Over-Reviewing: Working On The Wrong Side Of The Bell Curve

To preface, I look at the review process one goes through when analyzing anything as working on a bell curve. For those not familiar with it, a bell curve has a single high point where maximum efficiency is reached. Before that high point, your efficiency in whatever you are doing is increasing. After that high point, your efficiency is decreasing. With this in mind, we can move on to the purpose of this article.

When conducting a review, it is very easy to fall into the trap of Over Reviewing. This can also be seen as where you are working on the wrong side of the bell curve, or after the high point of efficiency. Basically, you have gotten to a point where further review is not only unnecessary, but it’s actually detrimental to the final product.

Now, I know that the common belief is that you can never spend too much time reviewing. However, I would like to make an addendum to this: You can never spend too much time reviewing as long as you have not reached your review high point. The hardest part of reviewing something is not the review itself, but knowing when you have reached this high point. Unfortunately, until you’ve had some experience, you might not know that you’ve hit your high point until you start to slide down the other side of the curve. However, here are a few ways that you can tell it’s time to put up the red pen:

  • Your Deadline is impacted – This is a major sign that you have spent too much time on the review. When your deadline for the final product starts to slip because you are still in the review process, or you took too long reviewing, then most likely you should have stopped reviewing already. Now, this may not be true all the time. For example, if the product you were given to review was awful to begin with, that might mean that you need more review time than was originally budgeted. Also, if you initially under-budgeted your review time, then this could be a cause as well. However, I find that most of the time the problem is that you don’t know when to stop. If you set aside a period of time for review and find yourself coming close to going over it, you need to re-evaluate how much time you are spending on review.
  • Your changes are causing problems – This is one is tough because it is really a judgment call. First off, when you change anything, you have to be aware that there could be other problems caused by this change. For example, if you change the size of a table in a document, you should know that this could change the layout of the other pages in your document. When you start spending too much time on your review, you will notice that minor changes are causing more problems than they are worth. Using the table example, say you want to make the one row on a table slightly smaller to match the other rows. However, by doing this you are going to change the page layouts of all of pages following this table. Should you do it? Your answer should be no. I’m not saying you should never make a change that causes other problems (sometimes you need to), what I’m saying is that if you are running into this a lot, it probably means you are over-reviewing.
  • Your other work suffers – Pretty obvious one here. If your other tasks suffer from lack of attention, then you are probably spending too much time on this one task. Most of the time you will have more than one thing to work on. While your time should be budgeted for each task accordingly, if you exceed this budget the time you use has to come from somewhere. There are only so many hours in any given day where you can effectively get work done. If your current review genuinely needs more time, then so be it. But make this decision carefully, and make sure to take into account the time the rest of your tasks need.

In the end, only you can decide on how much time you spend reviewing something. However, if you keep the above points in mind when doing so, I think you’ll see an increase in both the quality of the finished product and the quality of your other work as well.

One Stage Beyond FAP Turbo – 5-Point Reviews on FAP Turbo Evolution

The FAP Turbo is a currency trading software that offers traders a variety of settings in the automated mode. At the same time the robot has been engineered with the default settings. Since the software has hugh remarkable potentials, and gaining some worthy professional remarks, it may be worth investigating the updated Evolution edition of the software with a list of reminders:

1. The evolution edition does not operate on the Metatrader4 platform, but solely on the Swiss Dukascopy trading platform, it is a popular platform known for its swift execution and tight spreads. The new software also focuses trades in the USD/CAD, EUR/GBP and EUR/CHF pairs.

2. If you want to open an account with the Swiss Dukascopy platform, the minimum fee is $50,000, but it only takes $10,000 for the users of FAP Turbo Evolution, since this special discounts is only valid for a period of time, that is why only 2000 pieces of FAP Turbo Evolution will be released at the very beginning. In addition, the price for the Evolution software itself (excluding the platform) is $599.

3. The scalping robot highlights realistic, small accumulative profits obtained consistently every day. It is the smallness of gain that increases to greatness of profits. For those who want to gain one-time big, this machine is not for you.

4. The software is supported by a sixty day money-back guarantee, any unsatisfied customers can have the money return. Also the future updates of the software are included in users’ payment.

5. The new automated system is an independent product, Swiss Dukascopy brokerage is not related to the software company itself, and so they are not responsible for the installation or use of the FAP turbo evolution.

