Dear People Who Review Products on Websites

Dear People Who Review Products on Websites,

I’m not sure what part of the phrase “Product Review” is confusing, but clearly there is some clarification that is needed.

When you write a product review, you are supposed to review the product.  When you write a recipe review, you are supposed to review the recipe.  You are not supposed to write a review of the packaging used, the shipping time, or of your own culinary incompetence.  In the past, I felt this was self-evident, but apparently it is not.

For instance, if you purchase a book on Amazon.com and wish to write a review, you are supposed read the book, consider the contents, decide if you liked or disliked it, and write about your like or dislike of the book.  You are not supposed to write a review praising or denouncing the time the item took to ship.  You are not supposed to write a review praising or denouncing the cover art of the book.  You are not supposed to write a review praising or denouncing the author’s other works or a review that simply states how excited you are to read the book before you are actually able to read it.  All of these things serve to give the book in question an inaccurate star rating, which is incredibly unhelpful to the general public.

In the same vein, if you visit AllRecipes.com and wish to review a recipe, you should make the recipe, taste it and decide if you liked or disliked the meal produced from the recipe.  You should not write a review of the recipe if you changed half of the ingredients.  You should not write a review if your own incompetence or ignorance as a cook caused severe problems with the recipe.  You should not write a review if you once tasted a recipe similar that your Great Aunt Miffy made ten years ago and you hated it, like, really, really hated it and no one wanted to eat it and it ruined Christmas.  Once again, these types of reviews only serve to muddy the waters of quality reviews.

If you have genuinely experienced the book, product or recipe that you wish to write about, by all means, review it.  The public has a right to know about the products they are considering devoting money, time and energy to.  However, if you are reviewing anything other than the book, product or recipe at hand, save your comments for a personal blog, your diary or conversation among friends, where they can be properly dissected and not affect the star/spoon/whatever rating that is supposed to indicate the quality of the product.

Thank you for your time.  Please reform your habits.

Sincerely,

Chelsea

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About Chelsea

"Hey, they say you're a natural. True or false?" "I just..." "Answer the question." "True, I guess." "Correct." -Ash and Kristofferson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) I allegedly have a way with words. I'm testing this theory. Right. Now. View all posts by Chelsea

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