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Alan Moss

Should we have an 'Editor's Review'?

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OK- I've invested enough reading time that I too will comment...

 

I must admit, singling out a review to precede all others, is a bit strange to me. But then, I read them all. Just like I do on FV and just like I do when I buy something on Amazon or any other site. The fact that there's an editor review means little to me, other than as Jen Q Public coming to the site for the first time, I have someone I hope to trust right off the bat. No learning curve involved. No 'getting to know personalities' on the forums to get a better picture of what any other reviewer likes or doesn't. As a web wanderer, I would expect an educational site to have a fairly impartial reviewer as the editor.

 

As much as I actually don't care for the practise of having one above the others, it works in practise. Kind of like going to a tech magazine and reading a product review by a reporter/reviewer for the magazine, I would trust that over what I would see in the comments. It doesn't mean that any of them are less qualified but they aren't in the position of authority. It sucks, it ain't fair, but it's how I look at a site and hope to trust the information that is presented.

 

I guess by my personal logic, I say keep it, though I'm not fond of it as a WS member. As Jen Q Public however, I find it authoritative and helpful.

 

Oh dear. I'm fear I'm only whispering 'fuck the man' and following it with a 'if you really want to...' :wacko:

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Computers, cars, beer, books, etc...ad nauseum. Expert reviews followed by consumer reviews are as common as sand on the beach. It may not be a perfect system but it works and uninformed absinthe drinkers popping by understand what it all means. Until someone comes up with a much better idea, keep it.

 

And if someone disagrees with a Editor's Review, I think they have a responsibility to politely express their difference of opinion. It is important.

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Like most of you, I've read all this. There are good points being made.

 

My opinion, I know you didn't ask, is that when I'm looking for anything that has reviews, I'll read more than just the first one or the editor's.

 

There are places that have "Editors Choice" but I still read reviews. This site has not gone so far as having the editor's choice. That would be a bit tough to swallow and may be insulting/offensive.

 

Everyone here has different tastes. When I read reviews after I've had the product, I learn more about the reviewers and the ones with similar thoughts/tastes as mine are looked for first. So, the more reviews the better. Some people like duck and some don't.

 

Editor's review is just another review to me. I don't have to agree with it but it's not a bad place to start. It's a good place to see how his and mine compare. We're all fairly open minded or we wouldn't be here.

 

I'm glad someone has taken the lead or intiative to write a review, especially for some vile drek that's been reviewed.

 

Have a swell day! *smile*

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How can we have a rational discussion about this topic when things like this are said?

Sorry 'bout that. As opposed to just feeling disturbed with the process like I have been, that particular post (the one I was responding to) actually pissed me off severely.

 

We have the ability to choose ANY review as an editor's review. It's not always my review that is on top. Plus, there is a group of several people who, if they add a review, it's automatically tagged as an 'editor's review' unless one has already been made.

But in the actual execution, it's just yours pretty much every time. I don't like the concept to begin with but it's even worse this way. Why are these other people Editors if they're not also posting reviews?

 

Once again, completely false, as already explained. Plus, don't you think it would call into question my review is there were a dozen reviews for the product that were different than mine?

Depends if people bother to read them or not. I know you have feedback about it, but I don't know that that is telling you everything or that every kind of reader writes in about it.

 

So, are you saying that you'd prefer there to not be a reliable review posted for brands that only have one or two reviews?

Specifically, what I meant by that this morning is that it is a remedy for the problem of not having a bunch of reviews for an item. And having it on every entry negates the need for added consumer reviews in my opinion. See, I just have a disagreement with how this is set up: I am simply unconvinced that the community reviews are of any great importance with this system. You get the system-backed nod of authority on the subject. If the other reviews for an absinthe are not getting that, then they are automatically, regardless of content, instantly deemed less worthy. That's how I read a system like this, here and anywhere else it exists. I don't so much have a problem with it elsewhere (music review sites, for example), but those are sites developed completely as news/ review sites with a staff paid to handle these things, and they were set up like that to begin with. As Gwydion pointed out, yes I do put an incredible amount of interest in the community aspect of WS. I think a system that advocates and encourages reading as many reviews of an absinthe as possible in order to develop a better comprehensive picture of community sentiment (taking into account that sometimes you get a bad bottle, or a badly coloured one, or any sort of deviations possible in the same product) is a thousand times better than one that gives importance to one person's view and then helpfully provides some others.

