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Ask Slashdot: Best Open Product Review Website?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the give-it-a-number dept.

Books 55

First time accepted submitter MastaBaba writes "I want to move my personal reviews (of books, games, music and films) from my website to an online product review website. However, I would like to be able to bulk upload my existing reviews and I would require my reviews to be downloadable by me in CSV, at any time in the future. Goodreads allows for import/export of book reviews, and IMDB allows you to export your ratings, but what about game and music reviews? What website aggregates consumer reviews of (all) products, while allowing for each individual user to easily import and export his own reviews?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Here's one: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37546684)

Just judging by Google search results, Nextag seems popular. []

Re:Here's one: (-1, Troll)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546762)

+1 Informative

Re:Here's one: (3, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546784)

Parent is a rick-rollin troll :)

I don't know about exporting your reviews, or why you'd want to do so, but....

for games and music I read and write reviews on...
Newegg & amazon... sometimes,

I've found to be a highly benevolent source of information on games.

The reviews on torrent websites are pretty helpful when determining music :)

I recommend you link to your reviews using your web browser and then create a report based off a monthly review of your links or something like that, I conceptualize user reviews as something to share w others, and even though feedback is important and can help improve your quality, thank you for posting shit in the first place!

Dear Slashdot... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37546736)

I would like a site to work exactly to my specifications (I have requirements, you know!), however I am to lazy to find it and/or it doesn't exist. Is this something I should ask the semantic web?

Re:Dear Slashdot... (2)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546810)

Okay, people ask these kinds of questions:

1) In case they miss something
2) They don't have to spend time looking
3) Everyone else is informed of the solution for their own education*.

*Education: that knowledge you may or may not need right away, but could be useful in the future.

Re:Dear Slashdot... (1)

thechemic (1329333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37548358)

Sounds like this idea puts more control in the users hands. Probably a great idea. Start building and please notify me when it's ready for use!

You want all of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37546780)

Seriously, you're gunna have to build one. ;)

Why is this a legitimate need? (2, Interesting)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546932)

Why do you feel that your opinions are valuable enough to be archived for posterity, but not so valuable that they are worth maintaining a website?

Re:Why is this a legitimate need? (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#37550324)

Different people have different priorities and abilities. Just because somebody is able to write content for a website does not mean they can maintain one.

Look at the whole cloud computing thing. Not much different. (1)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546970)

Their product reviews are community moderated and highly accurate. Amazon generally doesn't tamper with the product reviews either. It's _open_ for you to read right now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547590)

You can't seriously be saying that Amazon lets people "bulk upload" product reviews? (1)

Mr_Perl (142164) | more than 3 years ago | (#37548626)

I used to believe too, but lately I've discovered that their review process is highly biased in favor of the product manufacturer. For example if you sell a product that is fraudulent, and have your company's employees all buy one and leave a glowing review, you'll have a solid five stars. Should anyone post a review that contains an unusual abundance of critical wording (they seem to have an algorithm for this) you will find that it's automatically rejected.

For a current example of this, have a good look at the reviews (note that most positive reviewers also reviewed with five stars all the manufacturer's other products too) for a product called neumactil, which claims to be as effecitve as an asthma inhaler. It's actually a cream with inert ingredients, propped up by a "research paper" that is essentially unscientific gibberish. Hopefully nobody will actually believe it, but since so many trust Amazon's review system implicitly, some will be bound to suffer.

Should you agree that it's not a legit product, go ahead and try to leave a critical review. Odds are good that it will be auto-rejected until you load it up with positive hyperbole. (1)

MastaBaba (530286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551738)

Amazon doesn't allow for exports of your reviews. So once you start submitting, you're locked in.

What? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#37546994)

WTF is this article about? The poster wants to be able to upload and download bulk reviews of random stuff? I don't get it at all. Why would somebody think they're so important that their reviews of the latest Lady Gaga album need to be saved and archived? Why would anybody want to download their reviews after they're already posted? For spamming multiple product review sites?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37548332)

The poster wants to be able to upload and download bulk reviews of random stuff? I don't get it at all. Why would somebody think they're so important that their reviews of the latest Lady Gaga album need to be saved and archived?