For those who have known the initial product really well, and appreciate the effectiveness of the machine, are very eager to purchase this new product. However, the first batch of FAP Turbo Evolution was sold out within a day. For those who are interested in getting one, they have to wait until the second batch comes out, for details you may consider visiting the new product’s website and put your name on the waiting list.

4 Ways to Review Products on Your Blog

Product reviews are a piece of cornerstone content on any blog. Not only do they help you create a worthy blog in terms of importance in your niche, but they also give you an extra stream of income. By reviewing products and offering your affiliate link, you can make money through the sale of that product.

According to recent FTC rules, it’s very important that you note in your blog post that the links you are offering are affiliate links and not just standard links. Be sure to note that you will receive a commission if someone decides to click on the link and purchase. Being above board with your affiliate links is the only way to stay within the FTC guidelines and be able to legally make money Internet as an affiliate.

That being said, there are four different ways that you can frame your product review in order to get an honest opinion of the product while still encouraging the reader to purchase through your link.

1. Product summary review

This is the most standard type of product review, and it’s often the first one that people think of when they think of a product review. This review goes over the major points of the product. It discusses the main idea and all of the features that are included within the product. For example, if I were to review a product of affiliate marketing I would discuss the method that the author recommends, the amount of pages in the product and any bonuses that the product includes. This type of review gives a snapshot of what the buyer receives when they purchase the product.

2. The “Why it Works” review

This product review takes a look at the basic concepts in the product and then describes why it works. This gives powerful external proof of why a concept or idea will work in the real world. For example if the affiliate product in question is about using Facebook to get targeted traffic, the product review can discuss how I’ve used Facebook successfully in the past but I increased my results with the techniques in this book. It shows that the ideas are on the right track and are based on sound information.

3. The “What’s Missing” review

Even the most perfect products have something missing. This gives you a great opportunity to write an honest and insightful review of a product. A lot of affiliate marketers use nothing but sunshine and rainbows to describe the project that they are promoting. You can stand out from the pack by pointing out what may be wrong or what may be missing. This is also a great opportunity to create a bonus product that you can offer for people who purchase through your link in order to fill in the gaps.

4. The in depth point review

This review is often the easiest to write because you take just one aspect of the product and do an in-depth review of that aspect. For example with a Facebook affiliate product, one of the techniques may be to create a Facebook fan page and publish content to that page. You can write the review all about the impact of Facebook fan pages and how this is a smart technique.

Pressure Points Review

Massage is a great way to feel better after a tough run, but sometimes there’s nobody available to give you one. That’s where the Ball Dynamics Pressure Points claim to come in, which are a couple of hard rubber balls that are used to put pressure on various parts of your body for self-massage.

The claim is that there are 20 points on the body that are the most sensitive and conducive to acupressure. These points were chosen by acupuncturist and program creator Marc Coseo. Along with the two balls, the package comes with a poster to help you find the 20 different points and a DVD that leads you through finding each point within about a 30 minute timespan.

The packaging for the product recommends that you use the Pressure Points system to warm up muscles before athletic activity and to help relieve muscle soreness or back and neck pain.  When I first got the balls, I tried locating a few of the different pressure points and tested the product a little bit based on what was similar to things that I have done before, and I did not have a lot of trouble finding the points they referenced in the DVD or applying the pressure as described. I liked how it felt and it worked out well compared to what I’d already done on my own.

Then I tried going through the entire DVD and trying to locate every point that they suggest you use the acupressure on. I had some trouble finding most of the points referenced that I hadn’t discovered on my own, and when I did manage to find some of them I was a bit  too uncomfortable to make full use of the system.

The DVD does a good job of describing how to find the different points, but they do not give you very much time to get yourself situated and to use the system. By the time that you find a point and actually get the ball placed correctly, the woman on the DVD is halfway through her time using that point and moved on to locating the next point before you are ready. If you decide to follow the DVD step by step, then you are going to want to keep a remote handy so that you can pause it regularly.

If you would like to find the introduction to the product, be sure to choose “Play All” on the DVD menu. We originally went straight to the specific points that we wanted to use, which dove directly into the first point on that list. No matter where you start the DVD, it will progress through the entire thing, so if you want to go straight into the pressure points then you can start on the Pressure Points 1-5 option. When we did try the “Play All” selection, we were able to see the introduction and the description of how the process is supposed to work and what it is supposed to do.

When you are watching the DVD, try to ignore the expression on the woman’s face who is demonstrating everything. She doesn’t look quite as uncomfortable as my wife did at times while she was following the program, but the woman doesn’t look at all happy to be using the balls.

