Extended Form Reviews

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Extended Form Reviews

HannahPanda HannahPanda
Do you feel a review is more detailed or better written if in EF? I've noticed that even when a review has a LOT of fantastic information, some people comment and say 'More details please," or "Use the Extended Review Format" next time. I'm just wondering why the standard format is kind of being thrown out of the window?

I was talking to a fellow contributor, and our first reviews in the standard format have hardly any extremely useful votes on them, I'm guessing because they're in standard format.. but in all actuality, I find standard format to be a lot harder to write in. You kind of have to chop the information up into sections as best as you can, grouping sizing and materials all into their separate paragraphs and what not. Isn't this a little more taxing than it being separated for you? Just a question.

I'm honestly just curious as to why the standard format seems to be the red-headed step child. I myself, find the extended to be nicer to look at and the information is categorized nicer so that you can find what you're looking for about a particular element of a toy easier.
04/03/2012
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aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by HannahPanda
Do you feel a review is more detailed or better written if in EF? I've noticed that even when a review has a LOT of fantastic information, some people comment and say 'More details please," or "Use the Extended Review Format" ...
you've got a couple different questions going on here, but i'll answer best i can.

i've not read many other sites' product reviews, but those that i have have been SEVERELY lacking. they're often merely a sentence or two, use terrible english, or are merely a consumer's opinion of some TERRIBLE or AWESOME product, in all caps.

EF has the most detailed, professional reviews i've ever seen.


alot of new reviewers use standard as a default, and miss out on much of the information that the top-quality EF reviews usually include. the suggestion of using extended format is often (at least, when its coming from me) an attempt to provide a guideline for a new user to go by so that they don't miss anything.
04/03/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
I actually find the extended format to be slightly confusing, believe it or not. Not sure why, but I think it might be the way it's ordered: my brain wants to switch the categories around so that they don't feel so scattered. It's silly as all hell, but the lack of flow makes me trip up every time I try to use it, and it's just easier to set things in order myself.

Reading this, though, makes me think that I really ought to try again. Maybe for my next review I'll do my best to get rid of the weird nitpicking my head does and just go for it. Knowing me, once I can get past it once, it'll be easy the next time I do it. It's true that extended format looks a lot cleaner and makes it easier to seek out the information you want, and that's a definite step up.
04/03/2012
Cherrylane Cherrylane
Honestly, I think it probably doesn't have to do with whether the reviews written in standard format are really well written.

One of the things you have to remember as a creator of content is the needs of the consumer. Now of course, there are people out there who will patiently read every word of a review and carefully consider the quality of information and tactfulness of the writing etc. But, fact of the matter is, we wouldn't have so much fast food in this country if quality and creativeness were the top consideration for consumers.

People want all the information, but they want it in a clear and simple format. In an extended format review, if all you care about is what the person said about the toy's performance, you can just go there. If you took all the same information that was in an extended format review and put it in a standard format review, I truly think there's a good chance it would not be as highly rated as the extended format form because the fact of the matter is people have to work harder and think more to find the information they're looking for.

Plus I think standard format has a lot more potential for abuse. I've seen several reviews that are literally just a couple sentences (with tons of grammatical errors to boot). I'd like to think the people who post that type of review do it honestly, thinking that it's what a review looks like here, but more often than not I really think it's probably some person just writing some crap to get the points for submitting a review. Because the extended format REQUIRES you write things in multiple boxes, I think it automatically holds people to a higher standard.

I do think there are many people who write great standard reviews and I don't think it should be discouraged. But unless you're one of those reviewers who has a legitimate reputation for quality and has a standard viewership, I wouldn't be surprised if readers are more inclined to dismiss the review.