One possibility:

"I want to start an astroturfing service. I bought off some Russians a set of algorithms that assemble clips of text and blurbs into plausible, if generic, prose that's not much worse or even much more generic than the crap people actually write on reviewing sites ("A+++++!!! would buy again!" or "This latest Lady Gaga album really breaks new ground, showcasing how far she's matured as an artist."). For a premium, I can hire distressed Nigerian princesses or people fired from Indian call centers to handwrite reviews for that personal touch. I would like to bulk upload these "reviews" praising my customer's products and slamming their competitors' shoddy wares. The Russian text algorithms are in VBA and only generate Excel files, but I know how to convert those to .CSV, so I need the system to use comma-separated values files for my bulk uploads."

"I would require" (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547078)

Yep, its all about you. geesh.

Re:"I would require" (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547934)

Gee - and your response is different how..?

If anyone deserves to be criticized, it might be the moderator who approved this question...but it's pretty weak to insult someone who just submitted a question specific to what they're looking for.

And sorry, i got nothin'..

Re:"I would require" (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37549180)

Yep, its all about you. geesh.

God forbid services cater to their users' needs.

Product review sites ... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547128)

There are a few, like epinions, but I find them fairly annoying.

Perhaps something like Rotten Tomatoes for everything.

The Zebco Combination Flyrod & Waffle Iron has a 37% Fresh score

Re:Product review sites ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37551658)

I've been working on something that is along these lines:

Re:Product review sites ... (1)

MastaBaba (530286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551894)

Epinions appears to not allow for exports.

Re:Product review sites ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37563422)

Yes, I have the same feeling every time as come to this articles,
yet will have a good shopping experience when come to and

Who gives a fuck? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547134)

Save the page as HTML. Seriously, who cares?

No one gives a shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547194)

about your dumb fuck opinions, quit thinking your the man and get a life or maybe even a job. hey if your "reviews" are not totally worthless you could get a job writing them and that would include a place to host them right?

bad idea (3, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547236)

This sounds like a bad idea to me.

Any site that allows people to "bulk upload" reviews will be inundated with spam reviews and reviews by shills and sockpuppets. Amazon, which is much more restrictive, nevertheless has this problem to some extent with reviewers like Harriet Klausner, who can't possibly read all the books she reviews. I run a site that catalogs free books and collects users' reviews of them (see my sig), and I find that a decent fraction of user-submitted reviews are obviously authors reviewing their own books. (E.g., the reviewer's name is the same as the author's, or the review is identical to a blurb on the book's web site.) This is against the rules on my site, and I delete these reviews. But on a site that reviewed as many different kinds of things as the OP is asking for, and that allowed people to upload and download them in bulk, it would become extremely difficult and time-consuming to deal with this. Amazon has the advantage here of knowing that their reviewers are individuals with credit cards whose names match the names on the cards, and who have bought something from Amazon using the card. (You can review a book on Amazon without having bought that particular book on Amazon, but you have to have bought something from Amazon at least once.) This helps them to avoid, e.g., sockpuppet reviews.

I sympathize with the OP's desire to have a reviewing site that's not a handmaiden of commerce, but Amazon does have a massive network effect working in their favor. I would never have bothered making my own site if there had been any overlap between my mission and Amazon's -- but there isn't, since Amazon doesn't accept reviews of free books.

lol vanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547242)


Ask Slashdot: Best Open Product Review Website? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547344)

Roger Ebert gave it 2 thumbs down saying, "This dumb ass wants it easy. Reviewing movies is no easy job, shithead. You can't just change a few words of your review of a movie and repost it as a review of the soundtrack."

Rotten Tomatoes rates it 0% (from 15 posted reviews). The sites consensus is that the poster is lazy, arrogant and wonders how this even made it past a junior level "Ask Slashdot" editor.

Metacritic reported this Ask Slashdot had an average of 0 based on 15 posts and gave in an F on an A to F scale.

Keep your website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547378)

I would require my reviews to be downloadable by me in CSV

Nobody is going to offer what you want. (And that's a bizarre format to want to use for generic reviews.) Anyone who does, if you find one, is still going to make you unhappy somehow. I promise.

KEEP YOUR WEBSITE. And just mark it up according to microformats and/or RDFa or the new flavor of the month that came out earlier this year.

(Why do you want to get rid of your website? You very likely have some strange motives and you didn't say what they are. Nobody is going to be able to truly advise you until they know what you're really thinking.)

