One thing we practice at jkOnTheRun is complete objectivity when we talk about different hardware and software. Our goal is a simple one, we want to provide our readers with an unbiased and accurate picture of whatever we happen to be covering so our readers can make an informed decision if a given product or platform will work well for them. This goal is an unerring one and there is no compromise with this I am proud to say. That said, we have a few affiliations that we make clear when they are pertinent to a given review but I want to disclose them all so there is never a misunderstanding. The main affiliation both Kevin and I have is with the Microsoft MVP program. We have both been awarded MVP status for some time in the Tablet PC specialty. This award is made by Microsoft strictly in recognition for work we have done in the past in the community, such as covering Tablet PCs and UMPCs here and elsewhere. There is no expectation from Microsoft that we will be flattering in any way when we write about these products, and you can easily see from our work here that we call things as we see them. We wouldn’t do it any other way. I have probably been one of the most vocal critics of Vista on mobile PCs, and I’ve waxed prolifically about my disappointment in the current UMPC stage.
I am a member of the Mobius group, a by-invitation-only group of mobile enthusiasts on the web where we share ideas and knowledge of the smartphone world. The group is sponsored by Microsoft and some OEMs in the smartphone arena but the group is not restricted to those active in covering Windows Mobile. It’s a great group to belong to but there is no expectation put on the members to cover any particular thing. I have always been visibly critical here covering my disappointment with shortcomings in the Windows Mobile platform and this will not change. I have been a member of Mobius for going on two years.
For the past year I have been a member of the Nokia Blogger Relations program run by Comunicano on the behalf of Nokia. This program provides members with advance looks at Nokia products but there is no expectation for coverage of said products. I have received a number of Nokia phones through this program that I have not even covered here on jkOnTheRun as I didn’t see them as items of interest for our readers. Those products I have covered have been done so objectively with my unbiased view to point out my observed shortcomings of those products. This will not change and it’s important to note that all products received through this program go back to Nokia when the program dictates. I don’t ever accept free products through programs like this.
Lenovo sent me an x61 Tablet PC for a long-term evaluation which was made clear when I covered the product. There is no expectation of me to give good coverage of this product, in fact Lenovo can’t be happy that I bought an HP 2710p Tablet PC for my daily work. It’s just the way I roll.
We have such a high visibility in the mobile tech space that many OEMs send products to us for evaluation. If we cover such products we make that fact clear, and it’s important to realize that such coverage is always unbiased and accurately reflects our impressions of the product. The product is always returned to the party who provided it as soon as the evaluation is completed, and if the party doesn’t want the product returned we give them away to our readers. We always make sure that those who send us product for evaluation understand that we do not guarantee them coverage as we receive a lot of such products, and we do not bend on this.
You have probably noticed that we have no direct advertisers on jkOnTheRun currently. Kevin and I have only accepted one advertiser in the past, and that was one whose products we liked yet made sure they understood that we wouldn’t cover their products while their advertising campaign was active. We see too many potential misunderstandings from our readers if we accept direct advertising from those who produce the types of products we cover and the ad revenue we could earn is not worth that to us. Of course, if you produce products we don’t normally cover we’d love to take your ad dollars. :)
This is a full disclosure of all affiliations we have currently, and to drive home our credo that all hardware and software that we cover is done from an unbiased actual use experience. There is no compromise on this and Kevin and I are both very proud of that fact. If you want us to cover your product favorably then make sure you produce a very good one, as we will be quick to point out what could be better. Our readers deserve nothing less.