Lost Luggage was the 100th product that Ive reviewed here on the forum. Yippee! This meager milestone provides me with an opportunity to share some musings from my review odyssey.
First, Id like to thank Richard for allowing me to set up my review desk in a tiny closet of his wondrous house.
My thanks to everyone who sends their products to me for review. Im touched that they trust me with their children. Without their submissions, Id be out of a job.
And a huge thank you to all of you who read my reviews. I greatly appreciate your support and feedback. I dont expect you to agree with all of the reviews. But at the very least, I hope that they provide you with enough information to make an informed purchasing decision, regardless of my recommendation.
For those of you who tuned in late, heres a quick historical summary. In 2008, Richard became concerned about the back-log of products that were piling up on the desks of the Genii reviewers. So, he selected me and six other gentlemen to handle the overflow. Thus, Light From the Lamp Online was born.
In August 2008, Richard sent me a box of seven products for review. It felt like an early Christmas! After I posted three or four reviews, someone sent a product directly to me for review. I checked with Richard and he approved this direct approach. That initial box of products was the only shipment that Ive received from the Genii offices. Since then, all of the products that Ive reviewed have been sent directly to me.
So what began as a back-log concern for Richard has become a back-log concern for me. As I write these words, I have five products squirming on my review desk, impatiently drumming their fingers.
My reviews have earned me a few enemies along the way, but I expected that. The major downside to this review gig is that for the past two years, Ive had no time to develop any new material of my own. This situation frustrates and saddens me, but for the moment, I simply dont have the time.
But the benefits certainly outweigh those negative consequences. Im thrilled to have received thousands of dollars worth of the latest magic for free! In studying the products, Ive learned about magic effects that fall outside of my comfort zone of cards. And Ive made some new friends, who thankfully outnumber my new enemies.
As most of you know, Im a psychotherapist. What you didnt know is that I write the majority of each review at work. When a patient fails to attend their session, I spring into action and start stabbing away at the keyboard. Thats another perk of this review gig. I get paid my shrink salary for writing reviews.
Occasionally, Ill be engrossed in writing a review and a patient will actually show up. I hate having to stop writing when Im on a roll! So, I gnash my teeth and conduct the session. During the session, I secretly harbor malevolent thoughts toward the patient while exuding an empathic, supportive aura. Nah, Im just kidding. Kinda.
Lets take a look at the types of media that Ive reviewed.
Printed book or lecture note: 8
Video Download: 32
Obviously and mercifully, I dont review every single product released. Im not sure if these 100 products are a representative snapshot of all of the formats of magic products released during my two year tenure. But the numbers seem to verify what we already knew.
Four times more video downloads were released than actual, ink-on-paper products. My gut tells me that the disparity is even greater. As a devoted book guy, these numbers distress me. In most cases, I consider a video download to be little more than a reflection of the creators cheapness and laziness. But it costs virtually nothing to produce, so people will continue to produce more and more of them.
For many years, Ive believed in the prevailing notion that the majority of magic products that hit the marketplace are crap. But when I added up the number of products that I recommend versus the number that I didnt recommend, I was surprised to discover that I recommended 54% of them.
Im not suggesting that these results are representative of the overall quality of material released over the past two years. The data merely reflects one mans assessment of a small, random sample of material.
Maybe I got lucky and received a disproportionate amount of good material. Looking back, I now realize that I erred in recommending several products. Mea culpa. But even if I adjust the numbers, it still works out to nearly a 50-50 split. These results give me a tiny glimmer of hope that the situation may not be quite as bad as I imagined.
Offering up ones integrity and credibility for public scrutiny on a near weekly basis is a hazardous practice. But Ive got enough gamble in me to take that risk in order to provide what I consider to be a valuable public service.
Sometimes I get frustrated and feel like quitting. But so far, the feedback that Ive received has been far more positive than negative. And for now, thats enough to keep me going. Now, if youll excuse me, I must away. Products beckon.