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Alan Moss

Should we have an 'Editor's Review'?

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: THIS COMMENT WAS SPLIT FROM A SEPARATE THREAD. ALAN DID NOT START THIS THREAD.

 

I challenge you to point to any blanche where my review has made a significant detrimental impact on the cumulative scores.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can see (on a quick sample), the editor ratings don't have any impact on the total user ratings (which are compiled from all the reviews EXCEPT that of the editor).

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can see (on a quick sample), the editor ratings don't have any impact on the total user ratings (which are compiled from all the reviews EXCEPT that of the editor).

You are correct. Thus, we view the opinions of the multiple user reviews of higher importance when ordering them.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can see (on a quick sample), the editor ratings don't have any impact on the total user ratings (which are compiled from all the reviews EXCEPT that of the editor).

You are correct. Thus, we view the opinions of the multiple user reviews of higher importance when ordering them.

However, the editor's review is still at the top, and separated from everyone else's. A person casually perusing reviews might only read the editor's reviews and consider them to be the expert reviews, or the cream of the crop, the best authority we have to offer. When I first noticed that separation it annoyed me enough that I stopped bothering to do reviews, except for MoL and WW, which were gifts with the request that I review them (not gifts from DP, though). I liked it when the most recent review was at the top, no matter whose it was. Or the highest rated review would work too. Having yours separate really rubs me the wrong way.

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Sorry you feel that way.

 

However, it's not just my review that can take that place. There are several people who can submit those separate reviews. It's just that it seems like I'm the only one who's actively adding them. We were all chosen based on our experience in doing formal reviews.

 

I'm not going to debate my relative merits as a reviewer, or the value in having an editor/expert's review, as I don't want to come off as egotistical, and I think my rap sheet speaks for itself.

 

I was asked to become the review editor and others thought it a good idea to have a separate review. I accepted. I like doing it, and I think it provides additional value to those reading it. A good example would be the impact that the editor's review had on sales of LTV.

 

It's not a pissing match. We're trying to inform absinthe consumers. That's it.

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When I first noticed that separation it annoyed me enough that I stopped bothering to do reviews...

 

I've never let that bother me. All I ever do to assuage my oh-so-fragile ego (:laf:) is refer to the percentage of my reviews that people have found helpful, and that's all the impetus I need to keep reviewing new absinthes, as I try them. :)

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*shrug*

 

I just think that having one review spotlighted, especially if it's almost always one person's, is not compatible with the concept of trying to get the general community's thoughts by accumulating as many reviews as possible. I would feel that way if it were my reviews being spotlighted, too. It might not feel that way to everyone, especially those who weren't doing reviews before that was put into place, but it seems totally screwed up to me. It feels less inclusive. No matter what the intention, it has the appearance of "this review here at the top is more important than the rest."

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It feels less inclusive. No matter what the intention, it has the appearance of "this review here at the top is more important than the rest."

 

Aha!

 

You're some kinda Commie/Socialist, ain't ya? :harhar: :laugh:

 

 

Seriously, though, I really am more than a just a tad sick of the "egalitarian" nature of our "reality" world, in which every Tom, Dick, Harry (and the female equivalents) all get their fifteen minutes of fame...if Brian was dedicated enough to devote a large chunk of his time to review all those absinthes, one should assume that he also developed his absinthe palate that much more fully, and, having a pretty solid grasp of adjectives, would also, consequently, have been well equipped to translate his gustatory impressions to "paper".

 

Bottom line...he deserves recognition, and said separation is simply a designation of that.

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The review editor getting a distinct, separate set of stars before the community's consensus disturbs me, too. I just don't think there should be a separation at all. I don't really care how the reviews are listed or ordered, just that they should all be grouped together, equally.

 

Picking people out for their experience at tasting is ridiculous. There could conceivably be exceptionally experienced people that none of us know about writing reviews now or in the future. I thought the point of having an overall review consensus was to look at inexperienced, experienced, and everything imbetween because all views are useful to someone. Picking someone out as separate-but-equal-to-all-the-rest-combined (that's how it looks, at least) is ugly.

 

I just hate it. I don't know when it started but I first noticed it not long before I did my last two reviews and it made me ill. I don't know why I didn't say anything before.

 

I care a hundred times more about the community aspect of WS than the other parts, so that may be why I feel the way I do about this and other things.

 

Oh, and Brian, I don't think I need to say this, but I probably should because of the flack you often take: this has nothing to do with you personally. I just think this aspect of the system really, really sucks, and makes it feel less credible to me, not because I think your reviews are not credible, but because of the reasons I stated.

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Picking people out for their experience at tasting is ridiculous. There could conceivably be exceptionally experienced people that none of us know about writing reviews now or in the future.
And those people would be recognized and possibly even asked to be part of the editor review section at some point.
I thought the point of having an overall review consensus was to look at inexperienced, experienced, and everything imbetween because all views are useful to someone.
That most certainly is the point. A point made even easier to the newcomer by separating out one review that is known to be from an experienced palate. That can help to put everything else into perspective.

