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Author Topic: Template for users wishing to write a mini-review  (Read 27496 times)
Josh
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« on: July 29, 2006, 04:42:25 PM »

After discussing with our fearless leader, I have come up with the idea of generating a template for the users here at dc to utilize when posting a mini-review.

I wanted to get feedback for my idea and see how you all would modify it. Once a layout is agreed upon, we will make it available for download for users of this site.

Now, here is my intended layout

Quote
Basic Info

App NameName of app reviewed
App URLLink to the app's homepage
App Version ReviewedVersion being reviewed
Test System SpecsSpecs of the test system here done in a quote block
Supported OSesOSes the product supports
Support MethodsList methods of obtaining product support here (i.e., forum, email, phone, etc)
Upgrade PolicyPolicy for upgrades. If pay per upgrade, put price here for upgrades
Trial Version Available?List if a trial version of the app is available. If so, list its limitations
Pricing SchemeList the price of any different versions of the applications (Pro, Enterprise, Standard, etc)
Author Donation LinkIf a DC member, include their link to donate to them. If a third party site which supports donations, include the link here. If not applicable, leave out
If this is a dc member, post the donation link in the format similar to this Donate to App103, the Author
Screencast Video URLIf there is a demo or screencast of the app somewhere, post the url here. If there is a DC Screencast, post the link here.


SCREENSHOT OF APP INTERFACE HERE

Intro:

Introduction to the app, what does it do, history, etc


Who is this app designed for:

List here who the app would be intended to be used by including what it can help you do better or do easier, etc.


The Good


Insert your praises of the app here including the features you find useful.


The needs improvement section


What is wrong with the app in its current state (the version being reviewed). Include bugs that might deter would-be users, any annoyances, etc.


Why I think you should use this product


Exactly that, explain why you think the product is useful and why the average user should use it. Remember, this is subjective to the reviewer and other opinions will be displayed regarding your opinion after the test is complete.


How does it compare to similar apps

Self-explanatory. How does it compare to other apps in this category.


Conclusions

A brief summary of the app being reviewed. Any sort of rating you wish to give the app and a general view of the app.


Links to other reviews of this application

Just that, list links to other reviews of this app found on other websites.

This is my idea, what do you think?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 02:39:12 PM by Josh » Logged

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app103
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 04:52:50 AM »

more to include:

  • supported OS's
  • test OS (the one you tested it on)
  • RAM usage
  • License type (shareware, freeware, donationware, open source)
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housetier
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 05:04:33 AM »

I would like to add a section "Why I think you should consider this", a more personal and surely subjective view.
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tinyvillager
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 06:08:55 AM »



Like app103,
i vote for test OS (the one you tested it on)-basically include your system specs
License type (shareware, freeware, donationware, open source)
supported OS's


Good ideal (template) btw. Thmbsup

It would make donationcoder stand out amongst other forums.
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Josh
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 08:52:03 AM »

Updated template. Ram usage is one I think should be left off simply because it varies from system to system.

The license type is already covered under the "What does it cost" section. Any other thoughts?
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nudone
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 09:17:55 AM »

is it worth mentioning other similar software that the reviewer has tried and how it compares - or is that just part of the review anyway (or is that going beyond a mini-review)?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 12:48:02 PM by nudone » Logged
Josh
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 09:37:49 AM »

I think that goes beyond a mini-review, but what do you all think? A mini-review, to my understanding, covers the specific product and its features. In a review, you cover other products. I have no problem adding it thou if the masses agree smiley
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 12:22:08 PM »

i think part of a mini review should include a discussion on how it compares to other similar programs the user has tried.
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Josh
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 12:41:34 PM »

Added to the template. Any other suggestions?
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2006, 01:08:53 PM »

yes, let me give you the list of additional things we came up with for reviews:
1) links to other reviews if you know any
2) trial version available? limitations?
3) support forum available?
4) upgrade policy/price?
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Josh
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2006, 02:18:19 PM »

