It’s said that bloggers should be thick-skinned and not let negative comments bother them. I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten my share of hate email over the years. While I do respect when people disagree with me and the reviews I post here, there are times when I have to speak up and address things that I do not agree with. Recently, I became aware of a critique of my site and me that appeared on a consumer review website called Site Jabber. This person said things about me and my website that I felt were not true. So, I wanted to address this person here and in the process, maybe help other people better understand where I am coming from.
For more info, see my other review of Site Jabber.
Site Jabber Negative Review
While I have not personally met the person who left the negative critique, his name – “Bernard K” – sounds familiar and I believe we may have exchanged emails at some point. If that’s the case, I found him to be an intelligent and rational person. That's why I found his critique perplexing.
In his negative critique of my site, titled “Beware of Supplement Geek” (click the link to read it) he lists several issues that I feel needed a rebuttal and clarification. I’m going to address each of his points one at a time, in the order they are mentioned.
“Supplement geek is using a “limited” knowledge base to evaluate products.”
In all modesty, I would argue that I have more knowledge on this topic than most. One reason for is because I have been investigating dietary supplements since the 1990s.
Over the years, I’ve not only read countless books and clinical studies about dietary supplements, I have also written a book on this topic too. My book contains just under 1000 references. I’ve also lectured extensively on supplements too.
I do have a science background. I hold an MS in exercise science and a BS degree in chemistry and biology.
In the past, I’ve been a content consultant for Dateline NBC and have appeared on TV because, of my knowledge of supplements.
I’ve consulted privately with those who make supplements and have even lectured to the dietary supplement industry.
Do I know everything about supplements?
Do I know a lot about dietary supplements?
Yes, I do.
“His only interest is money….he has advertisement sites that pays him every time someone visits his sites or clicks on his “advertisements “…plenty incentive to bag or boast on products that will line his pockets.”
This is incorrect. I do not get paid every time someone visits my site (it would be nice if that were true!).
Bernard K is referring to the ads that can be seen in my reviews. The ads come from Google. I permit Google to place ads on my site. The ads are tailored to what Google thinks you are interested in.
Yes, the ads do make money –but only if someone clicks on them because they look interesting. If nobody clicks on an ad, I make nothing. The money I earn helps me maintain Supplement Geek and keep it going. I've never hidden this from anyone and there is nothing unethical about this either.
I found it ironic that Bernard K called me out on these ads because these very same ads also appear on SiteJabber, the website where he left his negative critique. Site Jabber also earns money from Google when people click on their ads.
Most people do not know about the slimy offers I regularly get from companies who want me to do unethical things with my site. For example, companies have:
- Offered me money to say a product works.
- Offered me money if I will link to their website.
- Offered me money if I will let THEM write a biased review of their supplement.
- Offered me big payouts if I will refer people to their website / supplement.
I get emails like these almost daily – and I turn them all down.
And then there are the companies who want to BUY Supplement Geek. I have been offered a lot of money for my website.
When I say a lot, I mean a LOT of money.
Why would someone want to buy Supplement Geek?
Because they know they can make a lot more money doing things that I will not. Basically, if I were to ever sell Supplement Geek they would pimp it out and turn it into a trashy, scam-review site where the emphasis is not on helping people but on making as much money as possible.
The Bottom line here is if I really was into it for the money, I’d be doing things a lot differently.
“Shoddy work on his part and full of opinions, half truths and extremely poor knowledge of science.”
With respect, I don’t understand how I provide “half-truths”, when I routinely link to clinical studies to back up my conclusions. I do this on purpose, so others can fact check for themselves if what I say is true or not.
If I do give my opinion, I make it clear that’s what it is (I say “in my opinion…”). Clinical studies are complicated and so I will also sometimes summarize things for people in plain English too.
“Irresponsible on his part to being leading people down paths that are truly looking for help and stumble on to his site.”
Again, I respectfully disagree. To me, the irresponsible thing would be to give people false hope or only give them half the story or allow people to be taken in by pseudo-experts who say things that just are not true.
I got into researching supplements years ago after discovering supplement after supplement whose marketing claims did not live up to its science. I think people deserve to know this information. That’s why those coming to Supplement Geek get an unbiased review that contains information they won’t find anywhere else.
If after they read the unfiltered facts, they still want to try the supplement, great. Have at it. Lack of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean something doesn’t work. I don't pretend to have all the answers.
I believe in freedom of choice and freedom to make informed choices.
“He talks about studies and such and shows his ignorance of ANY type of study as not having “human” studies…..those in the science field would know that YOU CANT preform human studies until certain protocol is done with other studies on animals, tissue and EVENTUALLY human…wow, most rookies in science know those protocols”
It is true that science marches slowly from cell research to animal research and eventually to human research. I believe the strongest evidence for a whether a supplement works or not should be based on human clinical studies. That’s because:
- We are not a lab animals.
- We are not a mass of isolated cells in a test tube.
We are humans.
The only way to know for sure if a supplement really works in people is to test it – on people.
Right now, there are supplements being sold online and in stores that have no human proof they work. There are also supplements being sold whose proof of efficacy is based only on lab animal research – and this is still after several years of the product being sold.
One example of this was Dr. Oz making a bold claim on national TV that raspberry ketones were a “miracle in a bottle that will burn your fat” That miracle was based on just 2 mouse studies.
Raspberry ketone supplements continue to be sold despite good human proof they work.
Another example are Chromium supplements which have been used in weight loss for over 20 years – despite an overwhelming evidence that they do not help people lose weight. Yet a quick online search turns up websites and pseudo-experts who say it does.
I’m sorry but I don’t believe I’m being ignorant of science by pointing out these problems to people.
So Why Did I Write This?
Basically, I decided to try turn a negative into a positive by telling my side of the story. I didn’t want someone reading that negative critique and thinking bad of me or my website. I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind by these words. Those who don’t like me will probably go on not liking me. That’s life. Hopefully if you read the negative critique at SiteJabber, and find this, you have at least a little better idea of who I am and where I'm coming from.