As a customer/reader, do you prefer free form reviews or the template?

Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
A slightly different take on the new template options. What do you like to read? What is most helpful?


I really haven't read enough template reviews to say but one thing I've noticed is that bad reallys really, really, really stick out more with the template. I like the functionality of the template review but don't actually see myself using it because I like to get the whole "I'm reading a review experience." Some reviews also feel really choppy. So far, it seems like better reviewers have had an easier time using the template which makes it easier for me to read. However, I do think I will like it better the more I see of it.
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
I prefer free form reviews
Juliettia , Dragon , Gunsmoke , Dove , leela , Dusk , Shellz31 , dv8 , mikebooks , ViVix , 12345678 , Missy May
12  (13%)
I prefer using the template
Femme Mystique , Snappy , Sir , tim1724 , Xavier7 , Danielle915 , SexyTabby , DeliciousSurprise , Selective Sensualist , ToyGeek , anonymouse , Tart , leatherlover , lemony , Midway through , staceejaxxx , Crystal1 , toxie m , sbon , Kitt Katt , ShadowKitten , Astia , RonLee , zeebot , Rainbow Boy , aBeastlyLittleThing , anonymouse58 , Bex1331 , Nora29714 , Tangles , Talena , VioletMoonstone , wrmbreze , ghalik , LaSchwartz , joja , humblepie , nanamondoute , bayosgirl , Mikhaila , Double Analysis , ksparkles16
42  (47%)
I like them both equally
Carrie Ann , Nashville , Sammi , Red , VelvetBound , Purple Foxglove , her.royal.redness , NuMe , MuffysPinguLove , PussyGalore , Emma (Girl With Fire) , Porfiriato , pfoof , Anne Ardeur , Kindred , popples , Lummox , Teaser , C4ss , darthkitt3n , Shumway , NaughtyNikki420 , REDRUM , Kaltir , Fannybutts , KaraSutra , geliebt , Do emu , pasdechat , Elias McLovin , TdotY , LovesAPoet
32  (36%)
I dislike them both equally
I am a llama, again.
LicentiouslyYours , Luscious Lily , deceased
3  (3%)
Total votes: 89
Poll is closed
06/21/2009
  • Save 60% on Spooktacular Kits  - 3 item set
  • Better Price Sale - Save 60%
  • Wicked Treats - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Eden leather blindfold
    • Eden's glass ben wa balls
    • Flaming amour silicone pearl bunny
    Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • Ghost Bride - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Leather strap rider
    • Casper
    • Simple Clamps
    Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • Black Magic - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Eden Beaded Clamps
    • Heart Silicone Beads
    • Onyx
    Black Magic - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
I just don't know yet. I suspect I will come out on the side of free form reviews, but I also really like the idea of the organized information and for those who need it, a focus on specifics so you make sure all bases are covered.

And hey, if it keeps someone from writing three paragraphs on how they felt about opening the cardboard box from UPS then I am all for templates!
06/21/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I just don't know yet. I suspect I will come out on the side of free form reviews, but I also really like the idea of the organized information and for those who need it, a focus on specifics so you make sure all bases are covered.

And ... More
*snicker*
06/21/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
I've used enough toys at this point that, as a buyer, I'm digging the template style where I can find just the info that's most important to me.

Then again, some reviewers really shine with free form writing and I'd miss the more amusing reviews and detailed reviews (I'm thinking of Sleeping Dreamers Body Slide review and Red's Mr. Right review, in particular and others like them) if we all used the template every time.

Sometimes, the review makes me want to buy the toy and that might be less likely to happen with the templates.

It's hard to separate being a customer with being a reviewer.
06/21/2009
Sammi Sammi
It is hard to separate the two
06/21/2009
Luscious Lily Luscious Lily
I haven't read very many reviews in the new format yet, so for now I am a fence-sitting llama. I like how it makes sure that people remember to put in all of the important info, and makes it easier to find certain bits, but like Carrie Ann, I'd miss the free form reviews some people do so well.
06/21/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've used enough toys at this point that, as a buyer, I'm digging the template style where I can find just the info that's most important to me.

