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Wed, Aug 27, 2008
The WildeBeat and BackpackGearTest (BGT) are redefining and strengthening our relationship in order to provide you more impartial gear reviews. This new relationship gives BGT more editorial control over our gear review editions.
Until now, the WildeBeat selected topics and BGT reviews for each gear review edition, grouping reviews of similar products. In future gear review editions, we'll present reviews of an assortment of products selected by BGT's moderators. The moderators will base these choices on the quality of the reviewers' testing and reporting, not necessarily on the qualities of the product.
Since the the WildeBeat was launched in 2005, gear reviews have been an important category of our programs. Steve wanted to provide listeners with impartial reviews. Independent from sponsors and advertisers, BGT could provide that impartiality, and could also benefit from the exposure the WildeBeat provides. So an understanding was arrived at that allowed Steve to regularly interview BGT testers. Steve's goal was to provide a wide range of opinions on a wide range of products.
BGT was created by Utah hiker Jerry Goller. Goller, according to About BackpackGearTest, "saw a need for impartial reviews in a world where most people got their information from publications that accepted money from the same manufacturers whose gear they were testing." He started a Yahoo group of hikers and backpackers willing to test and review gear. After successfully recruiting skilled reviewers and diverse manufacturers interested in receiving independent feedback about their products, the independent Web site, BackpackGearTest.org, was launched in August of 2002.
We plan to present the first of our new gear review editions at the end of September, with two shows each season. The new shows will typically feature fewer products that will be reviewed in more detail.
If you want to contribute gear reviews to the WildeBeat, you can do so by joining BGT. BGT is looking for qualified testers. To get qualified, you start out by writing reviews of gear you already own. After that, you could be offered free gear to review. Read: how to become a tester to find out more.