 

What if we do something like this:

For any brands that have more than 10 reviews, we remove the Editor's Review, as reliability of the reviews won't be as much of a question (unless we get a marketing department bomb, but that should be easily identifies). For any brands with less than 10 reviews, we have one up for reliability's sake.

Actually I like that idea. It gives motivation to people like me who hate the Editor's Review (not the review itself, just that it's spotlighted) to post reviews in order to help eliminate it, provided we have that absinthe available. Again, since I'm obviously in a minority, I don't expect the Editor's Review abolished and am in no position whatsoever to demand it. But that would make it far more palatable.

 

OR

 

Same as above, but instead of having NO review for brands above 10, we choose what we think is the best review and use that as the Editor's Review. Maybe we switch the term from 'Editor's Review' to 'Featured Review'.

That's cool too, but more like a cherry on top. I don't care nearly as much about that as I do the first idea.

 

Edit: Actually, I misread or misinterpreted the second idea as having a Featured Review for brands with below 10, in addition to the first idea, which when I think on it is probably pretty stupid. So, the first idea is miles better to me.

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Peridot, I have nothing but respect for your expertise and dedication to WS and I know that you're earnest and sincere in your feelings. I also feel that you're greatly misinterpreting the reasoning of the editor reviews.

I appreciate that, especially the fact that y'all are recognizing that this is because of my dedication to WS and not out of just being a troublemaker or creating controversy for the sake of creating controversy. The thing is, I get what you and Brian are saying about the reasoning behind the Editor's Reviews, but my issue is that when I actually get out in front of it and look at it, I don't think a bunch of the things that are intended about it come through. The consumer reviews being more important, and thereby determining the order of the listings? I don't see that as a clear-to-everyone indicator of their importance. It's the default out of 22 settings for how one might want to have them listed, and that doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Looking at the listings, each absinthe has two rows of stars and the editor's set is on top. I don't see a single thing that attributes importance to the community reviews. Saying they're important here in this thread doesn't make it appear that way to a visitor.

 

WS is about community, but that's not the whole picture. I've been pointing out for years that we are more than a website and more than a discussion forum; we are a real-world, offline organization as well. We're not here just to serve each other, we're here to serve the cause of absinthe education of the general public.

I don't see that as incompatible with my personal preference in the matter, though. Others do.

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The thing is, I get what you and Brian are saying about the reasoning behind the Editor's Reviews, but my issue is that when I actually get out in front of it and look at it, I don't think a bunch of the things that are intended about it come through. Saying they're important here in this thread doesn't make it appear that way to a visitor.
Is it possible that your own biases are influencing how you think things come across? Having received information from seller, producer, and consumer alike, it seems like your impressions are not those of the non-WS people who are reading them. At least of those who take the time to provide feedback. And remember, as Gwydion said, the entire system is set up for them, not for us.

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And if someone disagrees with a Editor's Review, I think they have a responsibility to politely express their difference of opinion. It is important.
And write a review of their own :thumbup:

 

 

Everyone here has different tastes. When I read reviews after I've had the product, I learn more about the reviewers and the ones with similar thoughts/tastes as mine are looked for first. So, the more reviews the better. Some people like duck and some don't.

 

Editor's review is just another review to me. I don't have to agree with it but it's not a bad place to start. It's a good place to see how his and mine compare. We're all fairly open minded or we wouldn't be here.

 

I'm glad someone has taken the lead or intiative to write a review, especially for some vile drek that's been reviewed.

 

Have a swell day! *smile*

Totally agree.

