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How To Write Technology Reviews: Our Insider's Tips

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

MediaBistro's upcoming 'How to Write Technology Reviews' seminar sounds like a lot of work to us. Save yourself the $65 fee and learn the real secrets from Gizmodo's team of professional fake trade journalists. Instructor Michael J. Martinez offers to teach you the following, while we give you the goods for free:

• How to get your hands on cutting-edge gear

Insider's Tip: Call PR firm president at home, claiming you are from a big organization, like CNET or Engadget.

• What do to when putting a review item through its paces

Insider's Tip: Show review item to friends, rating their envy on a scale from one to ten. Do this the night before your deadline.

• How to evaluate documentation and accessories

Insider's Tip: Did documentation overflow your trash can? If so, it is 'comprehensive, but a bit technical'; if not, documentation is 'scant but colorful.' Do not remove accessories from product box as they would unfairly influence your ability to get them back into the box.

• Tricks to make your review a compelling read

Insider's Tip: Start with a fond anecdote from your childhood, contrasted with an insulting or adulatory mention of the iPod. See: T; See Also: A.

• How to build coverage of a new product into a trend story

Insider's Tip: If $item = "iPod" goto "2003" else $item = "iPod Killer?"; sub kids_gadget {echo "Are your kids [having sex|doing drugs|in danger of kidnapping?]}

• How to involve real people in a review story

Insider's Tip: Invent likely-sounding names with likely-sounding color quotes, unless pitching to MIT Technology Review or Wired News. In those cases, make the color quotes from celebrities, whose quotes the media are legally not obligated to fact-check, especially if they are hilarious.

• Where to pitch your reviews and trend pieces

Insider's Tip: Libraries; Gamestop; Wendy's. Anywhere technology editors forage in the wild.

Sure fire bet: grow a beard, approach editors at conventions with your ink jet-printed business card; wear giant camera over utility vest, use crumbs from finger food to draw attention to your commemorative technology conference badge from 1996.

Also, if trend story is two months stale, there's always the The Times.

From Gadgets to Gizmos: How to Write Technology Reviews [MediaBistro]


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