I mostly review books, web apps, and products like Dreamweaver.
First, I don’t get paid to review anything. I do receive the books I’m reviewing free from the publishers. I’m on a few publishers mailing lists, and when a book is released that I want to review–which includes books about HTML, CSS, graphics, microformats, standards, and accessibility–I’ll request a copy. Since I’m not on every publishers mailing list, the books I get to review are concentrated on just a few publishers. (I’d be happy to hear from other publishers, too.)
When I first started reviewing books I was pretty critical. Frankly, the books were terrible. But as awareness of standards and accessibility have evolved, books have improved, too. My reviews have grown less critical and more favorable as a result. Even though I’ve written my own books on my topics of interest here at Web Teacher, I do give honest reviews of all books and don’t try to bash other writers in order to promote my books instead. I want to help you learn it or teach it right. If I find a book that will help you do that, I’ll say so.
I do link to Amazon for the books I review. So if you buy one from my link I might make a few cents. This is not a common thing, I don’t sell very many books from this web site, but I do make small sums that way.
In terms of apps, I review the ones I’m interested in for some reason. I’ve reviewed a number of photo sharing sites, graphic software sites, Twitter tools and such. Mostly these are just sites I stumble on and want to try out and talk about.
I’ve reviewed Dreamweaver quite extensively. Normally I just do this because I want to. However, for Dreamweaver CS4, I was working on a book for Adobe and did receive the software as part of the job. Not the entire Creative Suite, just Dreamweaver. As long as Dreamweaver is a tool in use for teaching web design and development classes, I’ll continue to talk about it, whether I’m writing for Adobe or not.
That’s it: my policy. I’ve never made enough money from this blog to even pay for the monthly hosting fees, so there’s no one influencing my product reviews but me.