I AM LONGWINDED HEAR ME ROARRRRRRR!!!!!
04/03/2012
PolyLove PolyLove
I don't like the extended format. I won't even read a review if it's in extended format. I think it's generic and they're basically all the same thing. If I do read it in EF I skip to the very end to their experience. I know that's kinda bad, but I really don't like that format.
04/03/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
There were some very good points made about it being separated into sections for easier consumption. Sometimes, you've already read a review but it didn't cover everything so you go to another review and you want only one section out of it. Or maybe that's all you care about in the first place. No matter, it's just better-looking and easier to read in the Extended Format. And generally-speaking, reviews are better when they're in this format, though I have still seen horrible, awful reviews that only have a few sentences per section. Blech.

I absolutely LOATHE the Standard Format. This is mostly a personal opinion because I hate, hate, hate when I have to use it. SO much of quality writing gets thrown out of the window (or shoved into the Comments section) because flipping lingerie reviews can't have an Extended Format. This frustrates me to no end. I just finished a lingerie review today (well, it's in limbo until I take pictures tomorrow) and a HUGE section of it is going to have to go in the Comments section where many won't see it simply because it wouldn't fit in the main review. And this is especially saddening because the content which I have added has not been offered in its specific format in any other lingerie review that I have ever seen. So my "something special" is going to be lost because I can only write some 800 and 500 words apiece. Even without that section and the other going with it, I STILL had to delete words and sentences from my review because there's not enough room. And it's just so messy. It's so messy that I actually turn it into a short of Extended Format review by having my own "Use", "Material/Care and Maintenance", etc. sections within it. But I digress. So there you go. That's my two cents and I'm sticking to it.
04/03/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
Quote:
Originally posted by PolyLove
I don't like the extended format. I won't even read a review if it's in extended format. I think it's generic and they're basically all the same thing. If I do read it in EF I skip to the very end to their experience. I know ...
Really? Well, you're very much in the minority, then. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree that Extended Format reviews are "generic". Organized, detailed, and complete, yes. But not generic. For sex toy enthusiasts and those who actually know what they're talking about and what works for them, there are far more important details than just the experience section. Sure, something may work for THEM but what does that matter? What matters are the measurements, the materials, the vibration strength, the cleaning, etc.; all of these are what a knowledgeable sex toy consumer looks for because they know that it doesn't matter how much one person liked something if they can tell by reading the details that it absolutely would not work for them.
04/03/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Rin (aka Nire)
I actually find the extended format to be slightly confusing, believe it or not. Not sure why, but I think it might be the way it's ordered: my brain wants to switch the categories around so that they don't feel so scattered. It's silly ...
Nah, I totally agree with you.

I sort of see it this way, though:

I will recommend the Extended Format for a new reviewer, because it helps you learn what information you should consider to add.

Once you have 10 or so reviews under your belt, and you are consistently getting good votes, then feel free to move to the Standard Format, when you can be more personal in explaining the information you want to get across.

Just like any rubric---the Extended Format is great at getting the average review quality up (when people don't know what to include yet), and then once your review quality is up you can start to get a little more creative!

(And to Rin: I just use bold tags to make my own section headings! )
04/04/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Quote:
Originally posted by Nazaress
Really? Well, you're very much in the minority, then. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree that Extended Format reviews are "generic". Organized, detailed, and complete, yes. But not generic. For sex toy enthusiasts and those ...
In the minority, yes, but not alone. I used the extended format once and swore to never do it again. I think readers prefer the collapsible sections and bolded headers, but I feel the Extended Template breaks up the flow of a review, and I think many parts of it are redundant.

I'm a fan of the standard template. The word count limit annoyed me the first few times I hit it and I still long for a character counter that will warn you when you're getting close, but as I write more reviews I've come to feel there is a value in brevity.
04/04/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Nah, I totally agree with you.

I sort of see it this way, though:

I will recommend the Extended Format for a new reviewer, because it helps you learn what information you should consider to add.

Once you have 10 or so reviews ...
Gasp! Knowledge has been acquired! That's actually a pretty neat idea. Brain, why didn't you think of that?