 

I just think this aspect of the system really, really sucks, and makes it feel less credible to me, not because I think your reviews are not credible, but because of the reasons I stated.

I feel the complete opposite. Especially given all of the feedback we receive regarding the reviews and even their separation. Based on the feedback, it has all but cemented the credibility. To be frank, there are very few veteran absintheurs who can be bothered to post more than a couple reviews a year.

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Picking people out for their experience at tasting is ridiculous.

 

Ah, now I see the problem tonight, and, of course, it's mine.

 

At heart, I'm an elitist SOB, and my beverages of choice this evening seemed to have affected the area of my brain that controls those feelings...nonetheless, since I'm still under the influence, I won't apologize for said elitism. :laugh:

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I have chosen not to submit reviews for the reason that I have tasted very few (4, to be exact) absinthes and thus feel that I have an inadequate point of comparison. I would likely give La Clandestine a bunch of fives, but such a rating comes from my very narrow range of experience and would not be helpful to others. This led me to wonder: how much "experience" does one need in order to be able to do a credible review?

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refer to the percentage of my reviews that people have found helpful, and that's all the impetus I need to keep reviewing new absinthes, as I try them. :)

Yeah, my percentage got killed by the publicity team for LTV and a couple of the other Czech absinths. those are the only ones that get low percentages of approvals.

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Okay, I guess it's an agree-to-disagree thing again.

 

My mind isn't changed but my piece is said so I'm moving on.

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how much "experience" does one need in order to be able to do a credible review?

The system is set up to where you don't need any real experience to utilize it effectively. If you base your ratings criteria on the information provided on the review sheet and instruction page, you too can be an expert reviewer! :)

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My mind isn't changed but my piece is said so I'm moving on.

I totally appreciate your position. But with the overwhelming percentage of feedback being positive, it's hard to make a change based on just a couple of dissenting opinions. No offense intended, of course.

 

It is kind of funny how this thread evolved from coloration criteria to the merits of an acheivment based recognition for reviews and it's efficacy or lack thereof.

 

In other words, it kind of sucks to receive a vote of no-confidence, even if it's from two people. :3869-sadbanana:

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"Yeah, my percentage got killed..."

 

 

I know, Brian, and that's why I would never have gone out on a limb, and subjected my aforementioned oh-so-fragile ego to such an unjust raking over the coals. :cheers:

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It is kind of funny how this thread evolved from coloration criteria to the merits of an acheivment based recognition for reviews and it's efficacy or lack thereof.

 

In other words, it kind of sucks to receive a vote of no-confidence, even if it's from two people. :3869-sadbanana:

Well, for me it was connected because I disagree with you on how you rate blanches, and since your reviews are spotlighted your approach may look like the correct one, instead of just your personal approach. I wouldn't have felt so strongly about how you personally deal with one aspect of blanches if your reviews were just part of the pile like everyone else's. That's how a small quibble became a bigger one to me. But the "Editor's Review" and Editor's Rating thing has pissed me off for some time now. It ruins it for me, no matter who is doing them.

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your approach may look like the correct one, instead of just your personal approach.
My approach doesn't matter much given my reviews of blanches differ so slightly from the composite reviews.

 

But the "Editor's Review" and Editor's Rating thing has pissed me off for some time now. It ruins it for me, no matter who is doing them.

Sorry to hear that. But it seems to be the best option to put forth, for reasons already discussed, as well as others. It was actually a point proposed by another board member and agreed by all of the others.

 

I understand a bit about how you think, based on previous discussions, so I get where you're coming from. But in my mind, I don't find it objectionable to recognize the extra efforts put forth by people by placing their comments a bit more in the spotlight, especially if there is merit. And that's not just because it's me in the spotlight this time. I'd support the system, regardless of who was in that spotlight, as long as their reviews were respected as knowledgeable. I feel recognition is a great motivator. I know that one of the only reasons I take time out of my schedule to post more reviews is because I feel like it's a responsibility for me to do so.

 

The above paragraph is only one small reason why I think having an editor's review is important. Keep in mind, websites like Cnet and other tech review sites have the same system. It lends a lot of credibility.

 

 

But let's get back to the coloration discussion. Peridot, how many vertes would you score a 5 in color?

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Aw, c'mon, Brian...everybody knows the first commercial release of Jade Edouard was the only true "5" in the verte color department. ;)

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It was actually a point proposed by another board member and agreed by all of the others.

Does the board disagree on much? I'm not being an ass, I just want to know. It would be cool to have a little clearer idea what the board does and when a decision is made.

 

I understand a bit about how you think, based on previous discussions, so I get where you're coming from. But in my mind, I don't find it objectionable to recognize the extra efforts put forth by people by placing their comments a bit more in the spotlight, especially if there is merit. And that's not just because it's me in the spotlight this time. I feel recognition is a great motivator. I know that one of the only reasons I take time out of my schedule to post more reviews is because I feel like it's a responsibility for me to do so.
That's funny; I used to feel a responsibility to review whatever I had available because I wanted the review section full and for it to be useful. You might remember that the day that the WS review system was put in place you and I were the two people spending the afternoon just digging through everything we had to get started filling the review section. I don't feel that responsibility now because I don't think that it needs any reviews but the Review Editor's. There's that review with emphasis, and then the rest without any. Screw putting in the effort to write anything if that's how it is. Not that I have anything on hand that I haven't reviewed already.

