Thu Jul 21, 2011
So I didn’t blog about it much, but the failed experiment of the past few years that Elliott and I embarked on was to open a retail shop. It was a cute little boutique, with jewelry, housewares, art furniture and the like. The branding was excellent, and I thought well-confirmed by a visiting Apple exec. who commented on just that while he was there one holiday season. With a shop, the most important thing was to be an excellent editor, or curator, of goods. Most people don’t go to a shop like mine because they want every possibility under the sun, they want to see the best products, the cutest or prettiest or most innovative. Sure, the shop failed anyhow, although it was almost certainly summed up in the realtor adage of “location, location, location”.
Anyhow, I was browsing through recent site submissions and came across an online store promising “the largest selection of vibrators anywhere”, with 8,000+ in their listings. And I was thinking about that issue, about how more isn’t always better. I don’t think everyone has the same taste in vibrators, as my $300 (at the time) JeJoue that I used only once can attest to. However, I also think it’s unlikely that there are 8,000 products on the market that are all good quality, and I’d rather go to a sextoy shop that does some of the work of choosing for me, rather than dump every product under the sun in there.
Which brings me to this site. How much of that editing should we do? Do I list the bad sites? We always have, sometimes as consumer warnings, sometimes to comment on icky portrayals of sex, and so on. But should I maybe finally dump that and just try to put up the good ones? And then, how do I decide what the good ones are? It seems so much more arbitrary than a more solid thing like whether a toy is a cheap piece of crap that will break, and thus shouldn’t even be offered. I’m not sure on this one. I mean we do enough weeding out that you’re still far less likely to get caught in a pornado from any link off of our site, but should I strip out the sites entirely for poor design? For signup policies that you have to read carefully?
I start to think about that every time we start re-reviewing old GOOD sites that are not being found in the slog of everything we have listed. And I’m still not sure.