all!Jan 3, 2019 at 1:50 pm #3571183
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Thanks Ryan, a good overview of what has been going on…
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