Added those to the template. Moved "What does it cost" section to the basic info section.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2006, 06:19:47 PM »

Veeery nice! You know, I think this will help tremendously. Keeping all the stuff necessary for a review straight in your head and applying a consistent formatting to it across reviews is hard to do from scratch every time. If I got serious about writing mini-reviews I'm sure I would eventually have created a template like this for myself so all the better that this can be available for all. We already have a lot of great mini-reviews - this should help make them even better. Now if only I could get to my PDF tool review, and my media player review, and... cheesy

- Oshyan
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zridling
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2006, 10:20:09 PM »

Sounds great. I have two products I'd like to submit mini-reviews for in August. Can't wait to see the final template.
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Josh
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2006, 01:43:08 PM »

Added

Quote
Author Donation Link        If a DC member, include their link to donate to them. If a third party site which supports donations, include the link here. If not applicable, leave out
Demo URL                      If there is a demo of the app somewhere, post the url here. If there is a DC Screencast, post the link here.

To the basic info section.
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Josh
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2006, 02:39:32 PM »

Template updated to include a bbtag table now.
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housetier
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2006, 05:55:21 PM »

I think the template is great as it is now, it gives reviewers something to go by. However, if it gets much larger it will be intimidating Wink IIRC this is for a mini-review only. I really like the idea of a template though, its great and it absolutely will be a great help
Quote
hmm so what's more... a yes a couple of screenshots. Oh and the URL of course!

I hope this will encourage many users to write mini-reviews. I see this more of a guideline than minimum set of requirements that have to be fulfilled. Thanks a lot for your hard work, Josh!
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Josh
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006, 05:58:34 PM »

Well, if there are no objections, I will update the post to include a text file with all of the code so that it can be copy/pasted and then edited to suit the needs of the reviewer. I will give this a few days and then if no other suggestions, I will post it.
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2006, 09:19:45 PM »

it might be nice to have a somewhat tighter spacing and perhaps some indenting after the section headers.. maybe i can whip up a custom bbcode thing for it.

ps.
when the template is ready i will add it as one of the Preset Text template items in the dropdown field in the post form, so everyone can use it very easily.
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zridling
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2006, 10:19:59 PM »

Yea, it just got complicated. Most of the "research" info — supported OS's, versions, test system specs?!, donation links, screencasts, etc. — is redundant to the program's website, and while helpful, I don't see the need to replicate all of that minutia in a "mini-review." If the review lures you to know more about the software, then dig into its website. No other review online does that, and maybe I'm wrong, but I think this will discourage many casual or even impulsively enthusiastic reviews.

Also, are we leaving room for flexibility, or are we going for uniformity throughout all mini-reviews?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 10:23:42 PM by zridling » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2006, 10:41:02 PM »

i think the mini reviews dont have to be so strict - the template is reallly useful as a starting point, but writers can deviate.  i think we want to keep the idea that it should be easy to whip up a mini review without much stress. so it can be as little as a picture with 1 paragraph of opinion.  at least thats my 2 cents.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2006, 11:01:39 PM »

Yes, it's good to allow for people to do as little or as much as they want. But personally I find the template to actually *reduce* work. I'm more likely to create a mini-review now since I'm inclined to usually write *too much*. This will keep me in line. Different problems for different personalities. Wink

- Oshyan
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2006, 04:23:07 PM »

Excellent. This should be fun over the next year. It would also be nice for someone to carve out their expertise in one or more programs and follow their upgrades over time via mini-reviews. Imagine if someone did this with a video app, for instance.
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Josh
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2006, 05:07:11 PM »

I agree, having the writers update their mini-reviews every so often with new versions would be a nice addition!
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2006, 01:55:38 AM »

Now we need article versioning. cheesy That's one of the (few) things I really love about the actual *implementation* (not the idea) of Wiki's - built-in, always-on versioning.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2006, 01:16:38 AM »

Maybe we should add a Categories section so we know what type of software we're dealing with right of the bat from looking at the basic info table Thmbsup.
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