Rin's Brain: "Dangit, I'm doing the best I can!"
04/04/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
I think the extended format is good for beginners because it gives them an idea of what to include in reviews. After getting the hang of reviewing and knowing what to put then the standard format could easily be used to produce equal quality reviews.
I personally find that some items are easier to write in extended and others in standard.
It also depends on the person, we are all different and having the option of the two is good so we can choose the one that works best for us. It it's someone's first or second review I will recommend the extended format. I suggest to my students to try atleast one in the extended format if they haven't already but I let them know that one is NOT better than the other and it is best to use the one they are most comfortable with and do the best work with.
04/04/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
In the minority, yes, but not alone. I used the extended format once and swore to never do it again. I think readers prefer the collapsible sections and bolded headers, but I feel the Extended Template breaks up the flow of a review, and I think many ...
Certainly not alone and I definitely didn't mean it that way. I simply meant that this particular opinion is in the minority. Yes, the Extended Format can be tricky at first and it can ruin the flow of writing if you don't like the set-up. I alleviate this by writing the sections I feel should be first...first. This seems to work for me. No one has ever told me that my reviews don't "flow" and I get really good ratings. With the Standard Format, there is nothing NOT enough room for all of the information I need to put into my reviews, simple as that. No amount of brevity can fix this. Yes, I'll admit I am often wordy (I am proving this to you now) but this method works for me and I feel that I am able to better educate readers on basically everything there is to know if I can write long reviews, particularly broken up ones so they're easier to digest. You CAN write great reviews in the Standard Format. It has just been my experience that the majority written in this format are of lesser quality and harder to differentiate information. Most good writers seem to choose the Extended Format (and the length that it gives) as opposed to the Standard Format, though certainly not ALL good writers (and there are definitely bad writers who choose the longer format).
04/04/2012
js250 js250
I think new reviewers should use the EF until they learn the basic details that people are looking for in a review. Once they gain experience, then use the review format that is comfortable for them. I use both, depending on the item I am reviewing. As far as reading a review, it also depends on the item and the points I am looking for. You can make both formats very interesting to read if you put an effort into the review, which most people do!!
04/04/2012
underHim underHim
I dont really like the extended format. What I will sometimes do it write it in standard format but have the extended format screen up in another window as a reminder of all the categories to write about.
04/04/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by PolyLove
I don't like the extended format. I won't even read a review if it's in extended format. I think it's generic and they're basically all the same thing. If I do read it in EF I skip to the very end to their experience. I know ...
All Description reviews are written in the extended format, so you're missing out on good info.

There are definitely pros and cons to each. But I prefer the extended format to give me pointers on what goes where. In the standard, I just wander around with me words and they aren't too useful.
04/04/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Just a pointer that my English Professor is trying to get into our brains: Readers are raiders.

Consumers aren't reading your reviews because they're fun or cute, they're reading for specific information. If I'm looking to drop a lot of points on a toy, it's super important to read about the volume. Since I don't have hours to read a lot of reviews with the information hidden I often will ONLY read EF reviews. That's because I don't care about the packaging, if you used it with your boyfriend, or how to clean it, I just need a few paragraphs about the volume.

Just my two cents.
04/04/2012
sktb0007 sktb0007
I have yet to read the responses to this thread... so give me a few moments to get caught up and I'll respond to the others but I'm going to respond to the original post right now.


I PREFER the standard format. The only reviews I have in the extended format are my descriptive reviews (which I have no choice but to write them in this format).

A lot of my reviews are lingerie though... which only has a standard format.

I find (for myself anyway) that the extended reviews makes the reviewer repeat a lot of the information in previous sections.


I wouldn't say that people down vote for the standard format though. My very first review was in standard format and I received a lot of EU votes for it. I think what is important is that you include all the details that you can, regardless of which format you decide to use. Well, that is the way I vote anyway. I personally don't care which format people choose to use.
04/04/2012
Beck Beck
I use the extended format because most of the time I run out of room typing in the standard format. There are great reviews in both formats, but the extended template helps keep ideas organized. I prefer to read the extended template because I get side tracked reading, so I know where I am in a review if it is broken into sections.
04/04/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
I use the extended format because most of the time I run out of room typing in the standard format. There are great reviews in both formats, but the extended template helps keep ideas organized. I prefer to read the extended template because I get ...
I, too, tend to use the extended format. Like Beck said, the extended format tends to help keep reviews organized.

