Improving reviews

Improving reviews

ScottA ScottA
This may be a very odd question, but I've been interested in getting some more feedback on my reviews to improve my writing and make them more relevant - both for topics discussed and for stylistic considerations.

I'm not even sure the best way of doing this (assuming there's other interest) - perhaps a few informal notes and suggestions dropped by via the messaging system?

Any other ideas? Interest? Perhaps we could get an informal peer-commenting/editin g group that doesn't require too much effort of others going - or perhaps it's a silly idea.
12/23/2008
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Quote:
Originally posted by ScottA
This may be a very odd question, but I've been interested in getting some more feedback on my reviews to improve my writing and make them more relevant - both for topics discussed and for stylistic considerations.

I'm not even sure the ...
Scott, I think you've got a great idea here. Would be great if more reviewers were open to the idea of a little constructive criticism, because I've definitely read some reviews here that could benefit from some. I'd love to have suggestions and comments on my own reviews as well. I'm of the opinion that there's always a way to improve everything. I think a peer group would be awesome for general tips, but individual suggestions pertaining to specific reviewers would be more effective on a personal basis - perhaps, like you suggest, utilizing the messaging system.

If nothing else, you and I can read each other's reviews and we'll just comment amongst ourselves

I visisted your blog too, by the way, and I think you've got a good thing going over there. Let's talk.
12/23/2008
Victoria Victoria
This thread is like a dream come true! As the Program Manager here at Eden, I read and rate your reviews; and in the case of Assigned Reviews, I also verify, categorize, create the URL and publish your reviews. Seeing contributors take the initiative to become better reviewers makes me very happy...and to help, here are my thoughts...

I, too, have noticed a falling quality in many reviews. Not only is most every person who signs up for a contributor account immediately applying for an upgrade, but it seems many are rushing through the mandatory 2 reviews. The thinking seems to be that after just two reviews, anyone can be upgraded...this is NOT the case. And, frankly, it shouldn't be. As stated in the Welcome Email, we don't base the decision to upgrade on how many reviews but on the quality of the writing. So, if you're waiting on your Upgrade Request to be approved - keep writing!

We give advice in the content related to the Review Program; whether in the Welcome email, on the How It Works page or The Review Process page. I recently revised the various related content and added to it a bit. The following few paragraphs give instruction and suggestions for how to write effective reviews:

You should choose a short but fitting title for your review that sets the tone of what you are saying. The main body of your review should be about the functions, and your impressions, of the toy. The Experience section can include an account of when you used the toy. The Pros and Cons sections should be just a few solid points about the toy. The Summary is very important as it lives above your review on the website and is easily the most influential portion of your review.

We want your honest opinion; please do not make your review sound like you are trying to "sell" the toy. This is our job, not yours. Please feel free to make your review positive, negative or neutral; however, if you were unhappy with the product, we ask that you provide creative criticism.

The key to writing a good review is taking the time to think about all of the aspects of the toy and your experience with it. That should be your focus, not adding tons of extraneous and distracting links, formatting or emoticons (smilies). Linking nearly every noun in your review is bad form. It's also not necessary to link to the toy - as that is redundant, the review is already on product page and vice versa. Also please refrain form using bold, italics or underline. Italics should only be used for the actual product name of the toy.

We'd like your review to be well thought-out, and include the proper use of grammar. Please copy-edit your review before turning it in to us. Yes, we will edit Assigned reviews before they are made live on the site, but we are not your high school English teacher; we shouldn’t have to spend all our time correcting your grammar and formatting. Also, most word processing programs come with a spell checker; please make use of it. If your review is riddled with errors, we will send it back to you to be revised.

What is your favorite quality or feature of the toy? How well did it work for its intended use? Are there other ways to use it? What are your sensory experiences of it - look, feel, taste, smell, sound? How does your body react to it? What part did it play in your sexual experience? Did you use it in conjunction with other toys? What material is it made of, and how does that affect use? Cleaning? A note on materials: please do your research in the toy material (simply click on the material name in toy profile and read about it on our site!) and be accurate in your reviews. These questions are suggestions- a beginning point, if you will. Please don't feel that you need to write direct answers to them (but do include this information), and don't be limited by them!

For example, if you talk about sharing jelly toys, also mention that you cover them when doing so for health reasons (because you do, right?). If a toy has silicone in it, mention that silicone lube is not safe for use with that toy. For couples: We love having partner reviews! Keep in mind, though, speaking for your own experience, and having your partner do the same.

