Review updates & exposure.

1:27 p.m. on June 14, 2013 (EDT)
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So I am getting prepped to do a 2 week sobo-to-nobo hike on the LHHT which will consist of me starting at the northern terminus of the trail, heading to the furthest southern shelter area on the trail(Ohiopyle) then heading back to Seward. 

I am looking at around 2 weeks on trail give or take a day. 

Anywho, I am doing a bit of gear testing for the TSGRC here and also plan on doing a lil further testing on a tent for an update to the review that I have already posted a bit back. 

This is where an idea for the site popped into the ol' bean. 

When a review is initially posted here it gets the most exposure (imo) being it is highlighted on the home page for all to see. Then after awhile it is archived and then the only exposure it receives is when one actually does a search for the specific product that has been reviewed. 

So let's say I am looking for a new tent(no specific model) and I see a glowing review of a model that fits my needs and has a stellar 5 star rating so I read said review and go "wow, now that is the tent for me."

Well let's then say that shortly after I read the review the individual that posted the review has a catastrophic failure of this tent in the bc and then changes their glowing 5 star review to a 2.5 and deems the product a dud. 

Now I read the initial review but not the updated version because I honestly had no reason to look at it again because I already read the review and am not aware of the issues that arose after the review was posted nor do I know of the fact that there was an update to the review. 

So based on the glowing initial review in my mind I am purchasing a 5 star product when in fact I am purchasing a tent that truly has the potential to fail catastrophically and end a trip that I have been saving up my money for and only have a small time space(vacation) to complete. 

Ya know one of those one shot at it trips. 

This is where the idea I have comes into place. 

On the homepage we not only have a highlighted feed of reviews as they are posted but also an area(rectangular box) on the upper-mid right of the homepage that shows the reviews as they are posted on the site. 

Well, how about a notification box/area/tab that also highlights review updates?

Let's face it...

...fabrics fail, footwear delaminates, stitching fails, water ingress issues happen, so on and so forth. 

So would it be beneficial to have an area such as this promoting the "recently updated reviews" or even a tab that gives a viewer the best up to date info about a product?

I personally am not made of money and a wrecked trip due to a failure can potentially result in a memory that is less than happy or quite possibly could result in my well being/health being somewhat compromised dependent upon activity, season, etc. 

Hopefully I conveyed my thought well and some of you can understand my idea throughout this rambling. 

I will be watching this thread and if there is any confusion please feel free to ask questions and I will explain anything I can if there is any confusion.

Thanks everyone & happy hiking-

Rick

11:06 p.m. on June 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Review updates exposure.

I think you conveyed your thoughts well Rick.

I agree that it would be nice to see updated reviews listed / highlighted in some way like new reviews are. 

 

9:55 a.m. on June 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Review updates exposure.

Thanks Mike.

I just think as they are updates are somewhat dormant just like an older review unless it is:

  • either a top rated product in their select category
  • or someone searches for that specific item

My thing is there are many times I am looking for a product but not a specific one. 

For instance, I am getting ready to do a longer than normal trip(14-16 day) here in the next few weeks and I am taking the Anjan out on this trip. The reason is so I can post an update to the previous review I wrote here. 

Now the tent didn't fair all that well on my last trip(see my rating) but who is to say it won't fair well on this one which may not only change my personal opinion of this tent but also may boost my rating of the product in a major way.

Without someone actually going back in and reading the review over or me saying "hey everyone, check out my updated review of the Hille blah blah blah noone would know an update even exists for this item. 

This idea that I have may put a product on someone's radar that wasn't considered due to it's previous poor rating  but the updated rating/review very well may have them considering said item as an option. 

Just as much as a review is helpful in helping one decide if a specific item would suit their needs so is a long term update. 

12:29 a.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Review updates exposure.

Maybe it would be helpful, rather than having another tab, if the "Newest Reviews" tab included "New/Updated Reviews" or "Recent/Updated Reviews".

10:22 a.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Review updates exposure.

How about the cabability of being sent a notice if a review is updated. I would accept that if I were researching a product. then before I guy I get a REVIEW OF _______ HAS BEEN UPDATED notice4. It is on me to go back and see if for the better or worse. I do not know how difficult such notification systems are to add. Maybe it could be THE ______ HAS BEEN LOWERED FROM A __ STAR to a __ STAR.