That said, one problem I have with the extended format is that it can get a bit repetitive. For instance, there are times when certain bits of information can fit into multiple categories on the extended format.
04/04/2012
sktb0007 sktb0007
Quote:
Originally posted by SMichelle
I, too, tend to use the extended format. Like Beck said, the extended format tends to help keep reviews organized.

That said, one problem I have with the extended format is that it can get a bit repetitive. For instance, there are times when ...
I agree with this. I tend to repeat myself in the extended format.

I think that standard format reviews can be just as organized. When I do a standard review, basically I start from the beginning (as soon as it arrived). So packaging, first impressions, what is it made of, measurements, how to start the product (assuming it's controlled), use, care instructions, then my own experience. It's easier for me in standard format.
04/04/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by HannahPanda
Do you feel a review is more detailed or better written if in EF? I've noticed that even when a review has a LOT of fantastic information, some people comment and say 'More details please," or "Use the Extended Review Format" ...
What I have noticed and what I did myself; most newer and less experienced reviewers do better with Extended Format. It prompts you to remember ALL the details, if you can, and not to leave anything else. Of course, then one is open to repeating oneself, which I find myself doing in Extended Format.

I was writing reviews for over a year before I felt comfortable in Standard Format. You have to be more concise, and use fewer words, because Standard Format is a shorter format. Sometimes it takes more experience to do this and include all the details etc.

I usually now do Standard Format, unless 1) I'm writing a Descriptive Review (for the product page) and this requires one use Extended Format. Or 2) The toy is very complicated, and you have a lot to do to describe it. Then Extended is best.

I've read some excellent reviews in Standard Format, but most were from very experienced reviewers.
04/04/2012
Ms. N Ms. N
More than half of my reviews have been in standard format just because extended is not offered for them. Having used extended a bit too helps me to remember things that need to be added to the standard review. Plus, for my lingerie reviews, I have started dividing them out into workable sections. The word limit can be challenging sometimes, but it isn't so bad. It may be better to have a limited word count, actually. I know my attention span sometimes wanders before I get to the end of a long, long, long, extended format review.
04/04/2012
HannahPanda HannahPanda
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
you've got a couple different questions going on here, but i'll answer best i can.

i've not read many other sites' product reviews, but those that i have have been SEVERELY lacking. they're often merely a sentence or two, ...
Right, and I've noticed that too - that the EF reviews tend to include more information because the sub categories are a reminder. But on one particular Standard Format review, I read through everything and the user included details I've never seen a Standard Format review include. Kind of like they'd chosen Standard on purpose because they knew what to include. And someone thus commented, "More details," or something to that effect, and I'm like seriously..? Best SF review I've seen! So I was just wondering if it's just a "This is written in SF; it should be better," reaction for most contributors, or if some prefer it over EF.
04/05/2012
HannahPanda HannahPanda
Quote:
Originally posted by Ms. N
More than half of my reviews have been in standard format just because extended is not offered for them. Having used extended a bit too helps me to remember things that need to be added to the standard review. Plus, for my lingerie reviews, I have ...
I agree with everything you've said. I review a LOT of lingerie, too, and the EF has helped me along in remembering exactly what I need to cover. I chop my SF up to mimic an extended review, especially the order of what I'm describing the and the information I describe. Either way, in either format, I feel I need to write the maximum so I feel like I didn't miss anything.
04/05/2012
HannahPanda HannahPanda
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
Just a pointer that my English Professor is trying to get into our brains: Readers are raiders.

Consumers aren't reading your reviews because they're fun or cute, they're reading for specific information. If I'm looking to drop ...
That's what I do as well, the EF tends to keep things on track, even if it is hard not to repeat yourself when writing them.
04/05/2012
Total posts: 25
Unique posters: 18