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Well, of course. I just don't think that my approach to reading review sites is completely unique; it's the fact that I do it that makes me think there are others who will. It's also possible that you're not getting complete feedback. I'm not saying there's likely some silent majority that see it the way I do, but that there may be more people than you think who just read the Editor's Review and that's it; less enthusiastic people would likely have both a tendency to read just the staff review and not write in about it. If the reviews were just ordered by the date submitted there wouldn't be a reason to take just the top one review seriously and that might encourage reading more reviews for... bum bum bum... jerks like me.

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But would not having an Editor Review really encourage them to read more, or just read the first consumer review? If they are less enthusiastic, then having a reliable review be the first they read is actually a good thing as opposed to hoping that the latest review is an accurate representation of the product.

 

While my reviews might be used as the Editor's Review more often than not, it's only because there are so few people posting reviews. Removing it won't dramatically increase the number of reviews posted, since most of the reviewers have already weighed in as not having a problem with the current system.

 

Hell, 70%, yes SEVENTY percent of those who have posted reviews have done less than 5 of them. For many, it's one and done.

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Hey, how about this idea? Instead of waiting for people to get in contact with you, you could ask them kind-of-directly.

 

Put a poll on the main page.

 

When reading Wormwood Society absinthe reviews, do you

 

1. Only read the Editor's Reviews?

 

2. Focus on the Editor's Reviews?

 

3. Generally read a mix of both Editor's and Users' Reviews?

 

4. Focus on the Users' Reviews?

 

5. Only read the Users' Reviews?

 

It could be phrased more precisely or artfully if necessary. If it were to get one thousand votes total, which is less than half of the votes in the poll that is currently on the main page, and the bottom three options combined get 60% or more of the vote, I'd say, "Oh, you're right, nevermind. I'm a complete dumbass." And I think you'd want to know what the results are, too, probably even more than I do. I honestly do not have any prediction on how the poll would turn out.

 

Oh, and buddha, do you really want to just confuse all of the visitors? It would make a really sweet April Fools' joke. :devil:

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Not too disimilar to absinthehour, after spending so much time reading this thread, my two cents are coming at you:

 

Sitewise, an editor's review can and should be on top simply because they're a working member of a site and their opinion holds greater weight than the "nonworking" members (read customers). Not that their opinion can't be wrong or subject to high variability but that's a useful method for garnering respect as well as being a professional. Imagine a newspaper where they only had a call in section for the public to air grievances but never had a section for their editors or journalists for that matter--that newspaper would be a joke (or a shopper).

 

If the editor's judgement is wacked then the editor needs to be replaced by someone who has far better skills(I am by no means saying that the editor's judgement is wacked, btw).

 

That being said, an editor's judgement shouldn't stand alone. Other reviews can and should be given but the caveat with those reviews is that there's no telling who is giving them and how they're judging. Objectively, someone new to a product will be far more likely to flop on a review than someone who has intimate knowledge about the subject. As such, customer's reviews are far more suspect for me than the editor's review and a site where there is no editor's review or lack of priority for such a review would leave me wondering just what they're doing.

 

Overall, we're talking averages here anyways. If you buy something having read one review and/or given up after reading only one review then you bought your ticket and there's no sympathy for the ride you took. However, if you read all the reviews and averaged them--leveraging against the editor's op, etc. you should be on solid footing with your risk taking.

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The current approach is not something I generally see elsewhere. It's usually one of two things:

 

1. The staff review or expert's review is the only review, and there is a comments section like on a blog entry so that you can say what you think of the product and the reviewer's thoughts on it.

 

2. There's a staff review or expert's review in addition to a section for user reviews, but they don't put any emphasis or importance on the latter whatsoever. Generally they're reviewing such a huge volume of stuff that even the expert's review is going to be buried under time and dust within a couple of months. They have no need for comprehensive user reviews and don't ask for people to "send in those reviews!"

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Put a poll on the main page.
I think that's too much. I'd just say: Do you feel an Editor's Review is helpful and should be included along with Consumer reviews? Yes or No.

 

And I think you'd want to know what the results are, too, probably even more than I do.

