I just created the new Test Drive forum, and now I need to start my review of the McCauley M421 to go in it. Hopefully this will be a valuable resource for users and manufacturers alike.
The idea behind Test Drive is to create product reviews driven by community interest, supported by manufacturers, and written by active forum users. Instead of reading a review of a product in a magazine or on another website, read the first impressions of someone you know from this forum, who may or may not be operating at your level. Ask questions of them and the manufacturer, ask to have tests performed that interest you, and have a hand in where the review goes next. Ideally all Test Drive products will spend time with multiple Drivers, gathering the impressions of multiple users at different levels. What works for your company may not work for another, or may work for a freelancer. A product you find uninteresting may be perfect for someone else. These organic reviews should capture the ability of the product to perform in the real world, and not only capture the product's strengths and weaknesses but also showcase the particular applications of various forum users.
Only active Test Drivers may create new threads, as all products for Test Drive must be approved by me to ensure the products are appropriate, will be treated appropriately, and that manufacturers understand this is a two way street. We welcome, in fact expect, manufacturer participation from the beginning to the end of a product's Test Drive. Any user may post in an active Test Drive thread.
There are already a few products lined up to take a Test Drive. As the success (or lack thereof) of this forum is demonstrated more will become available and we will begin looking to the forum membership at large for new Test Drivers.
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