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Vote Up Your Favorite Reviews

Community feedback — your reaction to other members' reviews — plays a vital role in identifying and highlighting the best and most useful gear reviews on Trailspace. However, the effect of your vote on the position of a review hasn't always been very obvious. So today we're introducing a new interface, found at the top of each review, to clarify and encourage your feedback.

Here's how it works:

  • Click the up arrow if you think the review is useful.
  • Click the down arrow if you think it is not useful.
  • If you've voted a review up or down, the corresponding arrow will be highlighted to show your vote.
  • You can undo or change your vote at any time by clicking on the opposite arrow.
  • The number shows the net positive feedback received by the review (upvotes minus downvotes).


The more positive feedback (upvotes) a review receives, the higher it will appear on its product page. The reviews on each product page are sorted by a combination of recency (the date that each review was posted) and community feedback (the number of net positive votes received). This ensures that over time, the best reviews are shown first, while new reviews also get their moment in the sun.

The old "was this useful?" buttons are still available at the bottom of each review; clicking them has the same effect as clicking the new up/down vote arrows.



Will this have any bearing on Killer Review status?

The reason I ask is that if one receives enough votes to get the tag then some members change their vote and decide the review really wasn't that helpful this may put a dent on the amount of positive feedback votes the review received.

From what I am getting this only has to do with where the review resides on the food chain when one clicks on a product? Thanks

The new interface is just a slightly different way of visualizing the voting process. The only functional change is that you can now "undo" a vote -- that is, go back to "no vote" -- where before you could only switch i.e. from "yes" to "no". Other than that, there is no change in the way the votes are calculated or used.

There should be no immediate effect on Killer Review status. However, as more people start voting on reviews, we'll probably need to gradually increase the threshold for achieving Killer Review status.

It is possible for a Killer Review to lose its status as the result of sustained negative feedback, but it would take more than just a couple votes being changed. Just as it's hard to achieve Killer Review status, it's also hard to lose it.

Couple questions -

In looking at some past reviews, I get the impression that the colored "trending" arrow is either not yet implemented, or it will not indicate until a new (i.e., post today's status) like/dislike is clicked in - correct or not? I didn't see any colored arrows per the illustration on the dozen or so reviews I glanced at, including ones that had all "yes" votes and a couple of "Killer Reviews"

Second, my impression from reading Dave's announcement post is that someone could change his/her mind 4 or 5 times a day for the next year (hopefully no one would do such a thing). Extending this and following from Rick's worry, When I scan the reviews, I see very few that have more than 4 or 5 votes +/- combined.

I think the graphic is a good idea, and maybe it will encourage more people to indicate when they find a review helpful.

What about excelent reviews that are not read as often because they are of more niche gear. For instance, I review North Face and it is a good review but the item gets a lot of traffic...or I review something a bit more niche than that, small co, not well known but excellent product.....not a lot of traffic...But the review rocks.

The arrows only turn yellow after you've voted, to show which way you've voted. If both arrows are grey, it means you haven't yet rated that review. You can change your mind -- removing your vote or voting in the other direction -- as often as you please.

Review position is recalculated daily, so you may not see an immediate effect from your votes (or from somebody changing their mind).  The positioning algorithm also takes into account the recency of each review, so in some instances you may see a new-ish review appearing above a higher-rated but older review.

Reviews that are viewed less often will naturally receive fewer votes. However, we've found that about 60 percent of voting occurs within a week after a review is written, when it's in the recent reviews list and getting equal billing regardless of the product's popularity.

Thanks for the info dave. Always nice to know more about the workings!

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