Oh, and you know who aggregates reviews, though (sort of)? Google. Just don't use them for hosting. (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547460)

For video games, the Backloggery [] is easily the best site with the best community when it comes to cataloging your collection. That said, it doesn't support importing, and exporting is not possible yet, though it is a planned feature. The focus of the site is on helping you to chip away at your collection, and it does a good job at orienting itself around that idea while having a lot of fun with it. (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547794)

I still think this is one of the dumbest stories Slashdot has ever run. But I was not aware of this site's existence, and it's an incredibly useful idea. Thanks for the link! (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547962)

That was actually why I posted. It's one of those little-known sites that really deserves more attention, so I love to squeeze in a mention of it whenever I can.

Who fucking cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547476)

1) Who cares?
2) Just keep a copy of your reviews in an Excel file, Access DB, MySQL, or in your ass.
3) Building a review download script is not in the best interest of the website/company...since you can typically see all of your reviews when you log into your account (Amazon) and just cut and paste them into the format of your choice
4) Possible copyright issues...if you can read, read the TOS of the site and see if the review belongs to you or to the website/company.
5) Are you and geekoid friends? Fucktards!

Re:Who fucking cares? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37547894)

1) Who cares?

MastaBaba Cares!

Re:Who fucking cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547938)

MastaBaba is a fucktard...or can't you read either. Seriously, that's great that he wants to be able to post the same shitty, obnoxious reviews on every site, but just cut-n-paste the reviews. Every site has slightly different product names, product numbers, prices, etc. The whole point of reviewing a game on a specific site is that you bought it from that site and from that seller...If I want to read more reviews, I'll actually search for other reviews on other sites...if I see the same dipshit posting reviews on all of the sites I go to I think "SHILL" and fucktard.

hahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37547706)

haha ha ha ha hahahaha

good luck finding something that does it all...

wiki (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#37548076)

Product reviews? Seems like just the sort of thing for another wikiwhatever site, if not Wikipedia itself. There is a, but it doesn't look like much. Don't know about Maybe a suitable wiki site should be created, becasue there isn't one?

Re:wiki (1) (595837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551444)

I like this wikiwhatever idea for any product review.
I guess it will run into the same problem wikipedia has, such as self advertising, but it seems they can handle it.

You mentioned, maybe the OP could ask there if their scope can be extended?
The site name is already fine :)

Might be good for comparison shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37549386)

I can see a use for this kind of thing. Let's say I want to start researching my next car purchase. I want to keep track of what cars I've considered, list the attributes that matter to me (price, HP, fuel efficiency) and give an overall rating of the car with notes. It doesn't need to be shared with the world, but it would be nice if others could add to it, make their own suggestions.

What would work well for this situation? It would be nice to sort by rating, filter, that sort of thing.

Re:Might be good for comparison shopping (1) (595837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551508)

list the attributes that matter to me (price, HP, fuel efficiency)

Talking about attributes...
The problem I have with online product reviews is that they sometime all lack one specific and pertinent attribute I'm interested in for a class of products.
A car "analogy" would be the RPM / torque diagram of the engine: Interesting data but quite hard to find for cars (it isn't advertised).

A central wiki site for reviews could help crowd sourcing such information.

Strange /. crowd reaction (1) (595837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551398)

Why are you so negative about this question? And so gross sometime?
If it isn't of any interest to you, just leave it alone.

I was only mildly interested but though the OP question may lead to some valuable answers, nice unknown site reference, etc.
All I see is nasty and useless comments, to an extent we rarely see on /.
Anyway, thank you, those who kindly tried to answer (it wasn't an easy one ;)

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (1)

MastaBaba (530286) | more than 3 years ago | (#37551802)

Thanks! I'm the OP and also a bit surprised by the quite negative reactions to the post. Particularly because user reviews are part of pretty much every website which promotes any type of product on a larger scale (Amazon, CNET, IMDB to name a few). The more contributors, the more trustworthy the site and the reviews. Can it be that few of the /. crowd actually every post a review on any of these sites? What annoys me with these websites, though, is that as soon as you start contributing to most of them, you lose ownership of the content you create, while adding value for the website in question. Goodreads is an exception, and thrives on a huge community of individuals who clearly are far removed from the commenters to this post (because, as, it appears, /. doesn't "give a fuck" and thinks these people are all rather "vain"). An open product review website would solve this.

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37552062)

How would your "bulk upload" of product reviews work exactly? How do you intend to verify that each review is grouped with other reviews of the same product? Or are you basically just asking for a review forum?

