Great reporting over at The Next Web about Samsung trying to force two bloggers into promoting their products, with the only other option being stuck in Germany (luckily it sounds like Nokia stepped in to be the hero).

So is this what happens when Samsung is left to innovate on its own?

I think a lot of people are shocked that I refuse 99.9% of promo codes, the last one I took was for Matt Gemmell’s Sticky Notifications. That will also probably be the last promo code I take, not that Matt asked me to do anything — here’s the email if you don’t believe me (posted without Matt’s permission).

The thing with accepting any kind of a free handout, is that you never know what strings may all of a sudden appear later on. That’s why I accepted one from Matt: I trust him. I knew there would be no strings and that’s the opposite with other developers: I usually can’t say I trust them because I simply don’t know them well enough.

Here’s a pretty typical email that I see about every other day:

Mr. Brooks Review, We have launched our new X app and we know that you would find much value from it. Here is a promo code for you to download it from the Apple App Store: PROMO CODE. After you download it please send me link to your review, we love your site. We love you, you are the best.

I may have made up the last line.

Every email is so impersonal that they don’t even bother to look up my name, which has always been at the top of the site near the name of the site. They always have no reasons why I would like the app and always offer a promo code in exchange for a link or review on my site. I always mark the emails as spam.

This does not, however, mean that I don’t want to see any email about your app. Send me a link, tell me why you like it — just don’t expect that I want a promo code or to post about it. Also remember that I am just as likely to hate the app as I am to like it.

The best emails that I get about new apps have a link to a post that I wrote. Usually the app either solves a problem that I posted about, adds to a round up of apps that I did, or is a developer wanting to throw his hat in the ring and get my feedback.

Back to Samsung. It’s pretty shitty Samsung strung these bloggers along until it was too late for them — it’d be exciting and flattering to want to be flown and put up for a major tech event, so I can see why they tried to make the deal work — the real blame lies with Samsung and I am glad the bloggers had the balls to get this story out there.


Posted by Ben Brooks