No, not really. I know the system works. And I know people appreciate it. I don't need to see a poll to know that. I talk to hundreds of non-WS consumers every year who tell me so.

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The current approach is not something I generally see elsewhere. It's usually one of two things:

Well, it kind of seems like our system is worlds better than either of those, so that should make you happy.

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I think that's too much. I'd just say: Do you feel an Editor's Review is helpful and should be included along with Consumer reviews? Yes or No.

That's not my question, though. My question is, what percentage of people really also read the user reviews, too? I don't want to know how many people find a separate Editor's Review helpful. I figure probably everyone does. I want to know if they really, and not just people who make the effort to talk to you, find the user reviews helpful too.

 

As for the current system compared to the two I listed, I feel like it's sort of morphing into the latter, just without the huge number of reviews.

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I feel like it's sort of morphing into the latter, just without the huge number of reviews.

But the problem is: Based on all of the empirical evidence, what you feel and what is reality are two different things entirely in this case. I'm not trying to minimize your feelings, but you have to understand (which I think you do) that we can't (and shouldn't) overhaul the entire system due to the concerns made by a small minority.

 

I already know people read both sets of reviews. I know people find them both useful. Even just in this thread we see that's the majority opinion.

 

There are always going to be flaws with any system we put in place. But everyone, including those who don't care for it, can still utilize it to make it better.

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We have the ability to choose ANY review as an editor's review. It's not always my review that is on top. Plus, there is a group of several people who, if they add a review, it's automatically tagged as an 'editor's review' unless one has already been made.

But in the actual execution, it's just yours pretty much every time. I don't like the concept to begin with but it's even worse this way. Why are these other people Editors if they're not also posting reviews?

I think Brian is mis-stating the way the function works: we don't manually choose which review gets to be an editor review each time. The application has a setting for which users' reviews will be automatically placed as the editor review if there isn't one already. If Brian logs in to do a review for a brand that doesn't already have an editor review, it will default to the editor position. So will Mthuilli's or Hartsmar's (although both seem to be busier with Oxy's projects). If there is one already, it will become an ordinary user review.

 

So, are you saying that you'd prefer there to not be a reliable review posted for brands that only have one or two reviews?

Specifically, what I meant by that this morning is that it is a remedy for the problem of not having a bunch of reviews for an item. And having it on every entry negates the need for added consumer reviews in my opinion. See, I just have a disagreement with how this is set up: I am simply unconvinced that the community reviews are of any great importance with this system. You get the system-backed nod of authority on the subject. If the other reviews for an absinthe are not getting that, then they are automatically, regardless of content, instantly deemed less worthy. That's how I read a system like this, here and anywhere else it exists.

I think that's an important part of the issue here, and I don't think most people see it that way. Having one review by someone directly connected to WS gives us one review we and the public can presume to be reliably accurate, but that has nothing to do with the relative merit of any other review.

The thing is, I get what you and Brian are saying about the reasoning behind the Editor's Reviews, but my issue is that when I actually get out in front of it and look at it, I don't think a bunch of the things that are intended about it come through. The consumer reviews being more important, and thereby determining the order of the listings? I don't see that as a clear-to-everyone indicator of their importance. It's the default out of 22 settings for how one might want to have them listed, and that doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Looking at the listings, each absinthe has two rows of stars and the editor's set is on top. I don't see a single thing that attributes importance to the community reviews.

I think here you're projecting importance on a simple accident of geometry. Something has to come first, something has to be on top. The earth is no less important because it's under the sky instead of above it. A is no more important than B, C, D. Not every sequence determines descending importance or value.

 

Hey, how about this idea? Instead of waiting for people to get in contact with you...

Put a poll on the main page.... And I think you'd want to know what the results are, too, probably even more than I do. I honestly do not have any prediction on how the poll would turn out.

Neither do I, but it's a worthy idea.