And remember, this is an adult site, so feel free to be specific and explicit in your language/descriptions. This review is a chance for you to share (and others to read) about personal experiences with our toys - invaluable information that can't be found in toy descriptions or elsewhere.

To comment on the idea of peer critique: I think sending a message via the site messaging system is great when you feel a direct approach is more appropriate. Especially when criticizing, even nicely, another reviewer's writing...we don't want anyone feeling ganged up on or embarrassed. I have written with advice to a few new reviewers in the last month and have seen significant improvement. It all depends on the tone and how receptive the reviewer is to what you suggest. Positive reinforcement goes a long way too. I find that by complimenting the practices I like best, I see them put to use more often. I often leave specific compliments in my comment under a review.

Kudos to everyone who takes the time to give feedback to their peers and help make this a more interactive and supportive community! It is much appreciated! There is a core group here that really does care for each other and honor the integrity of the information that they share – I am so grateful for those people. They make this a better place for everyone.

Well, now that my post has become epic…I’ll leave it at that. I hope you find this helpful. I’m looking forward to many great innovations here at Eden in the New Year. I, as always, welcome all of your questions and feedback, my direct email is: victoria@edenfantasys. com. Thanks!
12/23/2008
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Well, this isn't the content of the review itself but I have noticed an increase in poor language skills. I think if people wrote up their reviews in a word program first so spelling and grammatical errors are highlighted, it would help - a little, at least.

To me, a poor review usually doesn't answer all the questions I have about a product. So, I tend to ask questions in the comments. If you have some reviews and I have asked questions, those are the types of thing I (and most likely others) want to know so keep them in mind for next time.
12/23/2008
Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady Not Here Anymore f/k/a Happy Lady
Thanks to In the Pink for spelling out the writing guidelines in a forum post.

I have had serious trouble reading some recent reviews because they were big long run-on sentences like I am going to make this one to prove the point that it would be greatly appreciated if people would use a program that finds speellling errors and grammar problems before posting the reviews.
12/23/2008
Miss KissThis Miss KissThis
Quote:
Originally posted by ScottA
This may be a very odd question, but I've been interested in getting some more feedback on my reviews to improve my writing and make them more relevant - both for topics discussed and for stylistic considerations.

I'm not even sure the ...
I like the idea of a peer commenting/editing group. I would love to improve my writing as well, and think a little guidance would go a long way.

Like many others, I also have noticed a few reviews where I'm sitting there thinking to myself "Do people seriously write like this?? What happened to capitalization? Or sentence structure for that matter..."

This is a great suggestion!
12/23/2008
Delete My Account Delete My Account
As always our program manager, In The Pink, is doing an amazing job. She continues to strive for perfection in every aspect of Eden Fantasys and it is a real pleasure to work with her. I am confident that Eden Fantasys and its community will only become better place with her here.
12/23/2008
CaptainBunnyKilla CaptainBunnyKilla
I LOVE the idea of a peer commenting/editing group. Count me in!
12/24/2008
Backseat Boohoo Backseat Boohoo
Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainBunnyKilla
I LOVE the idea of a peer commenting/editing group. Count me in!
Ditto! I can never seem to get my dildo reviews right, so this would help out a lot.
12/25/2008
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainBunnyKilla
I LOVE the idea of a peer commenting/editing group. Count me in!
I agree as well. I feel like my reviews always come up a bit short and I can't put my finger on what I need to ad to them, take away, change, etc. I can take constructive criticism if it'll help me be a better reviewer.
12/25/2008
CaptainBunnyKilla CaptainBunnyKilla
Would it work to do this in forum threads? It might be cool if there were a separate forum category for review editing: somebody could start a thread with the text of their review/questions they have/etc, and then people could comment?
12/27/2008
Nashville Nashville
Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainBunnyKilla
Would it work to do this in forum threads? It might be cool if there were a separate forum category for review editing: somebody could start a thread with the text of their review/questions they have/etc, and then people could comment?
I think this is a great start- perhaps start a thread where reviewers submit a link to one of their reviews asking for hints, tips, comments, etc. on how they can make it better.
12/27/2008
Dame Demi Dame Demi
I think this is an excellent idea! I try to cover all the major points in my reviews, but I always feel like they're not terribly interesting. I'm out of commission, mostly, in terms of writing for another month or so, but definitely count me in if you get something going!
12/28/2008
ScottA ScottA
I'll try to figure out some way to do this. There are the guidelines from Edenfantasys (thanks for updating clarifying them, In The Pink), but those don't always give hints and suggestions on style.

I'll get back to everyone later.
12/29/2008
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 12