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Happy New Year from KitGuru. The Future.

It is January 1st 2020 – the big question in my mind is – where did 2019 go? As some of our team prepare to head to Las Vegas to give you breaking news and video content on all the technology on show at CES 2020, I thought I would share a few words with you today. Due to your continued support, KitGuru has developed over the years into what you can see today. Although this website was formed almost a decade ago and I produced all our content myself initially, we now have a very capable team and we continue to produce regular content, every single day of the year. We have been developing our social media for a long time, and have been focusing on improving our Youtube and Vimeo Channels in the last year.

The tech industry has been shifting in recent years. Most of you will remember the days when all tech reviews were purely in a written format. In recent years, the move towards video content has been swift, and it has been our focus to bring in fresh talent to expand our capabilities in this regard. We don't hire presenters, we don't script videos – we only employ reviewers. Every person we have in our team, has strong opinions and is completely separated from any advertising we may run on the website and in our videos. We have always maintained strict separation between sales and editorial. “Yeah, So what?” you say…

… There is a very clear reason for this. At heart I am still just like our core audience. I love technology. I live it. I adore music, headphones, PC's, gadgets and even mechanical watches. Since I was a kid, I loved engineering. I had the back of my parents Cathode Ray Tube TV in pieces when I was a kid. My father went crazy when he saw it. I never realised i could have killed myself. I have always been like this.

Kitguru on an editorial level has always been based on my decisions. I manage all the writers, I edit and produce all the content with my team. I have picked all the people who work here based on their capabilities and knowledge. Sometimes I have created posts here and on our social media saying we are looking for new reviewers. I have actually hired some people who were readers, wanting to get into this for the same reason I am. To live, and review technology. I have a pretty simple view of life. What would I want to read? I am very proud to say, that is still what KitGuru is.

So while editorial is my primary function. I don't really deal with sales – we have a separate team for this. If an advertiser wants to spend money to get their branding on the site this never influences the results of our reviews. Most of our reviewers wouldn't even know who is advertising here unless they studied all the ads themselves. They get paid money every month for their work. Yes, it is a real job. We are one of the few left who can hire a team of people to create unbiased, honest content.

Many advertisers actually like that our sales is isolated from editorial content. It is worth pointing out that many companies have gotten review awards on KitGuru and they have never spent any money on advertising with us- Noctua for instance are one such that spring to mind. In recent years however a growing number of companies want to work in a very different way. It's a continually growing trend.

I continue to get many emails from companies asking to send us their latest products. They say that ‘influencers' are important now. This ‘influencer' term in itself sounds very innocuous, but when you delve a little deeper it is very damaging for this industry and worst of all, it is completely misleading to YOU. The potential customer.

An email chain can go like this. ‘Can we send you some of our new products? We love KitGuruTech on youtube and we feel your audience is perfect for us. We will send you £1000 of products. You give them a favourable review, you can keep them, and if you want to embed a clip in the video saying to buy them we will give you 10% of each sale. Obviously the more positive you make the review, the better sales you will get and we can get you more money'.

These companies don't want to advertise in the traditional way. They don't want to show you offers in adverts or to promote their products to you guys reading all the latest technology news and reviews. They want to buy opinions. Many of these ‘influencers' on youtube get hardware – such as a free laptop and  they are so happy with getting a free laptop that they give it glowing recommendations. On top of this you are giving them money for viewing their monetised video. Its a win win for everyone – well everyone except you.

Is that the kind of article that gives you good buying advice? Is it a ‘review' or just a new clever, devious way of marketing products to people who value a particular, and often very popular YouTube host.

A very well known company who we used to work with who sell cases, coolers and power supplies sent me an email in November to explain how they are going to operate going forward. This is a copy and paste of part of the email they sent me Our strategy going forward is to work closely with outlets and influencers who like our brand and products, and we are funding work with these partners. This is the direction we are headed this coming year. So. in a nutshell, they want to send samples to influencers who ‘like their brand and products' – while funding them. Will that company ever get genuine, honest feedback how how to improve their products. If an influencer being paid directly for his opinion publishes content, can you use it to form a decision to actually buy the product? Are the products that weak in the first place?

