Join us live every Tuesday night at 9pm EST for Write Time at 9! We talk pens, paper, ink, and random other things (writing related usually).

Tonight I babbled on and on about the DC Pen Show….but c’mon, I’ve been waiting for it for 8 months, and I just spent the last week completely immersed in it, what do you expect? Long story short, awesome show, a lot of work, I suggest going next year if you can. I’ll have some pictures coming out on Thursday’s post.

About an hour into the video, I get onto other topics, mainly how I’m going to laser focus my efforts now that the DC Show is done. I’m no longer selling any pens (once I clear out) and I want to be the paper and ink master. I plan to improve the archiving of Ink Nouveau to make my reviews more referenced, and spend a lot more time just diving in and reviewing more products in the future.

I got into a good discussion with folks in the chat, especially DizzyPen, a respected blogger and multi-posting guest blogger here on Ink Nouveau, about bias in product reviews. Basically, what I have to say about it is that everyone who does a review in the writing world is biased. Either you are a retailer or paid blogger, in which case you’re clearly biased and there’s no use denying it, or you’re doing it for fun, which means you either love or hate your products enough to review it, which is bias! There is no official organization set up to oversee third party individuals to review writing products…..everyone involved in our writing world is doing it because they want to, they are in the business, or both.

Bias is what motivates us to this obsession! To me, bias means you care, and everyone in the fountain pen world has passion and cares about it or we wouldn’t do it at all. What in the world are you doing reviewing ink, paper, and pens if you don’t care about the result, right? The key to me is full disclosure. Be up front and real about your bias, don’t hide it. We’re all smart, and you can tell if I’m a lying douchebag or if I’m legit. I won’t try to fake you out.

I will be completely up front and honest and say that when I do reviews, I am hoping that you will buy a given product from me if you indeed wish to order that product. I put links in the review and try to make it easy for you to do so! However, I don’t coordinate my purchases of any products with the release of a review, nor do I try to do reviews of things I want to ‘clear out’ or anything like that. Honestly, 9 times out of 10, I end up doing reviews for the things people ask me about the most, or things that I just think are cool (like wax seals!). The products I sell are easiest for me to review….I buy them at wholesale, I usually have them handy, I know them intimately, I get good info and difference perspectives from my customers who use them, and my distributors are able to pass down great information and history to me. With products I don’t carry, there’s far less detail I can go into, and generally, it’s more of just a ‘first impression’ kind of review. It also could be less accurate if there are any quality control issues (think Moleskine paper) from one product to another, my review could be different from someone else’s just because of an inconsistently produced item (without my knowing!).

All that being said, I do plan to do more ‘comparison’ reviews, like I did with the Moleskine/Habana/Webbies from back in the day. Also, more torture tests!

The giveaway this week was a 50ml bottle of Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, in honor of the DC Pen Show! It actually went to DizzyPen, who has received many ‘loser’ emails for the contest, but never won (until now)! What’s even more exciting is she’s never used this ink before! She was the first to correctly answer the city where my wife and I met, which was (and The Homestead hotel) in Hot Springs, Va. Congrats, Dizzy!

This broadcast went long, over an hour and a half, with an extra 30 minutes of unrecorded bonus time in the chat. If you’re short on time, skip the first half and watch the latter half.