The Never-ending Review

Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Normally, it takes me between 30 minutes to an hour to write a review depending on the complexity of the item. There are some things I dread writing about, though, because I know I'm going to spend forever getting in all the info I need.

Look at this one I just did for example: Bring on the bling!

I felt like I had to write a lot because of all the information that was needed, but then I feel like it's way too long to really sit there and read. There was a lot of information I could have put in there that I left out, too.

What are your thoughts on these things? Are there certain things you dread writing about because the review will have to be lengthy? Can reviews be too long? What if you can't get in all of the information without writing a novel?
11/14/2011
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- Kira - - Kira -
I always write a novel. X.x I feel like if I don't I'll leave something important out and my review will be less useful. When reviews are long and I don't feel like reading the whole thing, I generally skim for the information I'm looking for. I figure that's what people can do with mine as well. So long as all the information is there to pick through, that is! If they skim and don't find what they're looking for, then it was a useless review for that person.

I do usually read the whole review, even if it's long unless I'm tired or looking for a specific piece of info when I'm about to make a purchase. That way I make sure not to miss any potentially important information that I may not have even thought to look for.

Generally, I'd rather something be too long with too much info than not enough info. Just my opinion. *shrug*
11/14/2011
Cherrylane Cherrylane
Well for starters, I think the review looks great. I didn't read through it's entirety as I'm sorta multitasking but just skimming through I could tell it was well organized and had really great details. Not only the sort of basic detail that every good review should have, but those quirky details about how a reviewer experienced a product that so often get left out.

I personally have a really hard time managing length, especially in writing. I'm fairly quiet in person, but man can I be long winded when I write! I think the key to making length work is to always keep two things in mind: content and organization.

As for content, there's a big difference between being comprehensive and redundant. In just about everything "formal" I write, I try to start with just the bare necessities. The absolute essentials for covering the basics. After that is when I'll move on to additional information that I feel is both relavant and interesting/useful.

Organization is also key, because it's what will make a review (or term paper!) useful for anyone. If it's well organized, quick readers can skim over it and easily locate those previously mentioned essential basics, and can always come back for more if they so desire it.

And to second stainedclear, I think it's usually better to be too long/provide too much information than to be too short/provide too little. That is, of course, unless there's a strictly enforced word or page limit
11/14/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Cherrylane
Well for starters, I think the review looks great. I didn't read through it's entirety as I'm sorta multitasking but just skimming through I could tell it was well organized and had really great details. Not only the sort of basic ... More
I often find myself struggling with the stupid word limit to the Standard Review template. I mean, when I write something about lingerie or a costume that has a bunch of pieces, how am I supposed to include all of the info in 1300 words? O_O
11/14/2011
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
In the case where there is a lot to write about, I like to use the extended format or use the a similar format on the standard view. That way folks can find what they are looking for pretty quick. When reading a review I almost never look at cleaning care instructions but a newbie may need to know. In that way, everyone is covered but advanced users do not get bored to death.
11/14/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyTimeTim
In the case where there is a lot to write about, I like to use the extended format or use the a similar format on the standard view. That way folks can find what they are looking for pretty quick. When reading a review I almost never look at cleaning ... More
I think it's about time they get around to making an Extended Format for lingerie. Those of us who actually do a lot of reviews on it usually break our stuff down into sections, anyway.
11/14/2011
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
Wow that is a long review. If I was interested in getting a harness right now - I'd be reading the whole thing in detail. Since I'm not, I read the intro and the final section and stopped.

Sometimes I will only skim a review but go ahead and vote "Extremely useful" after checking the votes. For instance, I'm not into anal play - but if I see something that is designed for that and I happened onto the review from my wall - I'll skim it (I'll especially check for any humor or whatever that is interesting) and then I'll go ahead and vote if I see its got a few votes. If I don't care for what I read as I skimmed - I won't vote. But if I feel I got enough info to vote - then I will.

Now if that were a vibrator review, I'd be reading it with notebook in hand to make notes on rumbliness, etc.