So how does KitGuru operate? It is pretty simple. All our reviewers get paid for their opinions by me, not a company who make the products they review. They are reviewers, not presenters. Their opinions are never edited out by me, or rejected. They wouldn't be working for us if I didn't feel they could do the job. If a review is negative, and the company is an advertiser then I deal with any fallout. Most companies we work with are actually really good with negative feedback. Some have even taken our negative feedback on board as constructive criticism and improved future versions of the products. This is when I normally feel quite buzzed. We have helped improve a product. One you might buy later. Our opinions have helped shape a better product for readers. I still get excited about that. On the other hand, a few have pulled their advertising budget and have never spoken to us again when we delivered an honest, open review. Their loss, I say.

We don't keep or request free samples. We don't sell products on ebay. We survive on you guys unblocking our ads, and valuing us as one of the websites that actually is trying to serve your best interests, not that of a company who wants to throw free products in our direction and to buy our opinion.

I get many people asking how they can support us, and this is great to hear. It means we are doing something that you value. The simplest thing you can do is unblock our ads. We don't track anything, we serve only ads from companies who you will value – companies like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Seasonic – all leading brands we know you buy. We don't serve casino or gambling ads, no porn, no pop ups, pop unders or text tracking hyperlinks everytime you roll over words like ‘Intel' or ‘AMD'. That drives me nuts and I don't want to be a part of it.

Yes we have quite a few static ads running and I know sometimes they can be a bit of a pain to see – but by viewing these ads, looking at the offers on hand, you are supporting all the people who work here – your favourite reviewers like Leo, Luke, James, Dominic and Briony.

We hope you continue to read Kitguru and enjoy our content in 2020.  If you need help buying the best products on the market, check out our BEST OF products (HERE) – updated regularly by the team. We started this in 2019 and we hope it helps you get the best system you can.

If you value what we do and want to donate to the cause then you can send any donations to [email protected]. or look at supporting via PATREON https://www.patreon.com/kitgurutech

As well as the main Kitguru website, be sure to check out other channels:

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KitGuru.net/

Twitter page https://twitter.com/kitgurupress?lang=en

Discord invite link: https://discord.gg/4cqFSWY

Steam Community https://steamcommunity.com/groups/kitguruofficial

Thanks for all your support. Our thoughts are with you for a productive, happy 2020.

Allan ‘Zardon' Campbell 
Kitguru Editor In Chief/Managing Director. 

Become a Patron!

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24 comments

  1. For those who don’t know, for EDGE users to add to allow list, load control panels > Click on Internet Properties, Privacy, Click on Settings button under for Pop-up Blocker, type in Kitguru.net in the address line, click on Add.

  2. So can I ask you to supply me with faster internet than. As here in my country the fastest I can get is 128KBS. Also 15GB of data is 182 dollars. I would love to white-list you guys. But im trying to save as much data as possible where ever I can. My pc has not been updated in a year.

  3. Nikolas Karampelas

    You are probably one of the very few sites I have disabled ABP and related options in my browser.
    I don’t mind ads, I want to see ads so I can inform myself about things I probably want to buy, but ads around the net are out of control lately…
    Heavy, intrusive, annoying… I tried to disable ABP and the likes a few month ago completely and the browser instantly crashed under the load of ads.

  4. I just disabled the ad blocker… but I really hate animated ads like the “Chillblast” one or the MSI one. That’s the reason I use an ad blocker…

  5. Animated ads are one of Satan’s worst (or greatest) inventions. Still, the eternal problem of deciding whether we want ‘free’ content; we all know what happens when a paywall is installed.

    Lots of consumers nowadays just think that because information should be free, the people who work to provide that information do not have to be compensated for their work. If a product is not scarce in the classical economical sense, you have a right to take it free of charge.