Then again, some reviewers really shine with free form writing and I'd miss the ... More
What is most important to you?

I think some of the areas are so close together that I don't really know -where- to look for some information.
06/21/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
What is most important to you?

I think some of the areas are so close together that I don't really know -where- to look for some information.
I think...

I like free form for regular reviews but I'm totally, totally digging the template for descriptive reviews. I LOVE that it puts a personal area and an experience area where we can be more subjective without throwing off the whole tone of the review.

I'm not sure which is most important to me if I had to pick one or the other. It's so dependent upon who is writing the review -- though that's not something the average customer is going to think about.

Again with the difficult separation. meh.
06/22/2009
Femme Mystique Femme Mystique
I tend to prefer just to be able to easily find exactly the information I'm looking for, which makes me prefer to read the template reviews.
06/22/2009
Mamastoys Mamastoys
I like reading the template reviews but I don't like writing with them..But I've only written one trying to use it and then I ditched it. I felt like a broken record..saying the same thing over and over and over...
06/22/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Mamastoys
I like reading the template reviews but I don't like writing with them..But I've only written one trying to use it and then I ditched it. I felt like a broken record..saying the same thing over and over and over...
The good thing with the new format, template reviews are that it's less critical if you repeat yourself as they're more broken up and folks will likely only be reading the info they want to know rather than the whole thing as an unbroken "story".

If that makes sense? I'm half brain dead this afternoon.
06/22/2009
Mamastoys Mamastoys
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
The good thing with the new format, template reviews are that it's less critical if you repeat yourself as they're more broken up and folks will likely only be reading the info they want to know rather than the whole thing as an unbroken ... More
I know but to me and my dead brain, it just didn't make sense...maybe the next one I write will go better. I really do like all the reminders it offers..
06/22/2009
Red Red
Hmm. If I imagine myself to be a non-community associated shopper, I think the new template is better because it makes it really fast and easy to get the relevant info out of a review. But, as Red who likes to read reviews on here for fun.....well they don't read as well as the freeform reviews....

I like that the option exists.
06/22/2009
Victoria Victoria
I think this poll is not very clear - the title is not really in sync with the content of the poll or the thread posts. The choices in the poll don't really read as "What type of review do you prefer to read / use as a reference?"...

Both are templates, one is 'Standard/original' and the other is 'Extended' - and the extended template has many versions to suit the type of product.

The first voting option is:
"I prefer free form reviews" - which could mean prefer to read.

but the second is:
"I prefer using the template" - which isn't really about *reading* them, it's about using them.

To address some of the posts here:

The Extended template doesn't require you to repeat yourself; that's why the required characters for sections are 200 or less - so the information can be broken out among different sections for easier reference. It's a point by point review, not a story-telling experience. It has value in that it gets to the meat of the product first.

No one said not to use your own voice or personality in the writing. The only thing that should be purely informative is the summary - the rest can be as fun and flavorful as you want it to be.
06/22/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
I think this poll is not very clear - the title is not really in sync with the content of the poll or the thread posts. The choices in the poll don't really read as "What type of review do you prefer to read / use as a ... More
I use the choice of words free form vs template because that is what the community has adopted, I've noticed, but you're right about the word "use". I got lazy and used the form options which were saved in my browser.


But I do find it cramps my style. I felt myself sacrificing as I wrote. I know it's not what anyone said but it simply feels that way when using the extended template because it is broken up.


Also, just curious - the template says every box but experience/personal comments are required but I'm pretty sure I've seen people use less. What's up with that?
06/22/2009
Juliettia Juliettia
I thought the poll was pretty clear in some aspects, Which type of template do you prefer to read? What do you find more helpful?

I prefer to read the free form for most reviews because I like the personal 'blog' type style review. However I like that the extended review exists only when I want to find out certain aspects of products, like how powerful they are or how to clean them.

