How long is too long?

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How long is too long?

LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
I've noticed some particularly lengthy reviews on site lately and it got me to thinking. Do you read all the way through a 1500-2000 word review? Is there such a thing as too long, too much information?

Is it really useful to the customer to have every possible detail about a product that you can think of or are they really just drowning in irrelevant information?

I've seen very concise, useful reviews, chock full of information still only have maybe 500 words.


What do you guys think, is more better? Or do we need to be more selective about what information we include?
02/25/2010
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Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Less is very often definitely better.

We have a safety meter. Measurements. Material guide. Pictures, high quality, multiple pictures of the products. So much info is redundant in a review when it's all right there on the product page.

And while we reviewers may browse reviews not products, our customers? They generally browse products. They generally read the overview/specs first, then if it looks interesting move on to reviews.

A good, thorough review that helps the customer does NOT need to be that long.

There is a reason the standard template has a word limit of 800.

Do reviews occasionally need to go over that? Indeed. Often? I don't think so.
02/25/2010
Red Red
I never read really long reviews. Shorter is 100% of the time, better. When I first started here, I'm pretty sure I was given 400 as the approximate size of a review, and since them I have always shot for 500 words, or so.

I'm going to just go way out on a limb and say it: there's really no reason a review should be longer than the max # of words on the standard template, which is 800. Maybe (MAYBE) a few books or DVDs would warrant that many words, but even then, longer DVD and book reviews tend to be synopses rather than reviews.

Just my opinion. I know some folks love a long, detailed review. I however, don't.
02/25/2010
Sir Sir
I write long reviews. But I definitely love reading short reviews, personally, and I always absolutely HATE when people vote them down. If it has everything, it IS "Extremely useful." If it doesn't, then sure, rate it a bit lower. But if it does? I do not understand.

I have seen many four-paragraph reviews that were just wonderful. Nothing wrong with those!

But how long is too long? I cannot say. I do read through every review that I vote or comment on, so yes, I do read all the way through.
02/25/2010
Sammi Sammi
It really depends, I think. If they're well-written and have a good flow to them, I don't notice the length so much.

But I agree - 800 words should be plenty for most reviews (although I will admit, I'm guilty of going over this on occasion and drifting into the experience section with information that isn't experience).
02/25/2010
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
I have a tendency to be way too wordy, but nowadays I'm trying my best to be more concise. I agree with Sir--just because it's not a novel doesn't mean it's not useful!

Like Sammi said, if the review flows well and doesn't lag, it doesn't feel like it's too long, even if it is lengthy.

My personal goal when I write a review is to say what I need to say, the best way I can say it, and call it a day
02/25/2010
TitsMcScandal TitsMcScandal
As long as it's well written I have no problem reading all the way through it. Sometimes the longer reviews are needed. However I wouldn't even think of rating down [or up] based on length.

If the review can be done in four paragraphs, great. If it has to be done in eight, that's cool by me too. I guess to me it's the quality not quantity. I've seen great long reviews and great short reviews. I've also seen horrible short reviews and horrible long reviews.

I don't really have a preference in what I read.
02/25/2010
Viktor Vysheslav Malkin Viktor Vysheslav Malkin
I may or may not be guilty of this, either way I just try my best. I try to provide as much useful information as I can. I try not to repeat my self, or go into unneeded detail.

I do not have a problem with long reviews at all, however I do sympathize with the editors who have to read them. Since the editors have so many reviews that are coming in and such.

Really give the editors a lot of credit for fixing up the errors I might leave behind.
02/25/2010
Luscious Lily Luscious Lily
*raises hand* I know I'm an offender in this. I get a wee bit obsessive about trying to cram as much info into the reviews as possible, but that can get out of control. It's definitely worse in the extended templates, for me, because I don't have as much of a feel for how much I've written, since it's modular. And hell, I'm just a wordy person. ^_^ I've been trying to cut down on the babbling in reviews, though.

