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Author Topic: Reviews content suggestion  (Read 9668 times)

ricnaff

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Reviews content suggestion
« on: March 28, 2005, 06:26:59 PM »
Thanks for the reviews. They are appreciated. But I do have a suggestion for publsihed findings:

Place the review criteria in the review, along with some appropriate scale, and how the software and/or company performed according to each criterium. Of the reviews you posted, I've not found anything to disagree with. But I don't know what you were measuring, your background usage with similar products, where you got your information, and what (if any) annoying little thing you've been waiting for a product to finally address. The pop-up window on the Outpost review seems to be a good example. I do not at all disagree with your findings, but the review of that one feature took almost a third of the entire review. Certainly there are more features to be evaluated and scored?

Again, the reviews are very good, and I'd have to say fair. But they aren't exactly informative so that we readers can look at them, nod to ourselves and say "yup, of the 17 things that are important to me, this one ranks tops in 15, and OK in the other 2."

In other words, please give us more objective material. I'm not one to look at comparison charts with other products; that's usually an advertsing gimmick because most such charts only include the desirable features of the product that is pre-determined to win against the others. I immediately mistrust them. But if you would just list the things you looked at or considered, and how the product ranks against those features (not against other products), it would be a great help. Perhaps do as John Dvorak used to do back in the 80's when he wrote reviews for PC Magazine: say a feature "Needs some work, it's great, or it's good enough."

Thanks!

Ric Naff

mouser

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 06:52:00 PM »
you are the 2nd person to suggest this to me, and i think youv've made a great case for this.
i cannot disagree with that you are suggesting at all.

and i really like your statement
Quote
I'm not one to look at comparison charts with other products; that's usually an advertsing gimmick because most such charts only include the desirable features of the product that is pre-determined to win against the others. I immediately mistrust them. But if you would just list the things you looked at or considered, and how the product ranks against those features (not against other products),


not so much because i think it wouldnt be useful to compare features against others, but just because i don't think such comparison tables could be created without huge amounts of work.

i will try to do this. i will try to list some objective criteria that i consider when i review a program and give it an award and where i think it falls.  for me, some of picking a best program is a subjective total experience, including the feel of the gui, and so it may be hard for us to lay out objective points about everything, but i think your point is extremely valid and should be adhered to whenever possible.

this might also be something that could benefit from others suggestions.
ie if we set up a sort of advanced team prior to each weeks review, maybe one of the things they could do is suggest waht kinds of features are important.  then if we had a list of such imp. features it would be easier to touch on them during a review.

really good idea ric, just have to figure out a way to keep these reviews doable in the required time frame.

mouser

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2005, 04:19:57 AM »
ric,
check the new posts in the new Advanced Software Reconnaissance Team section and the Other Software section,
i think we've got a good solution worked out that addresses some of these issues and also insure that the awards get broader vetting prior to the final review.

kfitting

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2005, 02:45:49 PM »
Dont quite know where to post this, but I think that an excellant review topic would be defragmentation software.  I havent been able to find a whole bunch of them, but I know that I dont want to use Windows built in software!  I am currently using 0&0 Freeware, but would be interested in finding out more about the shareware ones before I consider buying one of them.  Thanks,

Kevin

JeffK

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2005, 08:33:59 PM »
I would like to see such a review also.

Jeff

zridling

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 10:26:11 PM »
Quote
mouser: "...I don't think such comparison tables could be created without huge amounts of work."

Ricnaff, you make some excellent points, but understand the trade-off involved in what you're asking. While DCC's reviews are extensive and thorough, they are not written for print magazine publication. I think it's a nice idea, too, but trust me when I iterate how MUCH task-intensive work goes into each of these reviews. I want to be informed by the content of the review, and not rely on a bar chart or three-word quip to summarize a 4,000-word review. PCMag.com still relies on "meters" inside of gifs to give you their rating. For me, I'm not looking for 4, 5, or 10 stars. I want someone to tell me what makes an app good and why I should have it on my desktop. If one wants quick and easy, visit my site below to find one-paragraph capsule reviews. However, DCC is devoted to fleshing out what makes a program better than its peers and worthy of your consideration. And the work it takes to write that is well worth supporting as you have, Ricnaff, so thanks!

mouser

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Re: Reviews content suggestion
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2005, 02:27:58 AM »
there can be no doubt that ricnaff's comments and suggests are 100% on the money, and as zridling says, the only issue here is really the time required to get this done right.. we will endeavor to improve this and try to come closer to this ideal.  it will make a big difference if we can eventually build a "team" of reviewers, such that each review has a longer lead time between start date and deadline for publishing.

the other way i want to address this issue is to make the forum section for each review much more of an integral part of what is considered the review.  ie. one should think of the review and its forum discussion section and 2 parts of the same thing.  you read the review for the summary opinion and then you click to visit the forum section where you might hear dissenting views and maybe some users can help fill in some of the details that would be useful to have about other apps.

it takes time to build up an active forum.. we are getting there, and i think over time the forums will grow in value and become a real asset to the reviews; they've already been a great help to me.  as we get more participation from people prior to and after the reviews, i think they will begin to provide the kind of information that ric rightly says would be useful.