1:13 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: Review updates exposure.

giftogab said:

How about the cabability of being sent a notice if a review is updated. 

Hmmmm, a subscribe to a review option somewhat like a subscribe to a thread tab. 

Interesting but my only thought would be with that is what if the review is never updated?

That is where my thought of a feed would be nice. 

2:22 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I am not sure of all the intracasies...but if you update a review, then it would signal me that it is updated...or maybe iven replied to. But any activity on the review beyond reading/liking/signalling helpful could notify you. Then there ya are. If never updated, no harm no foul.

3:02 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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That's some serious "power user" behavior you're describing, Rick. I like it!

The vast (vast!) majority of people only read reviews when they're researching a specific product. They may come back to the same review a few times, but usually within a pretty short period of time. Then they've either bought it or bought something else and moved on.

But for those who may be interested over the longer term, I do like the idea of being able to subscribe to a review. We already have a mechanism for sending out notifications when a review has new comments; it shouldn't be too hard to extend that to provide notifications of updates as well.

One of the projects on my plate for this summer is a comprehensive overhaul of our email communications, including subscriptions and notifications. I'll add this to the list.

3:07 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Awesome. Thanks Dave, for a sec there I thought I was headed off on the "crazy train." :p

Oh and thanks everyone for your ideas/feedback as well. As much as I like gear I also like to brainstorm and you guys(and gals) rock. 

Btw, good suggestion gifto. ;)

3:03 p.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Here's an example of how this could work.  On the photo product site B&H Photo (bhphotovideo.com) reviews have a "subscribe to reviews" link.  This enables the reader to subscribe to receive email updates alerting them to reviews posted for the given product.  I'm not sure if B&H does this, but presumably this would also alert the reader when reviews are updated.


review.jpg

5:03 p.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

Here's an example of how this could work.  On the photo product site B&H Photo (bhphotovideo.com) reviews have a "subscribe to reviews" link.  This enables the reader to subscribe to receive email updates alerting them to reviews posted for the given product.  I'm not sure if B&H does this, but presumably this would also alert the reader when reviews are updated.


review.jpg

 Thanks for the heads up Bill, I order stuff from B&H but had not noticed that you could subscribe to reviews.

6:26 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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One thing I have done in a couple reviews where an update was planned for a product that needed to have additional testing under conditions of a different season (for example, the Black Diamond Icon Polar, which needed testing in serious winter conditions) was to include a note that "further testing under sub-zero conditions is needed, planned for my trip to Alaska in March - an update will be posted at that time". This may have picked up a few people looking for the update, but probably missed more than a few for whom it would have been relevant. Something like the "Update Alert" suggested above would pick up some, but not all affected people.

11:07 a.m. on July 13, 2013 (EDT)
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sobo to nobo LHHT?? What are you talking about?

3:09 p.m. on July 13, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

sobo to nobo LHHT?? What are you talking about?

Sobo-South bound

Nobo-North bound

12:45 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Okay, what is LHHT?

12:51 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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What about moving an edited review back to the homepage, as if it were a new review if the rating changes (as opposed to fixing a typo)?

12:52 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Okay, what is LHHT?

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/lhht/

http://www.shol.com/featheredprop/lhht_info.htm

12:17 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick!

Yes!

I'm a firm believer in keeping my reviews up-to-date and reflective of their most recent performance. Sometimes I'm not able to test their complete functionality in a single trip, nor am I aware of problems I may face when I'm new to an item and still am familiarizing myself with it.

There were items I've owned that aced their first outing, only to fail down the line, and if I hadn't the opportunity to update my review, I don't think I'd be providing a completely honest and accurate assessment of the product. 

Now, if we'd a way of representing updated reviews and making the rest the community aware of reviews that have had or required edits? I think we'd all benefit from them.

For your typical consumer, well, this may be more information than needed. However, for those of us dedicated TS users and readers, this is exactly the kind of information we're looking for. 

If an item fails, I'll want to know. Whether it's on the first trip, or the seventy-first. Especially now that REI's gone back on their otherwise no-questions-asked return policy (but that's another argument for another forum).

In short? All for this, sir. All for it.

10:14 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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I think some way to find updated reviews easily is a good idea.  I'm a big fan of gear that may be a couple of ounces heavier, but will last many years.  I'll also echo some other posters in that I like to know why gear fails, and if that brand tends to have gear that fails in the same way over time.

December 18, 2014
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