11/14/2011
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I think it's about time they get around to making an Extended Format for lingerie. Those of us who actually do a lot of reviews on it usually break our stuff down into sections, anyway.
I totally agree! I would love to see an Extended Format for lingerie! It can be difficult to get all the info in that I feel I need to in the Standard Format. My writing style definitely suffers when I use the Standard Format for lingerie reviews because I have to chop out large portions. But it does force me to be more concise, which is good for me to practice.
11/14/2011
Stinkytofu10 Stinkytofu10
I am in the process of writing my first review. It shocks me how long some reviews can be. I can see myself going on and on about a lot of things too. I am not sure if some of the information is really necessary though. Things like size, material ect. Eden's pretty specific on the main page.
11/14/2011
Kindred Kindred
I'm guilty of the Review Novel Syndrome as well. I think it's the scientist in me trying to be thorough and discussing every detail. I feel like it's better to be complete than lack information that someone might find useful.
11/14/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm guilty of the Review Novel Syndrome as well. I think it's the scientist in me trying to be thorough and discussing every detail. I feel like it's better to be complete than lack information that someone might find useful.
I agree totally with this. I mean, when you've been writing reviews for a long time it turns into all of these little points into a review. You have to consider every detail of the item because your brain begins to work like that. I'm just long-winded anyway. I mean, those of us who are guilty of doing it are obvious in this thread because we have super long answers. Haha!
11/14/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Stinkytofu10
I am in the process of writing my first review. It shocks me how long some reviews can be. I can see myself going on and on about a lot of things too. I am not sure if some of the information is really necessary though. Things like size, material ... More
Basically, you need to give someone a virtual tour of the toy and how it works, and a lot of the time you have to go into information like size and material when you're talking about things such as performance and care and cleaning, and why this material is good/bad, or why this would be better for a beginner or someone who is more experienced.
11/14/2011
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I read today where someone was describing a vibrator - I think it was a rabbit one. She said something like it was fairly comfortable for a newer user - comfortable wasn't the word she used - but you get the idea.

I checked on the diameter and almost choked.

The diameter was 1 3/4".

Now I wouldn't mind that - but based on comments from my reviews - a lot of the gals on here might've wanted to strangle her if they bought it based on that one comment (not that they would have).
11/14/2011
Antipova Antipova
I totally struggle with this a lot, too. I tend to use the standard format instead of the extended format (a lot of those sections get really repetitive, and I like to blend my material/texture/desig n/shape/size section with my performance section, because for me it's much easier to go directly from "it's built like this" "therefore it feels like this", then "the material is like this" "therefore it feels like this."

I do add my own headings because it helps people find what they're looking for more easily. For most easy toys like silicone or metal I'll just stick a sentence in the middle, but for leather where more than once sentence is needed I'll add an extra "care" section.

But the big downside to the Standard Format is how goldang short the word limit is! In a lot of cases that's good---keeps me from saying too much---but in the last review I did? The Incite is a really interesting, fantastic, leverage-supplying g-/p-spot toy, *and* it's a top-of-the-line flogger, *and* it's made of wood so people need environmental details and proof that it's not going to splinter. I got down to the very last word in both halves of the standard format and I still feel like I left a bunch of stuff out
11/14/2011
Shellz31 Shellz31
As much as I don't like writing really long reviews cause I think people will get bored with it, I can't handle leaving things out that I feel are important. It frustrates me no end when I have a full on review and there's no extended templet option.

I use to hate the extended version, but unless it's just a dildo, I have trouble limiting my words to the standard version.
11/15/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Don't mind me while I whine a little:

When I write reviews that are a freaking novel and try to touch on every possible detail and someone rates it as "Useful" I'm like "Gah! What else did you want to know?!" Haha.

Kits have to be the worst, especially when you have to add detailed information about every item, such as lingerie sets, costumes, harness and dildo sets, or the freaking Amour Tease and Please Kit I just had to do. When all the items are different, it's hard not to write a massive review of them.