  6. I would be fine with an adblocker that just blocks everything animated. That would be an incentive for webpages to kill that crap, too.

  7. Thank you Nikolas. I appreciate your support with this.

  8. You’d think so. But I think it would just mean they are going to try to circumvent the blockers.

  9. I used to work in advertising: Adwords / Adroll / Facebook / Twitter but I also used to enable ad blocker on my private accounts.

    Kitguru is a fairly unique case and deserves all the support in the world. People these days want free to mean free without any thought for how a business can survive… I actually quite like your ads, just like your articles. Keep up the great work and I sincerely hope 2017 and beyond sees you go from strength to strength Allan.

    – Ben. The dude who won the big prize but would be here regardless.

  10. This is the first site I have ever whitelisted (using uBlock Origin).

    For those with it:
    1. Right click ublock icon
    2. Click options
    3. Select whitelist tab
    4. Copy/paste http://www.kitguru.net/ to the bottom of the text
    5. Click apply changes
    6. Done

  11. Funnily enough, I find the ads on Kitguru to be actually pretty damn good, and has helped me discover a few new components!

  12. I think its a bit more theb lately add have been terrible for the last 10 years shame this is one of the few good sites in regards to adds

  13. Is this a copy and paste of the last time you said this stuff?
    Either way Kitguru has long time been on my adblocker whitelist.

  14. I have Kitguru whitelisted and I’d love to see a merchandise store, I’d happily wear a T-shirt with the logo while on holiday and a cartoon Leo with his Watercooled pc would be epic, you’d sell a ton.

  15. I whitelist all websites I frequent that don’t use obnoxious pop-up, autoplay or otherwise intrusive ads. KitGuru has been on my list for quite some time. Thank you.

  16. Yeah good idea actually

  17. lol. Email them and say ‘I will not remove the ad blocker until you post this 5 times, with completely different text in it, every time. Ha!

  18. Whitelisted long ago. I watch your ads and nothing bad has ever happened. I block all external code ads, and your ads all show. Never got a pop up, pop under, sound ad, audio ad or stupid google tracking ad which recommends shit I surf for.

    Keep up the good work, love the site. I actually bought a mouse from a roccat ad you ran and a laptop from MSI. I jest you not.

  19. I never whitelist sites after I got fucking burned on Tweaktown. but Ive watched this site for a while now and set ad blocker up to whitelist Kitguru.

    Its a bit heavy on flash ads which I dont like, but I can safely say (until now) that there have been no tracking ads, or bullshit pop ups here. I have found the ads actually very useful as they are all companies I buy from – bought a Seasonic power supply from here and a new Corsair Spec 04 after seeing the ads here. Its a very well run site and a lot of tech sites should use it as a guideline on how to get people to whitelist.

    I offered to send you some money, especially if you had premium content for subscribers. but ill happiy run with the ads on to help support your team.

  20. Absolutly love your site for my dialy does of PC harware news and reviews..never had a problem with your adverts as they are relevant to me.. Keep up the great work.

  21. Mihails Solovjovs

    Whitelisted forever! Kitguru is one of the best in tech news. Idea with T-shirt is awesome.

  22. Had you whitelisted for ages. Relevent, non-video, non-pop-up ads that don’t get injected mid-article. Can’t complain.

  23. I can see what you mean about TweakTown. I feel sorry for Anthony, as he is basically the social media face of the company when it was nothing to do with him, but the site does suffer from massive slow downs from the ads. It’s better nowadays since they updated it, but it’s still the only tech news site that struggles with the balance, I believe.

    Allan is great with this stuff, and if there is ever a problem with the site, we relay it back to him ASAP, meaning that readers don’t suffer for too long if they ever have to suffer at all. Since I began working here, there’s been very few indeed. We appreciate the support!

  24. Derek Johnstone Macrae

    I dont use adblockers, simply put, if a website has pop ups, then I dont use it.