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#37552398)

User reviews are useless at places like Amazon. Amazon wants you to buy things, so they have a vested interest in putting high-ranked reviews up front.

User reviews on third party sites are almost useless: you have to specifically go to them and spend a possibly high amount of effort to locate the product you want to buy, and then you have little assurance that you're looking at reviews for the Frobmaster 9000 QRZ-3, which will get you laid every night, and not the Frobmaster 9000 QRT-3, which will explode in your face and kill you.

Reviews are moderation. Moderation is reputation. If reputation has value then those in whose economic interest it is for the reputation to be high will artificially inflate that value by moderating upwards. Putting all reviews in a central place just makes this easier, it doesn't add value.

I understand the frustration with losing the thoughtful output of your creative mind. I recommend that you

1) Start a blog,

2) Post all of your reviews to this blog,

3) Link from the blog back to whatever you're reviewing.

Perhaps you can define or adopt a nice XML/JSON format for concisely associating a URL with your rating. Now you have searchable reviews linked to products/services/whatever which are under your control. Doing anything else is madness.

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 3 years ago | (#37559704)

User reviews are useless at places like Amazon. Amazon wants you to buy things, so they have a vested interest in putting high-ranked reviews up front.

Citation needed. I figure they know they'd make more money by directing you away from the crap so you buy things you like and come back for more. (Not that I think reviews from anonymous users are a great source of knowledge in general.)

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#37564968)

I don't have a citation, but it's simple logic and common sense. Not every store-site is going to act that way on every occasion, but their reliability is certainly subject to legitimate suspicion. I don't trust their neutrality, because they aren't neutral, and while we could go ten rounds on the question of "When would it be more profitable? When would it seem like a good idea? What are their disincentives?" the actual answers aren't so important as the fact that they can be asked.

Re:Strange /. crowd reaction (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37552142)

Yep, even more importantly, the OPs problems are a very general ones with the way the Internet and the whole cloud thing works these days. There are a ton of cloud services that let you enter data in, but there are only a very tiny few that actually let you get the data back out of the cloud again. It's a problem that isn't just limited evil cooperations, many open source project hosters for example suffer from this as well and provide only partial data export, which becomes a major annoyance when you want to move data from one host to another. Essentially proper data import and export is at best an afterthought, if offered at all, while it really should be a standard feature from every service handling data.

How do I get my data back (1) (595837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37552354)

I agree with you. Getting our own data back from sites is often very difficult.
On most sites it can be done with custom spider bots.
The last time I did it, I wrote a greasemonkey script to copy a whole forum to another, with thousands topics and replies.

Some people already use this scheme:
1) Find a popular site for which users can't export their data.
2) Write a exporter tool.
3) Profit!

ReframeIT, sidewiki or similar (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 3 years ago | (#37554004)

I realise this doesn't cater to your requirements for bulk export, but reviews like that are ideally placed in something like google sidewiki (obsolete now) or ReframeIT [] , or at least links to reviews. Personally, I'd like to see more annotation not controlled by site owners, especially with regard to potential product/service purchases

Keep 'em on your own site? (3, Insightful)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 3 years ago | (#37557392)

...and let Google sort 'em out.

Reviews are much more trustworthy when they exist in context. If I came to your site and thought, oh, there's someone like me, and s/he really liked that product, that's far more valuable to me than seeing a similar review in the middle of a bunch of other faceless reviews.

Your own site will (ideally) give readers a pretty good idea of your taste and background. Leave them there.

Out of curiosity... (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 3 years ago | (#37558136)

Out of curiosity, why would you need to be able to download your own reviews? Do you use some sort of destructive uploading software that erases your local copy as you upload it? Like something out of a good old fashioned cyberpunk story?

Re:Out of curiosity... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37559692)

It's not that unusual for example for video game reviews to allow rich formating, images and stuff like that, even Amazon allows you to upload images and add some metadata to them. Essentially none of that can be properly saved by regular means without losing the metadata or the formating, as that kind of stuff happens via Javascript hackery, not via a classical HTML form textarea.

Re:Out of curiosity... (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 3 years ago | (#37561760)

Well, if OP is planning on doing 'bulk uploads,' he's either using some sort of standardized markup language, or no markup at all, so that argument doesn't really apply.

much letters (1)

ustus (2479274) | about 3 years ago | (#37639766)

o my gosh! it's so much letters here...
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