If we ever startup an official review site again, and we know others have experience, and have helped us grow in the process by contributing to Ureviews, they would be much more likely to get the position, than somebody that we don't know or have not had time to get a feel for their writing... technique.
If Ureviews grows into what I imagine it though, there would be no need for an official review site. Ureviews would just be more tweaked so that official reviews were marked with a symbol. If all goes well and the idea actually takes off, we would like to get it where the publishers don't send us the product and then we pay shipping again back to somebody, but right now it's a security precaution and to make sure we know who needs to write what for the site.
The idea of sharing and putting a users review on the same page as the "official" review is a brand new idea. The other larger sites may offer user reviews to be posted, but they are on a link on the main review. This only hurts the review itself from being very well indexed. Imagine a gamespot review that mentioned quake 4 a total of 9 times per page vs. a ureviews quake 4 review that has multiple reviews on the same page that mentions the word "Quake 4" 30 to 40 times. Which page do you think will gain the higher page rank?
Like many of the ideas I've started with sites though, I've done my part of creating the site. That's the easy part. The hard part is getting people to post content. I figured rewarding that contribution with free products was a good way. Soo far no regulars have bitten too much except for Stinki. The products are coming and maybe other regulars are waiting to see others start to get free products before they start, but who knows, by then it may be too late for them to get in and get any good products.
Neon case lights and case fans always need reviews though.
I wouldn't worry about being affraid to tell your friends about some of our stuff. If you are worried that they may receive stuff that could have been yours, think of it this way, the more people viewing and reviewing products on the site will make the site that much more attractive to game publishers/developers and hardware manufacturers to send us MORE products. If you think your friends will contribute to the site, go a head and tell them. If they write great reviews, but we know you hooked them up, we will be more likely to send you more products for helping us pimp the site in the early / tough stages.