Both can be equally helpful depending on what I want, or both can royally suck if they are not written helpfully.
06/22/2009
Victoria Victoria
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
I use the choice of words free form vs template because that is what the community has adopted, I've noticed, but you're right about the word "use". I got lazy and used the form options which were saved in my browser. ... More
Some templates have fewer sections, and all sections are pertinent to the product - as I mentioned in the announcement. So, there will be more sections for a vibrator than there will be for a DVD. and so on. There are a total of 14 different extended templates, that are automatically matched with products when the review choice is submitted.
06/22/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
Some templates have fewer sections, and all sections are pertinent to the product - as I mentioned in the announcement. So, there will be more sections for a vibrator than there will be for a DVD. and so on. There are a total of 14 different extended ... More
Oh! That makes sense. I probably just didn't put 2 and 2 together.
06/22/2009
Mamastoys Mamastoys
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
I think this poll is not very clear - the title is not really in sync with the content of the poll or the thread posts. The choices in the poll don't really read as "What type of review do you prefer to read / use as a ... More
I know I don't have to repeat myself but it is my obsessive compulsiveness that makes me do it! I'll get past thinking I have to put everything everywhere and will probably like the templates..I just tried it once and the *old* brain couldn't handle the change-yet! )
06/23/2009
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
A slightly different take on the new template options. What do you like to read? What is most helpful?


I really haven't read enough template reviews to say but one thing I've noticed is that bad reallys really, really, really ... More
I'm more interested in experiences than packaging and the other stuff. Confirm the dimensions and materials are as advertised - let us know the quality, then tell us how it worked or didn't for you and if appropriate your partner.

I like the new concept of commenting on best uses.
11/24/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Gunsmoke
I'm more interested in experiences than packaging and the other stuff. Confirm the dimensions and materials are as advertised - let us know the quality, then tell us how it worked or didn't for you and if appropriate your partner.

I ... More
So you feel that the extended template focuses too much on things like packaging and 'other stuff'?
11/25/2009
Xavier7 Xavier7
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
A slightly different take on the new template options. What do you like to read? What is most helpful?


I really haven't read enough template reviews to say but one thing I've noticed is that bad reallys really, really, really ... More
I think the template makes it easier to write, and more organized. I like it better.
12/12/2010
ToyGeek ToyGeek
From a reading perspective, when I'm actually shopping, I like template reviews better, because I can skip the sections that will contain repetitive information when reading a bunch of reviews for the same product.
12/12/2010
Dusk Dusk
I like reading free form reviews better in general, but if I'm reading a review by someone who is new to reviewing then I prefer the template. It seems to help folks talk about everything they should, rather than flit around all over the place. I also really liked using it for my first review.
12/15/2010
ScottA ScottA
One odd thing that sometimes makes a difference for me - the free-form review limits you to 800 words, but with the extended template you can pack more in. Sometimes (most times?) this is a bad thing, but every once and a while it's hard to fit everything into 800 words.
12/15/2010
Harlequin Harlequin
either or
12/17/2010
leatherlover leatherlover
Quote:
Originally posted by ScottA
One odd thing that sometimes makes a difference for me - the free-form review limits you to 800 words, but with the extended template you can pack more in. Sometimes (most times?) this is a bad thing, but every once and a while it's hard to fit ... More
I agree when I do a video review and have to use the standard template, I write more than 800 words. But then I will just continue it into the experience section.
12/19/2010
lemony lemony
I like being able to pick out the area I'd like to read the most.
12/19/2010
Midway through Midway through
I wanted to pick llama, but I ended up picking template. I really do like the extended template, because I can skip through the review and look for what I'm curious about or have a question about with the toy. Maybe I know everything except material or cleaning information. That's why I like extended, I can skip to it.
12/20/2010
Shumway Shumway
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
A slightly different take on the new template options. What do you like to read? What is most helpful?


I really haven't read enough template reviews to say but one thing I've noticed is that bad reallys really, really, really ... More
I like both equally, but that's dependent on the thoroughness of the review. If the information isn't there an presented in a readable manner, then it really doesn't matter what template is used.
01/27/2011
  • 1
  • 2
Total posts: 45
Unique posters: 35