The woman demonstrating everything was young, but everything else about the DVD seemed to ignore the folks that might want to use this system to recover or prepare for a workout. The DVD seems to concentrate on using the balls to improve problems with rehabilitation or to offset the aging process since all of the testimonials that are sprinkled throughout the DVD are from folks that are at or near retirement. The video was very obviously filmed in the late 1980s and just copied from VHS to DVD rather than being updated to fit in a little better with the times.

In the end, I think that the balls are a great way to loosen tight muscles, but the DVD is only helpful the first time or two you want to try to figure things out and is in need of being updated.

Critiquing Fiction: The 10-Point Review

A critique is an appraisal of your story with accompanying suggestions for improvement. In some ways, it’s like an annual review with your boss or a report card from school: you’re told a bit about what you’re doing well and offered some suggestions on how you could do better.

It’s an excellent method to learn if your story is sound, before you submit it to an editor. A good critique can mean the difference between publication and rejection.

Want someone to read your work and tell you how to improve? Trade critiques with someone else. Not only do you get the opinion of another writer, you improve your own skill set. By critically reviewing the work of others you learn what works and what doesn’t, and can apply it to your own writing.

Here are ten things to look for when assessing the work of others:

1 – Hook

The hook is the first line or paragraph of the story: the opening. Is it sufficient to interest the reader? Is there a balance between dialogue, action and narrative to set the hook? What does or doesn’t work? How can it be made better?

2 – Character

Discuss the believability of the characters. Are they well-rounded or only two dimensional? Are they caricatures or stereotypes? Are the characters actions’ consistent? Are their motives understandable? Are the plot and the characters’ motives in sync? Provide solid examples to demonstrate your point of view.

3 – Setting

Creating a believable world is crucial. It also needs to help set the mood. Discuss whether the setting is right or not for the story, and give examples of what works and what doesn’t. Is the description of locale too much or too little? Did it enhance the mood? Can you visualize the setting? Can you picture what the characters are seeing, hearing, tasting and smelling?

4 – Plot

Does the plot make sense? Did events happen in a logical order? Did the story start in the right place? (Maybe not, if there’s no apparent hook, or the story feels as though the author didn’t get to the point right away.) Discuss any rough spots. Did the story have a beginning, middle and an end? If in a particular genre, did it work? Is it appropriate for the chosen audience? Does the pacing work throughout the manuscript?

5 – Theme

Not every author writes a story with an intentional theme in mind. Nonetheless, one usually develops by the end of the story. While critiquing, consider whether the story has an overt theme and what it is. If a theme emerges, does it work? Can you restate the theme in a single sentence? Is the plot of the story or storyline appropriate for this theme?

6 – Conflict and Resolution

Is there enough conflict in the story to create adequate tension? If not, what is stopping the tension from building? What could be changed to increase it? Does the story resolve too easily? If so, is that a reflection on the characters or the plot?

7 – Dialogue

Is the dialogue realistic? Does it forward the plot? Is it obvious who is speaking? Are sufficient dialogue attribution tags used? Are too many tags used? Cross out said bookisms-dialogue attribution which is impossible (he smiled, she hissed, he sniffed) or those which explain the conversation (he demanded, she insisted, etc.).

8 – Viewpoint

Review the characters and their roles in the story. Are there jarring shifts of viewpoint characters within a scene? If a scene isn’t working, is it possible that another character should have the viewpoint to carry the plot forward?

9 – Grammar/Language/Overall Writing

This is a detailed examination of grammar, language and writing. On the manuscript, mark awkward passages, spelling errors, trite or over-used phrases, incorrect grammar, poor transitions, etc. Point out passive verbs and cross out unnecessary adverbs. Look for places the author may have told more than he showed. Were there any metaphors or analogies? Did they work? Was there a balance of narrative and action? Was the sentence pattern varied? Has the author made any Freudian slips or written in any anachronisms?

10 – Summary

Sum up overall impressions of the manuscript. Did you like the story? Why or why not? Did it work as a whole? Did it feel cohesive? What about the title? Does it work for the story? Why or why not? Point out whether you believe the story is marketable or not and provide solid reasoning for the belief, especially if you don’t believe the piece is marketable. If you think it will sell, suggest a market or two for which the manuscript may be relevant.

Even if you’re meeting face-to-face to discuss the stories, always provide the author with a written copy of your remarks. He should do the same for you. It’s helpful in providing a detailed observation for the write and it can be useful in furnishing a cohesive, articulate oral review.