IamA We are The Wirecutter, a group of writers who've been researching and reviewing gadgets for years. We want to help you make the right deals decisions this Black Friday. AUA.
Hi reddit! We are the writers and editors from The Wirecutter, a site dedicated to helping people find the right equipment for their lives through many, many of hours of research and testing. There was a New York Times article written about us in 2012. Some people compare us to Consumer Reports, others compare us to America's Test Kitchen, but we’re not quite a testing organization as a place that does whatever it takes to answer the question of “what should I get?”.
We also really dislike the way online journalism has devolved into hype and pageview generating BS, so we only post new pieces a few times a month. Because we don’t distract ourselves with blog posts, our pieces are feature length and each costs several thousand dollars and about 50-150 hours of research and effort to pull off.
Because we collectively pour so much of our time into researching and testing, we've become pretty good at spotting good and bad deals--even when some other publications get fooled routinely by fake deals on horrible gear. In fact, we have an entire Deals page where we highlight deals that our experts have vetted as actual good deals.
You guys and girls are probably well aware that most deals out there are BS (there's even a recent (Wall Street Journal article about this) where the retailer claims something’s 40% off when in reality, it's the same price it's always been.
So in honor of Black Friday, we thought we'd do a deal AMA where we offer our assistance in figuring out which deals are BS and which are good. Here’s how it’ll work: You guys post deals that you're interested in, and our staff will answer within their realms of expertise about whether it's a good deal or not, and why. If we know of better deals on better gear, we’ll point you to those, instead.
We can also field questions about specs and other general questions about the products we review.
The deals team today will be led by:
- Me, J.D. Levite, dealmaster extraordinaire who manages our deals page.
- Jamie Wiebe, also known as JamieWirecutter, an editor who has a particular expertise in Sweethome-related items. Jamie is our Senior Researcher for both The Wirecutter and The Sweethome.
- Tim Barribeau, a.k.a. tbarribeau, our camera expert. Tim is our go-to man for anything camera-related whose work has appeared at io9, PopPhoto, DigitalCameraInfo, the Verge, Imaging Resource.
- Geoff Morrison, a.k.a. TechWriterGeoff, A/V expert. Geoff specializes in the entertainment side of both the tech world and the literary world; not only is he the former Editor In Chief of Home Entertainment Magazine as well as current contributor to CNET, Sound+Vision Magazine, and HDGuru.com (among others), he also has a thrilling, dystopic Sci-Fi novel out titled Undersea.
- Brent Butterworth, a.k.a. brent-wirecutter, A/V expert. Brent Butterworth has been writing about audio and video since 1989. He served as editor-in-chief of Home Theater magazine and is currently Stereos Expert for About.com and contributing technical editor for Sound & Vision.
- Chris Heinonen, a.k.a. ChrisHeinonen, A/V expert. After leaving the world of software development, Chris is now the Senior Editor at HomeTheaterHifi.com, Displays Editor at AnandTech.com, and contributor to HDGuru.com.
- Nathan Edwards, a.k.a. wirecutter_nathan, computer & computer parts expert. When Nathan is not honing his skills as ginger-beer-connoisseur he is a Contributing Editor at Maximum PC as well as a writer for both us and Tested.
- Wesley Fenlon, a.k.a. azar42, computer & computer parts expert. Gamer-extraordinaire, Wes specializes in tech writing for us, Tested, and How Stuff Works.
- Brian Lam, also brianlam8, who founded the Wirecutter after growing tired of doing blog work with a low signal to noise ratio.
- Michael Zhao is posting under the un-flaired name of AqueousBeef.
- Lauren Dragan, our headphones expert, is posting under the un-flaired name VeganDragan
Some of our other staff members may make an appearance as well, but we wanted to keep the official list concise so it’s easier to follow.
That’s enough words for now. Bring on the deals!
We'll start this officially at 10, which is like a whole 5 minutes away at this point. No stress.
Edit: Just so you all know, we've had writers coming in and out of this thing all day. Sometimes we'll be slowing down on answers and sometimes we'll be picking up the speed.
Right now, we're slowing down. But we want to try and answer as many of you as possible.
Edit Again: We're going to stop answering at 2:30 EST (50 minutes from now).
Last Edit: It's 2:30 by my watch, which means we're done. If you haven't gotten your answer, some of the writers might still check in. If not... find us on Twitter! We all have active Twitter accounts (@jdlevite, @blam, @techwritergeoff, @laurendragan @seamusbellamy just to name the ones on top of my head) not to mention the official Twitter pages: @wirecutter and @homesweethome. Please come talk to us, we will talk back.
Edit: Hey I don't know if anyone is still paying attention to this thread, but we just wanted to throw out a thank you to the Reddit mods who helped us do this AMA today. And we wanted to say, if you haven't checked out their live stream on YouTube right now you should definitely do so: https://www.youtube.com/reddit