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I have an idea. Let's keep the Editor's Review and switch out Brian for someone else...I nominate Boggy! :dev-cheers:  

 

I heartily second the nomination onacuz, as everyone knows, Boggy is naught but my sock puppet. B)

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I think Brian is mis-stating the way the function works: we don't manually choose which review gets to be an editor review each time.

He's been clear about it in other posts in this thread. But what I'm saying about that is that since nobody else who is previously set up to post Editor's Reviews does so, it basically looks like he's WS's only voice. Having a predetermined group of three or four people doing it rubs me the wrong way as well, but one person doing it all the time really, really rubs me the wrong way.

 

I think that's an important part of the issue here, and I don't think most people see it that way.

I don't really know if they do or not. That's a big reason why it disturbs me. To me there's substantial possibility that there is significantly less use for users' reviews this way than there was previously. Before, having them ordered in no way other than how new they were, it encouraged the reader to go through a bunch of them, get an overall view, and figure out whose reviews were not gelling with the rest, whether due to bias or a possible issue with their specific bottle, or whatever else. It would be "oh, this absinthe is popular amongst this broad group of people for these reasons," or "everyone hates this stuff." And that is where I find it motivational to get as many reviews posted as possible. With the current approach, I just don't think people really honestly need more than one review. After all, why should anyone take the word of any of the other reviews? I mean, really why should they, unless there's an overwhelming sentiment that he's gotten something severely wrong (and I don't mean everyone else disagrees with his colouration score)? I think Brian's status alone means that anyone who posts a review that disagrees with his will seem less credible by default, regardless of the depth of thought and consideration in it. It would take many to refute one, and I don't think that's how it should be.

 

I think here you're projecting importance on a simple accident of geometry. Something has to come first, something has to be on top. The earth is no less important because it's under the sky instead of above it. A is no more important than B, C, D. Not every sequence determines descending importance or value.

Objectively, that's true. But as people we usually order things in terms of importance in that manner. But disregarding order, at the very least it indicates to me that his review is of equal importance to everyone else's combined.

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Again, I think making the Editor's Review just a user's review if there are 10 or more others is an outstanding idea. I don't know how feasible it is or if anyone else likes it, but I sure do.

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Personally if I see a review by Brian, Joe, Bill, Absomphe, peridot, Gwidon, Bogy, buddhasynth, Ben or any of the people I consider (senior members) i.e (old fucks) (kidding) and they give a decent rating to the Absinthe I'm probably not even going to read the whole review. I'm going to buy it and come to my own conclusions. It doesn't need to be that granular for me. I'll either like it or I won't regardless of the reviewers rating. While it will help me in deciding, it's my opinion for me that matters. I do appreciate all the time everyone puts into the reviews and I do find them useful.

You all do a great job, THANK YOU!!!

 

 

Now gentlemen, all line up and see who can pee the farthest.

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Personally if I see a review by Brian, Joe, Bill, Absomphe, peridot, Gwidon, Bogy, buddhasynth, Ben or any of the people I consider (senior members) i.e (old fucks) (kidding)

 

I assure you, being an old fuck ain't no joke to us, whippersnapper!...except for Brian, Peridot, Buddhasynth, Ben, and Boggy who don't actually qualify as old fucks. :laugh: :cheers:

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... what I'm saying about that is that since nobody else who is previously set up to post Editor's Reviews does so, it basically looks like he's WS's only voice. Having a predetermined group of three or four people doing it rubs me the wrong way as well, but one person doing it all the time really, really rubs me the wrong way.

You're right that it sucks that Brian's is usually the editor review.* I took my reviews down when I went pro, Marc doesn't do reviews for the same reason and now Joe can't either, at least not as an editor.

 

I nominate you to be included in the editor list. Serious as a heart attack.

 

 

*edit: not that Brian's reviews suck, but variety would be good, too.

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Seconded. I was thinking the same thing.

I stopped doing reviews when Jules and I started taking Ridge seriously. Welcome to the club, Peridot! :clap:

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Hell Yeah!!!

 

Peridot is as sharp as a tack and knows his stuff. I enjoy his commentary on various subjects and his passion will show itself.

 

:cheers:

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