I can't believe that some of my reviews are around 1500 words, but when writing a final I'm like "I'll never get this done! So many words!"
11/15/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm guilty of the Review Novel Syndrome as well. I think it's the scientist in me trying to be thorough and discussing every detail. I feel like it's better to be complete than lack information that someone might find useful.
I am agreeing with Kindred completely. I often write long reviews. I hate to think I might have left out that one kernel of information that would break or make the toy for someone.
11/15/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Don't mind me while I whine a little:

When I write reviews that are a freaking novel and try to touch on every possible detail and someone rates it as "Useful" I'm like "Gah! What else did you want to know?!" Haha. ... More
I think also that sometimes if a review is too long people can't absorb all the information either. Like, a lot of details are great, but if somebody didn't necessarily want those details and they got in the way of reading the rest of the review, then the review might not have been as useful for them. I know it's hard not to sweat it sometimes, especially on a review you're really proud of, but useful and extremely useful are pretty much the same thing to the system that calculates rank.
11/15/2011
catgirl9 catgirl9
Your reviews are always well written and very well thought out. I'd much rather read a novel of a review as opposed to a half-assed one that leaves out a lot of info.

I suppose a review could be too long, but if the reviewer thought it was important enough to include, then I'll read it. Sure I might get bored or lose interest but that doesn't mean it's not useful information. Sometimes it's just a product that I'm not interested in completely. But again, too much info is better than too little.
11/15/2011
LQ LQ
Heh. I spend significantly more time going over and over the review removing words & trying to use shorter words than I do writing the darn thing.

I'm going to be stupidly thorough whether people like it or not, and that won't change. That's just me. (And no matter how thorough you are, there's always going to be that one person going... "But you left out the family tree!" or something.)

But I do have to be careful of repeating points in different sections of the review because they could fit in multiple areas, or making statements that basically say the same thing.
11/15/2011
tigerkate tigerkate
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I think it's about time they get around to making an Extended Format for lingerie. Those of us who actually do a lot of reviews on it usually break our stuff down into sections, anyway.
Agreed! I always get hit by cut-off limits. Then I feel like, man, am I saying too much about a bra?

Then I end up having to cut out a few of my jokes or personal narration. It sucks!
11/16/2011
SugarLips SugarLips
I love very detailed reviews and I like when they are personalized. I also think that some reviews can be too long but only if they're redundant.
11/16/2011
sktb0007 sktb0007
Quote:
Originally posted by - Kira -
I always write a novel. X.x I feel like if I don't I'll leave something important out and my review will be less useful. When reviews are long and I don't feel like reading the whole thing, I generally skim for the information I'm ... More
I agree 100%
11/17/2011
leatherlover leatherlover
While that review was on the long side, I don't feel that it was too long or that sections needed to be left out. I always prefer to write longer reviews, covering every single detail possible. Like Tim said, people can skip over sections of the review that they already know about, like cleaning.

I also wish they offered more reviews in the extended template, because the standard one can be really short at times.
11/17/2011
Philia Philia
As a newbie -- I've written two reviews so far -- can I just say that I'm SO RELIEVED to hear that other people have word limit problems? I wrote my reviews in Word before posting them and then I went to paste them in and was like "good God, man! I've written 3x the limit! I am SO VERBOSE!"

I think it's really hard to fit in both all of the technical details AND the experiential/subjectiv e stuff. I'm someone who's generally inclined to look for the "data" on the main page (and EVEN -- gasp! -- click on the "material" link to find out how to care for it, stuff like that) and THEN go read reviews for the more experiential aspects of a product, like how stiff a toy is, or how bumpy its bumps are. I get that not everyone goes data-gathering before reading reviews, but sometimes I feel like I'm just (re)stating the obvious. And personally, what I like, and find helpful, in reviews, is the subjective experience of a product, how it feels, so that's what I'm drawn toward writing.
11/30/2011
Pixel Pixel
Oh gods. This is me with DVD reviews. I love getting to review DVDS...and they take me forever to write in clear and coherent way. *whimpers* Which is why I am slightly overdue with my assignment right now. Argh. Back to the Wordpad document with me!
12/07/2011
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Unique posters: 20