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SITE SUGGESTION [formerly - The Difference Is...]

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  • I've noticed that a lot of users are commenting on various reviews. This is fine, expect that the comments are being made in the sections for user reviews. 

    A review is a write up of a users experience with a particular thing. Simply stating "This game looks awesome, I'm going to buy it tomorrow", is not a review by any means. Asking if the score given to a game is accurate for whatever reason is not a review. Telling people it looks good or that you watched a buddy play it and you thought it was this or that is also - not a review. Reviews encapsulate as much of the experience of playing as possible so that readers can determine if it's what they are looking for. At least, that is how I write my reviews.

    The reason I'm making this a big deal is because over time, comments in the review section will diminish the value of user reviews. Site visitors will see the main review, and then look for user reviews only to be met wit a sea of comments pawned off as reviews (an example would be the user reviews on Uncharted 2, at least so far). And then, why even allow user reviews? (That's a rhetorical question).

    So, what I would propose to the site administrators and mods is a solution to what may become an issue. User reviews can be made by anyone past X level. Once submitted either allow people of Y level (a level higher than X) and not the review poster to verify the review as a review and not a misplaced comment. Next, delineate between where to leave a comment and a review more clearly. Most users of a user content driven site see a text box and get into comment mode. I think that this is half of the issue here. Given that the GI site reboot looks and feels like a user driven site (at least user driven 'lite) there should be more in the way of visual cues. Unfortunately I can't think of a better way to put it, but... sometimes you have to operate with the lowest common denominator in mind - how about color coding - comments have a green tab, reviews a blue. Something sort of like this:

     

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • I absolutely agree, brother. It is a big time issue that needs to be addressed. It can hurt what is otherwise a well built site with great community features.

  • I agree, but I'm wondering how people could build points to get to X/Y level to post on the reviews?  Just sort of comment in normal forums or should there be another way?  Something like Moderators give points for good comments or something??

    "I may be broke in real life, but I've got a million gold in WoW!!" -- my buddies logic

  • maybe there could be some sort of sub account you would have to sign up for and get points through that towards your level. some people on the site might not want to do reviews and this might make it clearer to those who do.

  • Killo-Pillow:

    I agree, but I'm wondering how people could build points to get to X/Y level to post on the reviews?  Just sort of comment in normal forums or should there be another way?  Something like Moderators give points for good comments or something??

    Addressing your questions in reverse order.

     

    Giving points for 'good comments' requires a comment metric - for instance, objectivity. Doing that then adds an additional task to one of two groups - the mods or the users. As a general rule, it's not usually a great idea to force the users to relearn a website once familiar with the overall workflow. Adding 'vote up' or 'vote down' buttons will become abused (experiencing that across many other sites) and the purpose blurs into being about popularity instead of objectivity. If you add work to the mods, then that takes time from what their actual purpose is - to moderate, monitor, and arbitrate. Admins are judges and their work load is usually pretty steep anyway. Tasking them to judge comments - on a user generated content site that is as open as this.... you'd have to retool the interface.

     

    To get a build up of points to get X/Y level - yes. Make normal comments, learn the system and read experienced users that consistently show quality and quantity vs. just quantity. I've come to understand that in arenas such as this, when a handful of people are somewhat successful, people tend to follow their patterns. If you get people who have put in the time and effort on a user level to earn the privilege to post user reviews, then the community as a whole will aspire to be on par with the quality and quantity.

    And yet... the more time that passes, the exponentially worse this issue will become. Saw another 'review' on a game today that was more or less a comment and an abuse of the 'review' button.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • ChiaPett666:

    maybe there could be some sort of sub account you would have to sign up for and get points through that towards your level. some people on the site might not want to do reviews and this might make it clearer to those who do.

    That seems to add steps and complicate the process. The idea is to streamline the functionality while maintaining the integrity content.The other issue with the idea is that you're implementing yet another database to the mix. Sub site, main site - it doesn't matter. They could add a check box to the profile for a user to indicate whether or not they want to write reviews and a better thing is to omit the box and let the prove their intention by their actions without adding an extra step in saying so. I do like that you gave it some thought though.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not affiliated in any way with GI... I'm just a user who enjoys thinking about ways to improve upon existing framework. And... I like to write... I'm just so-so at it. Perhaps I sould make a group for site suggestions - oh wait... I'm not at the right level. :P

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • I see what you are saying.  I agree, no one wants to do more work (especially moderators) nor is there a need to re-tool something that isn’t broken.  I’m just more concerned about the growing pains the system might have to go through before it gets set.  I think most of us understand that you’ll never get rid of all the problem people on any forum, so the idea of filters of some kind is natural.  The idea is increase the quantity of good reviews and comments and decrease that bad ones, right?  Perhaps, we could take it a step further and give proven reviewers at a certain level some way to block or delete bad, pointless comments on their reviews??

