Top Ten Reasons I'm Happy I Joined Epinions, Post #800by Phil Popsrocks
Mar 24, 2006
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Epinions, the place to share information and perhaps a bit about yourself.
I have now been a member of the Epinions.com family for three and a half years. In that time I have have had a good time on the site writing and reading. I thought I would come up with my "Top Ten Reasons I'm Happy I Joined Epinions".
1) I got my mug up for all the world to see. I was able to hang my picture in a place where people couldn't throw things at it (that I could tell) or gently turn the frame face-down on a table. Actually it's being able to see other real faces or perhaps their cats, dogs or favorite animated characters that gives a connection of who they are and a bit about them. I can also try my psychology skills as to why certain people use particular icons. Just kiddin', I don't have the time or knowledge to delve there, but I do like the expressed individualism. Some people also have the time and know-how to dress up their profile page too. There's a lot of personality that comes through in them.
2) I have always been known to be a very opinionated person. Epinions has given me a forum by which I could release some of my desire to tell people what "I" think about Products, Destinations and Services in a helpful environment where I could actually get paid for it. OK, so it hasn't made me independently wealthy but I do get a regular monthly check and it becomes our "Mad Money". There are also opportunities to win prizes for writing first reviews. I won an iPod 60 GP. That was very cool! During the holidays the site gives bonuses to many writers. I've picked up cash and one year they sent us gifts. How about finding a Canon Digital Camera in your mail box? Very, very cool!! Most of all we receive Egoboo. I describe it as that unseen, imponderable and sometimes illusive feeling that you are getting a huge pat on your back without actually seeing a person doing it. We also can strive for "Hats". Those are positions that must be earned where one may become an Advisor, Top Reviewer, or CL, Category Lead. Some people seek these and others just keep on writing and/or rating. Oh yes, a new sort of "Hat" is now next to the names of people stating their standings in the top thousand against all the other Epinionators. There's even a magic wand. You put your mouse over the broad number, hold it there, and magically the exact number appears. What could be more fun! OK, maybe you have to understand Egoboo to appreciate it. There's plenty around to be shared.
3) This site has made me a better shopper and with all the reviews I have read and rated I have also learned about products and destination I had never previously thought about. In a household of girls, girls, girls I have learned the ins and outs of products like make-up so I can give my advice to my daughters on best products. For that help I usually get a "Common' dad, leave me alone". My knowledge of this world is expanding daily and once you pass the age fifty mark that's a very positive accomplishment.
4) I have been able to do something that I never thought I could do and that is express myself in print. Being slightly dyslexic and failing miserably in English studies all through school, I was very slow to start reading and never did any kind of writing exercises at all. My spelling is still atrocious but spel chek hepls me thruugh tat.
5) Though there are those I read on this site with talent I would like to someday equal, I understand that I may never reach that goal. The positive thing is that through comments and E-mails many people have helped me grow. Some were gentle in their guiding manner and others smacked me on the back of my head. All in all it was quite helpful and I continue to listen to critics and those who offer a helping hand.
6) Besides learning about products I have also learned more about people. In this world we are sometimes enveloped within a very limited circle of the people we meet and "hang out" with. There is meaning in the words, "Birds of a feather flock together". In this forum I have met people who have very different views on life and living it than I do. I'm a married, heterosexual, whitish, fat& bald, practicing Roman Catholic, flag-waving person with mostly conservative leanings. I have met many people who are very different from me and yet I can learn more about them and they of me in a safe and usually controlled atmosphere of mutual respect.
7) I started writing on Epinions almost exclusively in the Travel section and it's there that I absolutely love to share information about travel destinations. It's really only in the last seven to ten years that my wife and I have started to travel a bit more. We always had our get-away-weekends but traveling to warm places in the cold months to snorkel has become a sort of obsession. When we engage in travel we enjoy it in three ways. Part 1 is the planning. My wife and I both get involved and usually plan everything ourselves. The 2nd part is the actual trip itself. Learning of and experiencing new places is a real pleasure. The 3rd process of our enjoyment is making an album of all our photos. I suppose we are scrap-bookers. Again we both get involved but my wife does hold the reigns. Epinions gives me the ability to relive my experience through writing reviews of these places I have been. I actually receive great pleasure in rehashing in print troublesome situations and reliving our wonderful times together exploring new places.
8) I have used Epinions as a sort of journal, not only in writing reviews of my travels but of other personal stories in my life too. The Writers Corner afforded me a opportunity to express myself to others in a way I sometimes cannot accomplish face to face. Through writing I have been able to open doors in relationships in slightly different ways. I once used the Writers Corner to express my admiration for one son who has made it in this world on his own terms. I was able to get anger out of my heart in telling the tale of my daughters wedding-day when a thief stole her purse with cash, credit cards and honeymoon information right in the church itself. I was able to tell my brother that "He is my Hero". He truly is. I thanked my mom for being the incredible person she is. For Valentines Day one year I, as she says it now, "Reviewed my wife". The other day I was blessed with another grand daughter. I was able to express my feelings for her a dn others in a very simple way with a few words in that same forum. Way back I submitted a post of the feeling and emotions I felt when visiting ground zero shorty after the tragedy. The odors, the dust, the zombi-like motions of the people who were down there trying to resume work and the hopes that some might still be saved was overwhelming. I was fortunate to have epinions Writers Corner as a place I could share those feelings.
9) Not only have I met people through this forum of Epinions where we have mutual respect for each other, but I have also made friends that I have been in contact with through comments and Emails. Epinions became more than just a place to share information about products. It also opens dialog among us, and many times, about ourselves. It's fun to banter with people who I've met on-line but there is also a more serious side where we feel each others heartbreak and share difficult times. The loss of Ed Grover, a long time writer and gentleman here at Epinions, this year was difficult for many people but being able to celebrate his life through a Write-Off was a healing process for us and I believe helped him understand the love and admiration many others had for him.
10) M&G, Meet and Greet. This is a wonderful way that Epinions allows for the most personal kind of contact with each other and that is to actually meet people face to face. A few times a year the staff of Epinions.com picks up and leaves their offices in California and go to different cities throughout the USA to set up a free, three-hour buffet where we can actually shake hands and and talk to fellow Epinionators. I have attended one previously and another happens to be coming up this weekend in NYC. I was very pleased to meet people I have talked to through Epinions through comments and emails but this event gives us the opportunity to see each other in flesh and blood as real people, not just photos on our profile pages.
"Epinions, the place to share information and perhaps a bit of yourself."