For my first review, where better to start than Ciao.co.uk itself? What, you may ask, gives me the right to review a site within hours of validating my username? Eight years and £70 down the drain, that's what!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is not my first incarnation on these boards. Way back at the turn of the century, I registered under the name of FujisanUK. Over the course of seven years and two months, I amassed 27 reviews and 5813 community points. 7 members added me to their Circle of Trust and there were 31 comments in my guest book. OK, so clearly I wasn't the most prolific of writers, but why did I get involved, and where did it go so wrong?
Back in the day, as a young man recently returned from a year in Japan, the internet was still a new phenomenon and the era of "free internet" was on the horizon. There was a promise of untold fortunes to be made online, and I wanted a share of the pot of gold. Signing on to Ciao, I was awarded a £1 joining credit, reviews were paid at 30p a pop and 5p was to be paid for every rating my review received. Not only that, but I would receive a slice of the profits for every one of my friends' fortunes if I persuaded them to sign up and write reviews.
Needless to say, dear reader, things changed fast. It wasn't long before only certain reviews attracted payment, and payments came at a much reduced rate. I do not know how much one is awarded for a review, though I hope to learn through experience soon, and payment per ...