    "I may be broke in real life, but I've got a million gold in WoW!!" -- my buddies logic

  • Killo-Pillow:
    The idea is increase the quantity of good reviews and comments and decrease that bad ones, right?  Perhaps, we could take it a step further and give proven reviewers at a certain level some way to block or delete bad, pointless comments on their reviews??

    Enter the caveat of 'clique' and accusations of conspiracy and censorship. These are the three biggest challenges faced in a UGC (user generated content) scenario when the system has already been presented as 'welcoming and open'. The tier system in place gives administrators and developers their greatest safety net here, in my opinion.

    Another challenge I see with this, is once again - what would the metric for 'good' be? What if there's a review that has a fair amount of objectivity and subjective substance but it's worded badly, has horrible grammar and nonexistent sentence structure? There's a fair amount of risk assessment here, and all I have are the observations I've made in the week I've been here and past experience with UGC sites (and some college in this area)

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • i see what you are saying shawn, i dont want to make any more work for anyone else as well. however, maybe if they made the reviews into a seperate club of some sort it might be easier in the long run to make the necessary adjustments to the review process that stands. it would be a sort of self regulated club that would require some sort of approval process. it seems like a lot of work and i dont know much about the inner workings of websites, i just go on them and enjoy them, but i think in the long run it would be worth it.  at least in my head it would be.  i also think if you were to make it into a club of some sort that in and of itself would help to regulate it.  i honestly dont think peopkle who aren't interested in that kind of stuff would even join the club therefore weeding out people who are not into it as much.

  • Something though about all this to keep in mind is that forum sites like this are generally intended to have people behave in a community and come together to share view points.  Sometimes, when stuff like this goes on (and I've seen it before) there can sometimes be so many different subcategories and such that it creates kind-of an "elitist" turn.  When this happens, people who aren't hardcore on the site find it difficult if not impossible to post anything on the site without being bashed by some group who thinks they know everything or are better than others.  This happens a lot with critics (just watch ESPN) and writers alike, so I think that dividing the people into to many groups can cause a negative affect sometimes.  Leveling works because the special access higher levels are granted is earned and everyone knows that.

    Maybe we could agree to the basic idea of leveling to post reviews and move on to how to more or less "grade" reviews?

      I think good reviews consist of a few basic components; un-biased opinions, overview of game structure (I.E. gameplay, graphics, story, multiplayer, ect…), and good literary technique.  You don’t have to be a Hemmingway, but when I read reviews like “Man, this gme totally pwned all the other n00b gme’s out there, bro.” I just tend to think less of it.  Perhaps we could add to the list of criteria for good reviews and base it off that?

    "I may be broke in real life, but I've got a million gold in WoW!!" -- my buddies logic

  • Killo-Pillow:

    Something though about all this to keep in mind is that forum sites like this are generally intended to have people behave in a community and come together to share view points.  Sometimes, when stuff like this goes on (and I've seen it before) there can sometimes be so many different subcategories and such that it creates kind-of an "elitist" turn.  When this happens, people who aren't hardcore on the site find it difficult if not impossible to post anything on the site without being bashed by some group who thinks they know everything or are better than others.  This happens a lot with critics (just watch ESPN) and writers alike, so I think that dividing the people into to many groups can cause a negative affect sometimes.  Leveling works because the special access higher levels are granted is earned and everyone knows that.

    Maybe we could agree to the basic idea of leveling to post reviews and move on to how to more or less "grade" reviews?

      I think good reviews consist of a few basic components; un-biased opinions, overview of game structure (I.E. gameplay, graphics, story, multiplayer, ect…), and good literary technique.  You don’t have to be a Hemmingway, but when I read reviews like “Man, this gme totally pwned all the other n00b gme’s out there, bro.” I just tend to think less of it.  Perhaps we could add to the list of criteria for good reviews and base it off that?

    So then... what we'd need to do is possibly get a group of people, discuss what a good review is made of, and then put out a sort of guide to writing a good review? I think there's one on here for that, but not in the context of criterion. Hmm.... I think you're on to something.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

  • Yes, kind of like a panel of people in charge of putting down a few more specific guidelines about proper reviews.  These rules, of course, should be general and subject to change or modify.  Now, we would have to discuss who would be eligible to be put on this panel, who to put them there (such as by vote or appointment), and what their duties would entail as far as after the guideline was made and posted.

    "I may be broke in real life, but I've got a million gold in WoW!!" -- my buddies logic

  • That is an idea that needs to be carefully thought if it is to come to fruitiion.... but I think something that may need to happen... I dunno... some of that depends on how quickly the admins and moderators respond to existing issues or how interested they are in addressing issues impending.

    CAUTION: Shawn's blog increases the risk of intelligence.

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