"Was this review helpful to you?"

2:56 p.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
200 forum posts

An article written last year about this feature of Amazon.com's product reviews was brought to my attention today. I bring it up here because I know Trailspace reviews pose this question to readers as well. The article:

http://www.uie.com/articles/magicbehindamazon/

What I saw was a key feature of this system which makes it so successful for Amazon. The best reviews move to the top of the review lists. Chronological order takes a backseat to sorting by the ratio of helpful to non-helpful reviews. Then I began to wonder how Trailspace reviews were sorted, so I hopped over here. It appears to me that, even though helpful reviews are tracked, they are still sorted in chronological order. Even further, the helpfulness of a review doesn't seem to be displayed to a user (unless it's so rarely used I just couldn't find one).

Read the article. Share your thoughts. I suggest that helpful reviews should be featured in some way on the site. Altering the sort order is possibly the easiest and least impactful way of doing this, but I'm sure there are plenty of ways this information can be harnesed.

3:26 p.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
234 reviewer rep
943 forum posts

Good timing, Yock. I've been working on this very feature this afternoon.

We added the helpful/not helpful links on individual review pages a while ago, but they haven't gotten a lot of use yet (167 ratings in two months). Very, very shortly we'll be making some additional enhancements, including:

- on product pages, "helpful" links for each review

- show the number of "yes" and "no" ratings for each review

- "helpful" ratings for forum posts

We do plan to eventually sort and highlight reviews based on these ratings. Ironically that's turned out to be a little more difficult than actually collecting the ratings.

4:58 p.m. on June 24, 2010 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
234 reviewer rep
943 forum posts

The initial changes I mentioned in the previous post are now live on the site. Additional feedback and suggestions are welcome.

8:46 a.m. on June 25, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

Good Stuff, Dave- Thanks, and keep it up! :)

September 21, 2014
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