Does YouTube influence your buying decision - Page 7

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#61: Post by baldheadracing »

Ah yes, Hames Joffmann. Turn on the subtitles for full effect! (although not on the particular unhelpful summary video above)
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#62: Post by LewBK »

I see flaws in Youtube reviews and annoyances, yet anyone who thinks a site like this one is completely objective regarding what is said or not said about products sold by commercial sponsors doesn't understand how businesses operate: /resources.html I know that good review sites and news media try to keep a "Chinese Wall" between reviewers and advertisers, but influence inevitably seeps in, often in what is not said or what is deleted in posts that are too critical. Yet there is a ton of valuable information here. There is also a lot of valuable information in Hendrick and Hoffmann reviews. Hoffmann doesn't generally review products from any of his commercial sponsors and gives away most of the things he reviews to his Patreon supporters. Moreover, with a Youtube reviewer you know who is actually reviewing the product. I don't think there's a popular discussion board for any product/consumer hobby online that doesn't have people with commercial interests anonymously posting favorable remarks about their products or unfavorable ones about competitors. It happens all the time. That doesn't mean there isn't great value from reading comments here or watching Youtube reviews, just so long as you retain a certain healthy degree of skepticism about the most outrageously positive or negative claims. Take what information is valuable to you and discard the rest.

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#63: Post by HB »

LewBK wrote:I see flaws in Youtube reviews and annoyances, yet anyone who thinks a site like this one is completely objective regarding what is said or not said about products sold by commercial sponsors doesn't understand how businesses operate...
Fair point, but it's worth noting that apart from me, all Team HB members are volunteers, so presumably they're outside the direct influence of sponsors. As for my take on reviews, an excerpt from Lance Hedrick and other coffee influencers applies to this thread, too:
Lancehedrick wrote:I'm not upset so much about the comments. Just confused and would love to know what would garner trust.
And my response:
HB wrote:For HB reviews I've participated in, I think the keys to credibility are having multiple reviewers, transparency by posting ongoing details during the research phase, and most importantly, blinded group taste testing. Without these elements, I treat most reviews as one person's opinion that may or may not align with my experience. Since most YouTube channels are all about ONE person's opinion, however well informed, I find them interesting and entertaining, but far from the last word on the subject they are covering.
While I'm handing out links, What about friends, insiders, promoters, and influencers? also provides interesting food for thought.
Dan Kehn


#64: Post by rmongiovi »

HB wrote:Fair point, but it's worth noting that apart from me, all Team HB members are volunteers, so presumably they're outside the direct influence of sponsors.
To me, it's not really a matter of trust or direct influence. I would not accuse someone of being disingenuous without proof. But it's a fact of how our minds work that we are inherently subjective. That's why the double blind is the gold standard in testing. Humans simply cannot be objective if they know what's going on. If you try really hard not to be biased towards something you like then you overcompensate and end up reverse-biased against it in the effort to be "fair." The "happy middle ground" doesn't exist.


#65: Post by BodieZoffa »

Blernsball wrote:You want people to make content that makes a lot of money for google/YouTube and not get paid? What?

The idea that a professional is biased because they desire to get paid for their work is a bizarre take.
I don't buy in to the 'professional/expert' load of garbage that is constantly mentioned as we all have an opinion, none better or worse than the next. People really need to put in the time/effort to find what works for them and not just rely on what others do as far more will be learned along the way instead of trying to take shortcuts based on what Billy Joe or Bobby Sue thinks is the next best whatever!


#66: Post by LewBK »

The problem with that line of thinking is most people don't have the time, counter space or capital to buy and compare fifty different kinds of grinder firsthand. This problem is compounded by the fact that there isn't really a Best Buy or local grinder store that carries Kafatek Monoliths or Webers to test. Many of these purchases are done by mail, often from distant companies in other nations. Without being able to test all of these products firsthand, expert opinions are an invaluable albeit expedient solution.

It is also why it is vital to know that the expert doesn't have any conflicts of interest or commercial relationships with coffee equipment makers that could influence their opinions, or if there are any influences, those influences must be fully disclosed before the review. It also helps if the expert is truly experienced with coffee. Sure, everyone is biased and opinions are subjective, but someone making coffee for twenty years who has won a competition or two should know a bit more than someone just starting out.

As for experts "getting paid," as another poster mentioned, experts can get paid in different ways that lead to more of less objectivity. Hoffmann getting paid by his Patreon subscribers is vastly different from a reviewer getting paid by, say, Ceado or Mahlkonig while conducting reviews of their products.

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#67: Post by Brewzologist »

Regardless of how an influencer may be compensated, if they want to stay relevant in the coffee community and maintain an income stream for their channel, they surely need to provide new content regularly. And this may leave influencers feeling pressured to say something new/different about each product they review, and to make flashier productions too.

For example, as a consumer I (skeptically) wonder if there is really that much of a taste delta in all the grinders coming out these days. And then if next week the same influencer reviews yet another new grinder I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel. So more and more I'm just tuning out from that medium.


#68: Post by chickenwingbeans »

Sort of. It's a pretty good resource, but it's not the only one. Researching after watching the videos from YT is what I do.


#69: Post by LewBK »

I agree that influencers must keep creating content to stay relevant. But one way I think they can do this in a meaningful way is to talk about the coffee industry itself in a critical insightful way instead of just the latest coffee gear review. Coffee is a massive $460 billion a year industry with a lot going on issue-wise. There are environmental issues with climate change and plastic/paper waste, financial issues, labor issues with developing nations, political issues in the nations where coffee is grown, and even the quality of various beans and crops, given changing weather patterns, are interesting. Hoffmann discusses these issues sometimes, but I wish he did more of it. I agree that the thirtieth grinder review is a lot less interesting than the first. Purely from a review standpoint, I wish sometimes reviewers talked more about specific beans rather than just gear, but there is also so much more they could discuss.


#70: Post by Primacog »

Nobody does anything in this world unless it benefits them to some degree. That applies to YouTube influencers and video bloggers aa it does to ordinary HB members. Though we as ordinary unpaid members are not remunerated by YouTube or get income from our video contributions, we are all biased and have vested interests that may relate to all sorts of things that can twist our judgment. It can be ego, the desire to garner influence. It can be a great liking for our own machines. It can be a very bad experience with one's own machine that makes one very prejudiced against the manufacturer. For some members, they are more akin to YouTube influencers because they are friends with manufacturers or retailers. Some have even helped design the products concerned!

YouTube influencers perform a valuable service in that they disseminate information about new or existing products in circs where most of these products may not be readily available in shops for us to fiddle with or try out ourselves. They do so with often well produced videos that clearly show the features of the machines or components in use. Of course they have their own reasons for doing so. But if they do a good job they should be remunerated and if they have proven to be reasonably reliable in their assessments, why should we not listen to them as a source of information?

My own approach is that I take in all the information from influencers and other forum members and I consider the features and appeal of the product concerned that I am interested in and I make my own decision based on the available information. I do not demonise any one particular source of that information but I treat all of them with the requisite level of caution. To treat with trepidation bloggers while trusting what another forum member says without being cautious is not wise to my mind. At the end of the day, it is "caveat lector" - beware what you read - and it has to be our own decision and we have to own it. But to cast shade on bloggers and think that they are not useful would be not beneficial to us as a whole. Just think that if there are no video bloggers, the coffee world would be a far less colourful and interesting place.....
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