Vested interests do not make for good recommendations

My Creative Zen Mozaic MP3 player

Last night I asked for some recommendations over Twitter for MP3 players. Ones that weren’t iPods preferably. While I do love the Creative Zen Mozaic player that Paul gave to me a few years back, it’s ease of use is becoming an issue. I got a few recommendations.

The question:

The recommendations were:

I then made the mistake of not specifying the iPod part when talking about the issue again this morning:

To which an iPod was instantly recommended to me:

By a guy who then claimed he isn’t an Apple rep, but does have on his profile :

“Teacher of IT and an Apple Distinguished Educator” and a link to a Mac specific website.

It says it right there.

At first I replied:

To which he replied:

To which I replied:

I then went and checked his profile. Now while I could have said I wasn’t after an iPod, again, if you make your living by being an “Apple Distinguished Educator” then you have a vested interest in their products, regardless of whether you claim:

I would take videogame recommendations with more than a pinch of salt if they’re from people associated with a particular developer or publisher and if the game comes from them. This is also why it’s very bad social media practice for companies to get company employees to write reviews for their products from Amazon to Metacritic.

This guy may not work for them directly, but he makes a living from their products.



5 thoughts on “Vested interests do not make for good recommendations

  1. Kind of harsh, i think. He didn’t seem pushy, and as far as i can tell, he did try to give valid arguments for why he recommended ipod. You brought the hammer down too early.

    For the record, i have an ipod nano gathering dust somewhere, and it’s a piece of refuse that i stopped using after a couple of weeks. Creative Zen Style and Zen Stone served me better, as did my first mp3 player (MSI Mega Player).

      • I’m pretty sure Zen stone was drag&drop. As for the other, it uses centrale, but i’m not sure if it’s for converting or just managing (i don’t use my mp3 players very often…). I’ll try drag&drop and let you know how it goes.

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