 

But let's get back to the coloration discussion. Peridot, how many vertes would you score a 5 in color?

 

I don't know. I'd have to look at my previous reviews. I think I've given a 5 a few times but I don't remember. Again, my thoughts on why a blanche should be scored a 5 if it is perfectly clear and debris-free are based on a different approach than yours or Ron's. In a review I don't consider the whys and hows of the colouration procedures and whatnot. I only consider what's in front of me, and if the appearance cannot be improved upon for the style, then it gets a 5, period. I'll also give a 5 to a beautifully artificially coloured absinthe if it looks natural, even if I intellectually am aware that it is artificially coloured from previous conversations or research. Making vertes is harder, and getting a good colour is difficult. But if they also tend to be more flavourful and get better marks in other areas than blanches. Ultimately, unless there are two different templates for rating these styles I just have to score the way I do.

 

I don't have difficulty handing out 5's if I believe they are deserved, whether or not in the future something could conceivably come along that is even better. When you get up into that sort of stratosphere the difference, especially in a system that only gives you a five-point range for every category, isn't significant enough to matter. Is that dude over there as smart as Einstein or as smart as Oppenheimer? From our standpoint it's too close to matter. So the difference between two things that got a 5 isn't significant even if one is slightly better.

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I'm not trying to be condescending at all. That just seems a bit spiteful to stop adding reviews because you think yours aren't getting the same amount of attention. As I said before, it's not a pissing contest. It's no different than many other review sites that have an editors review then consumer reviews.

That's not what it is. I have a disagreement with how it's run. It's not about "attention," it's about usefulness, and I believe the average, casual reader will only read the Editor's Review. Because when I read music/ booze websites with that sort of setup I just read the staff review. I don't feel bad about that; that's the dynamic set up on those sites. I have always viewed it differently here. It's not spite. It's like "what's the point?"

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It's not about "attention," it's about usefulness, and I believe the average, casual reader will only read the Editor's Review.
i.e. the Editor's review will get 'more attention'.

 

Well, from the feeback I've received, you'd be incorrect in that belief.

 

You're only hurting the Wormwood Society by not posting your reviews. Since it's reviews from everyone else that determines the placement of each brand in the top picks list.

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i.e. the Editor's review will get 'more attention'.

Okay, attention. But it's not personal attention. I feel that if there's just a big pile of reviews I dig in and read a bunch, and if there's a staff review plus user reviews I generally just read that one because that one is the one with authority.

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I believe the average, casual reader will only read the Editor's Review. Because when I read music/ booze websites with that sort of setup I just read the staff review.

When I truly want to buy something, even on Amazon for instance, I read all the reviews. I read the product description from the manufacturer, the editor's review, and especially the consumer reviews. And I actually make a point of reading the negative consumer reviews first.

 

I'm sure the approach to reading reviews varies from consumer to consumer, but I wouldn't discount the idea of having an editor's review. I think it's useful, and more often than not, is patently unbiased, unlike some consumer reviews will be. There's a bit of editorial responsibility that some consumers don't and won't use. For instance, I read a review on the WS yesterday that listed a very highly regarded absinthe as "overrated." I believe reviews like that are biased, and thankfully that's not the first review people see when they land on the product page.

 

While I understand your opinion, Peridot, it is my opinion that there is value to an editorial review. I believe that is why so many other review and commerce sites use them. Check out the Whisky Exchange. Here's a random whiskey I pulled.

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Agreed. And I'm positive that's why Brian has always begged for reviews from everyone. The more feedback for each label, the more the average score for that label is solidified.

I can't take that request seriously with the current system. That's how I used to feel about it before this was implemented, but not anymore.

 

When the WS review system was first put in place I blew through everything I had to try to help Brian get the ball rolling on it and start building up something cool. I really cared about having a good, full collection of reviews. But this runs completely contrary to that in my opinion.

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That's a shame, since you have great input. I actually need to start adding reviews. I only have one up there and I feel guilty about that!

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I already told Brian this in a PM but I want to make it clear here that I'm not such an arrogant loser that I think some sort of stupid boycott will change the current system. I'm not holding out until I get my way; if I'm the only person who feels that having the Review Editor's reviews separate is bullshit, then I'd feel really awkward if I logged on tomorrow and saw it was changed (I know it's not going to happen, just speaking hypothetically). I'm just trying to voice how I feel about it and make sure it's not misconstrued. I'm not trying to be loud, just clear.

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Of course I can't presume to speak for everyone here, but I certainly don't think that of you, man. You're respectable, honest and civil. Really can't ask for better compatriots here.

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