Greatest Products of the World

This time of year the Internet is crawling with articles, lists and reviews all trying to come up with what was (2010) or what will be (2011) the world’s BEST product. ‘Pointless’ or ‘Great’, you may say? Perhaps, we at alaTest say. It all comes down to who you are, what needs you are trying to satisfy and what budget you are on.

Making lists like ‘top ten products of the year’, ‘best digital camera of 2010′, ‘Netbook of the year’ is hard and perhaps using a broader brush than essentially necessary.

Narrowing it down would probably make more sense. For example something like ‘Best entry level SLR digital camera of 2010’ would get closer to the need of a certain target user’s needs and wants. Still one would have to argue that lists like that are not very dynamic and only reflects a snapshot of that moment in time. What about next week? Or next month? And what are the criteria to “make it” to these lists? Most sold, most advertised, biggest hype, strongest brand, etc?

Here’s an example: a quick search online for greatest products tech gave me this PC World page. Only problem here is that this article was published in 2007 and if you read the comments it leaves out some pretty interesting products (like the optical mouse and the USB functionality found in most devices today). This of course is due to the preferences and bias of the author, and it should be. It’s an opinionated world we live in, no question about that. And at alaTest we love opinions. The list does also not include the iPhone which was released early 2007 and must be considered a major breakthrough in the mobile communications industry.

However, lists like this one is very popular and attracts a lot of readers. Here’s another one also from PC World. In this one they are trying to get people to nominate (through the Facebook App) the top 5 products of 2010 and also volunteers a top 100 products 2010 list. Quite a few thought logging in and leaving information about themselves in order to vote was a little bit too invasive. But let’s not open up that can of worms. People also commented on things missing but again lists can never be complete in terms of every individual’s opinion. Products like the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab are competing to be the best this year and sure they are in the race, but perhaps not if all you need is a new toaster.

A couple of other examples are “30 best products for men” (Techlust from Men’s Health) and “Top 100 tech products of the year” (Computer Shopper, 2008) that showed up early on the radar when searching.

The challenge is that if you want to use this information as some sort of buying advice or research of products you need to get or perhaps just support before opening up your wallet you may need to read several lists and articles and even then it might not feel like solid advice. The reason is that it is difficult to make sense of these opinions and to put each one into the proper context or the right perspective. Does your research, as an individual, include all the necessary pieces of information? What conclusions can you draw? Who are the people saying all of this? And what is their level of expertise? As an individual reader that is bordering on impossible.

Instead may we suggest an easier route to wisdom? At alaTest we make those lists every day, all year round in hundreds of specific categories for millions of products. We eat, sleep and breathe PRODUCT QUALITY. Our objective, global rating from 0-100 (Poor to Excellent) is an index guiding users, buyers, visitors, people that want to quench their information thirst to better understanding what quality the product they are looking for actually has.

And the lists are dynamic, meaning that any new product or new review – god or bad – that is added (we add about 30.000 reviews daily) affects the ratings of the other products in that category making sure the “the list” is always updated. We follow the development in each category closely by putting our big ear against the ground and listening to what experts, professionals, editors, users, buyers, product videos are saying about a specific product. We don’t leave any products out! Instead we try to evaluate them all – new or old, good or bad, pros and cons, verdict and rating… you get the idea.

Our idea is that more sources of information (sometimes several hundred or thousand of opinions) saying the same thing is probably closer to “the truth” than a single list or review. And since the information technology surrounding us 24/7 also makes the commercial messages being communication almost blinding in its sheer strength the opinions of others has once again become a trustworthy currency. And perhaps reviews are the way forward ensuring companies with the biggest marketing budget don’t get to dictate what we should be interested in or buy.

We at alaTest like to think so. If you ask us – we’ll say that it’s all about reviews.

Editor in Chief alaTest.com : Arie Struik

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