editable reviews

12:03 a.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi ... I was wondering if you've considered allowing those posting reviews to be able to edit them later. I realize there's a short window after posting where you can go back and make edits (just like with forum postings).

But here's my thought: many of us tend to post reviews shortly after buying new gear. We've spent time researching it. We've finally made our decision. We've plunked down our hard earned money to buy it. It's fresh in our mind now. Now we want to tell the world how great it is! :)

But the reality is, we really aren't in a position to write a meaningful review until we've had the gear for a while and experienced using it in different conditions. It's probably find to post "first impression" reviews, but it means a lot more if we write something later.

So a couple suggestions:

1. add a tag to reviews indicating how long the user has owned the item. This way it's apparent that it's a new owner, vs a long-time user. And the person could submit multiple reviews at various intervals during ownership, chronicling their experience with it.

2. allow the poster to go back and update their review ... maybe not by modifying the original text but by posting "updates" to it.

something else? :)

Anyway I thought about this this past weekend when I was backpacking in Yosemite, and thinking about some reviews I wanted to post for new gear, but feeling like I hadn't had enough experience with the new items to provide a comprehensive review.

12:38 a.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I think that's very thoughtful, and a good idea.

I too struggle with knowing when is the appropriate time to write a review, I'm fairly sure I wait too long, but I like to put a good deal of wear and tear on gear before feeling competent to review it.

However, by then there is a whole new line of 'better & lighter' gear available.

I would say it is easy for me to tell how much experience a reviewer has, a lot of times, by how extensive the review is. Then again, first impressions do have merit. How easy was it to set up, how quick did you learn how to use it, was there a big difference from your older gear you replaced? Did you feel it worked as advertised?

I generally do not purchase gear unless I have tried someone else's, or it solves a problem I have, or it is just highly recommended and I have a need.

Most people know after a few times of using gear if it is something they feel useful.That may be a purely personal decision, it may be due to lack of adjustment to, or understanding of the new gear, or it may be legitimate and apply to a broad number of users, good or bad.

I think both short and long term review can be helpful, as long as it is factual and objective.

2:58 a.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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How about EDIBLE reviews?

You could also just add a new comment on the review...

5:50 a.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I actually did this manually for a review this week for a guy whose tent had broken poles after he used it awhile. Good suggestion.

1:22 p.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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There is another thing I find somewhat unhelpful. The pricing that shows up on gear in the "Where to Buy" column.

An example of what makes it frustrating. I went to backpacks internal frames and clicked on $25.00 to $49.00. There should have been nothing there. Yet there are 4 items that show up. I find myself going other places for price ranges and then coming here for reviews.
http://www.trailspace.com/gear/backpacks/internal/?price-range=25-49.99

This was just a quick example. I'm not expecting to find an internal frame backpack in that price range new. :-)

1:48 p.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Why that happens: Our prices come from our retail partners via an automatic feed. Our database has 50,000 products and probably three times that many live links from retailers (because a single product may have many retailers) so it's unfeasible to monitor them all manually.

Sometimes retailers will send incorrect price and product info -- fortunately it's relatively rare because they have a vested interest in correct pricing and product packaging.

2:32 p.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I thought it might be something out of your control and probably difficult to monitor, or else it wouldn't be there. Just checking. :-) Thanks for the explanation Tom.


randy

10:36 p.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I second the editable reviews idea. I have several I would like to revisit, most because I want to make them sound better or update something good about them.

1:09 p.m. on August 22, 2010 (EDT)
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I am in total support of this as well as an IM feature where one can gain info on products that others have used directly from the individual that has the product of interest. I see that there are quite a few members that do not have their individual/personal email address posted on their profile page. I can understand that. How about a screen name(Rick-Pittsburgh@trailspace.com) IM feature or even a mailbox feature that is tied to trailspace and trailspace only? It would give alot of useful info to potential customers straight from the horses mouth in a rapid time frame. Also it would make coordinating get togethers, trip planning, etc. alot more efficient. Maybe this feature could be tied into the review section so members know who has what...

1:51 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Rather than an editable review, where the original reviewer can go in and alter the review a year or two later, I would think a "follow-up", "Second Thoughts", "Additional Comments", "Corrections and additions", or some similar name addendum would be useful, placed adjacent to the original review. You can always write a new review, though that may appear 20 or 30 reviews of the item away. Knowing that someone had one first impression, then changed their mind would be useful, especially if the reasons for the change of heart are spelled out. To take the example that Tommangan mentions a few posts above this one, someone buys an apparently well-made tent, then 15 camping days later the poles break revealing a significant flaw. Or someone dislikes a product, then discovers that the reason is that there is some minor feature s/he overlooked and might be easily overlooked by other users - the "second thought" would be a good way to have other potential users catch it early on.

Plus, a "first look" review followed by a "long-term" review would give people a good chance to differentiate between those first impressions and how it works over the long run. Keeping the two separate but adjacent would point out the "grow on you" aspects.

On the other hand, I can certainly see that discovering a blunder in writing a review, say discovering an "operator error" that caused a rejection complaint might very well call for a significant edit of the original post.

2:07 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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These are all great suggestions -- keep them coming.

11:05 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I think TOGBO's suggestion ... of being able to post something like "Corrections and Additions" is a great way to solve the issue I described.

There's no need, really, to be able to edit the original review .. but, rather, to be able to "update" it.

My one request would be that the update be linked in close proximity to the original, if possible, rather than appear much later in the string of reviews.

Hmm, I guess there's nothing stopping us from posting additional reviews anyway ...and just explaining in the review that we're posting an "update to our earlier review". The downside to this is it would (to whatever small %) mess up the star ratings .... whereas an "update" should "correct" the original rating.

11:12 a.m. on August 24, 2010 (EDT)
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I think an addendum or update would be ideal, as long as it is directly connected to the original review. If it is posted as just another review, and not directly linked to the original, I don't think it would be very helpful.

1:10 a.m. on September 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Speaking of edible (sic) reviews, while in REI tonight labouring over the decision of whether I should plunge into the realm of internal frame packs with one of those currently on sale (I didn't, at least not tonight) I saw this in the freeze dried food section:

Backpacker's Pantry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake For Two

Net weight 4.5 ounces

I *love* cheesecake :) :) :). I love dark chocolate! :) And I almost bought this til I saw the 4.5 oz net weight label. Plus packaging. Uh oh. There goes my "weight & balance plan".

And who are they kidding ... "for two". LOL!!!

<sigh> I'll stick with my freeze dried "chicken teriyaki & rice" and leave it at that...

As for the pack ... I'll probably just buy it and be done with this decision process, decided or not... If I don't like it I can always eBay it :). Dang, my Dad did have to push me to buy that indestructible "will last a lifetime" Kelty D4 in 1979, didn't he (and yeah, it really will last a lifetime :(... unless it falls over a cliff ... or a bear finds it ...

... and the cheesecake is still tempting :D...

hmmm ... cheesecake ... bear ... pack that wants to go away... hmmmmmm


:)

12:04 a.m. on September 4, 2010 (EDT)
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bheiser1,


I say buy both if possible, you can always sell the pack as you say, and you can always remember the chocolate cheesecake!

11:41 p.m. on September 7, 2010 (EDT)
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Trouthunter - I ended up missing the sale... by the time I went back, they had sold out of the pack I'd have gotten. And it was even sold out online.

Maybe I'm just meant to use the old Kelty for the rest of my life :).

August 21, 2014
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