When I'm reading reviews, as long as they're well written I often don't mind or notice the length. When I really notice is when someone writes well technically, but just isn't engaging to me.
02/26/2010
namelesschaos namelesschaos
Quote:
Originally posted by Luscious Lily
*raises hand* I know I'm an offender in this. I get a wee bit obsessive about trying to cram as much info into the reviews as possible, but that can get out of control. It's definitely worse in the extended templates, for me, because I ...
*raises hand also* I know I'm very guilty of this I just tend to be a wordy person. In my own defense part of the reason is most of my reviews are off site and thus I want them to be able to stand alone in turn each review going to have detail that may be redundant with what is on the site. Although I do write them in a modular fashion so you skip over the material and design parts, if you already read that on the product page.
02/26/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Quote:
Originally posted by Viktor Vysheslav Malkin
I may or may not be guilty of this, either way I just try my best. I try to provide as much useful information as I can. I try not to repeat my self, or go into unneeded detail.

I do not have a problem with long reviews at all, however I ...
I didn't start this thread from an editor's perspective. Because that's irrelevant.

I try to see it from the customer perspective, and sometimes longer is not better. Nor being wordy automatically bad. Hell, I'm wordy. But cramming as much information into a review as possible shouldn't be the goal. Too much information is just as bad as not enough when a shopper is trying to make a choice.

The goal is really to just get people to read their own reviews and think, is all this really useful information? Is it redundant? Can I be more concise? Who am I writing this review for?
02/26/2010
Viktor Vysheslav Malkin Viktor Vysheslav Malkin
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I didn't start this thread from an editor's perspective. Because that's irrelevant.

I try to see it from the customer perspective, and sometimes longer is not better. Nor being wordy automatically bad. Hell, I'm wordy. But ...
Didn't mean to make it sound like you did
02/26/2010
Sundae Sundae
Sometimes I feel like we're expected to cram a lot in there for people to sit up and take notice. It seems to be the case that reviews that are shorter are often glanced over and assumed to contain less because they're not super wordy. I know when I first started here I was guitly of long, rambling reviews and I hope I'm getting a bit better at it, but sometimes it's hard. You know ideally I'd love to leave out cleaning/material info/descriptions, sometimes there is a lot of 'basic' stuff I want to skip over, but it's expected to be in there. I feel unless you're a top rank reviewer it's harder to get away with shorter, more 'to the point' reviews without padding it with lots of indisputable facts in case someone gets their knickers in a twist over your opinion/whatever.
02/26/2010
Epiphora Epiphora
I agree with Carrie Ann. Shorter is better, as long as it's written by a person who can write. There's an art to conveying information without becoming boring and overly long. I personally do not enjoy reading reviews that try to cover everything under the sun.
02/26/2010
CockGawker CockGawker
Speaking as a customer -- I'm pretty thorough at research, esp. before I buy something pricey, you know?

I just bought some cock rings and a Lelo INA (I can't wait!) but I read all the reviews before I made my purchase -- sometimes just skimming -- but I read them all. If a product doesn't have a review I don't even consider buying it.

Detailed reviews are great so long as they are well written and provide real information -- not just fluff. I'm dyslexic so I have no room to judge but as a reader I do appreciate clarity.
02/26/2010
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
I'm guilty of this sometimes. I try to keep my reviews concise and to the point, but I want to be thorough at the same time. I'll be reading through a review before I submit it thinking about what can I take out, but I usually can't find anything without taking away from the overall review.
02/26/2010
NuMe NuMe
Before I started reviewing, it irritated me to have to click back and forth between the review and the product page. I wanted it all in there. Then when I became a reviewer I was told by several people to make sure I covered every possible question someone could have. But not forgoing my experiences in these areas. So I always try my best to cover all the bases and make sure people know how I feel about a toy. Sometimes if it's a simpler toy like nipple clamps, it's easy to keep it short. Actually some of them are even hard to write enough words to cover the requirements. Then there are other toys that do cause me to go over 800 words. Though I don't think I've ever gone over 1000.
02/26/2010
Luscious Lily Luscious Lily
Quote:
Originally posted by NuMe
Before I started reviewing, it irritated me to have to click back and forth between the review and the product page. I wanted it all in there. Then when I became a reviewer I was told by several people to make sure I covered every possible question ...
That's a really good point. Some products are just harder to write a long or short review for. Kits and toys with lots of attachments are some of the hardest to keep concise. It can get very tricky to do all of the pieces justice without going overboard.
02/26/2010
Jul!a Jul!a
I know I've been guilty of this on at least one review. I think when it comes down to certain items than can have a lot of random details I like to try and cover everything I think might be important or everything I know I would be looking at if I could hold the product in my hands before buying it. On my first lingerie review that made me go over on my word limit. But there were also four separate pieces and I was trying to keep the description and measurements of each item separate to try and avoid any confusion by a reader.

I agree with Newme that flipping back and forth between a product page and a review is a pain in the butt, so that's why I try to cram as much information on measurements of the items and whatnot as I can into my reviews.

But personally when I'm reading reviews I don't mind the length as long as there's a point for it. If you're just fluffing things out and have to continue down into the experience section, I probably won't finish reading it. But at the same time I'd rather have a whole bunch of paragraphs than one long one because my eye just refuses to keep reading at a certain point.

Sorry for the rambling
02/26/2010
MuffysPinguLove MuffysPinguLove
I tend to write longer reviews. This is because I want to make sure to get all of the important information to the reader. I know a lot of the information can be found on the product page, but I like having it all in one place. I know that my reviews are longer, because I put a good amount of detail into the product description. I want to make sure the reader walks away from my review informed about the product, and with no questions left unanswered.

That being said, I think that shorter reviews can also supply all of the needed information. I think that how long a review is has a lot to do with the product being reviewed.

Personally, I sit down and fully read both the longer and shorter reviews. It's nice when a review is short and detailed, but I also enjoy eloquent, detailed well written longer reviews too
02/26/2010
gone77 gone77
My attention span tends to be pretty short, so I do like shorter reviews. However, if the writer catches my attention with how they write, then I'm likely to read their lengthy review.

There is definitely such a thing as too long and even too short. I think I vacillate between the two, and I've yet to hear my reviews are too long or too short. But that could be because people are afraid to speak up.

Constructive criticism of my reviews is always welcome.
02/26/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
I think length is fine as long as you are not repeating yourself. I have some reviews that are shorter and some way long. I usually know what it will be before I write it too!

Shorter: Lubes, dildos, condoms, plugs

Longer: anything that vibrates (especially with more levels), lingerie usually, anything with special features
05/09/2010
Elodie Elodie
I like long reviews. I want lots of information about anything I'm going to be letting near me sexually. Besides, I love reading.
05/09/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
I prefer the shorter ones. I really don't want to hear/read about how awesome your orgasms were, that's a thing that varies from person to person; what works for one person could turn off another person.

If you're using the extended template (good idea), a single paragraph or 6 lines is fine. If you're using the regular one, 350-400 words should sum it up well.

But that's just my guestimates.
05/09/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I prefer the shorter ones. I really don't want to hear/read about how awesome your orgasms were, that's a thing that varies from person to person; what works for one person could turn off another person.

If you're using the ...
I agree about the orgasms thing. I stop reading if someone starts talking about how hard it made their partner to see them screaming with orgasms or how their pussy blah blah blah. No thanks. I'll get a trashy novel instead. I think it is important to touch on it, but not make a story out of it.
05/09/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
I agree about the orgasms thing. I stop reading if someone starts talking about how hard it made their partner to see them screaming with orgasms or how their pussy blah blah blah. No thanks. I'll get a trashy novel instead. I think it is ...
EXACTLY!
05/09/2010
sophie2229 sophie2229
I've actually been trying to make my reviews shorter, that's why I tried using the regular template for my Wave review.
05/09/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
I still like the extended for reviews. If you're writing a more focused and shorter review, the extended is the way to go.

I've noticed that when someone uses the basic template, they can repeat themselves, rant, meander, get lost in thought, provide WAY too much detail, etc.

If I'm a customer trying to compare ____ between a bunch of similar products, I don't want to scan through a whole long bit to read the line I'm looking for.
05/10/2010
winterwhite winterwhite
I like to see a mix of longer and shorter reviews. If I am seriously considering a toy, especially if it's expensive, a more detailed review is appealing to me. If it's a $20 item, I will skim and shorter is better, but I want as much info as I can before spending $150+.
05/16/2010
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