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How to make a review site succesfull?
Getting the first reviews
Kneek




msg:920440
 8:35 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking of beginning a site where people can add their own experiences on a certain subject. Assuming that people are interested in user experiences on this subject, would they also be inclined to write a review/experience article themselves?
I imagine that it's very hard to get the first load of reviews (when the site still is virtually 'empty'), which would be a problem especially when the subject of the site has many 'products' to be reviewed. What would be good ways to get people to add their own experiences?

 

Eltiti




msg:920441
 9:17 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Reward them --by giving them money, points, status, the possibility to win a prize, ..?!

Kneek




msg:920442
 10:44 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Eltiti.

Yes, rewarding them seems obvious, but the subject Iím targeting is very serious/'heavy' and it could be a bit inappropriate to give away prizes or something like that.

Also, I think people will add their experiences faster when they don't have to register and log in. But on the other hand they might come back more often when they do..

LifeinAsia




msg:920443
 10:50 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not requiring registration also decreases the believability/reliability of your reviews, as anyone can leave reviews without any accountability.

The same person can write 10 negative reviews under different names. If the same person has 10 register 10 different times, it's less likely that he'll bother spamming your reviews.

Rosalind




msg:920444
 11:40 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

User-contributed review sites have a lot of issues with reliability, trust, writing quality, libel, and copyright. Salespeople will write about their own products. Reviewers will cut and paste reviews (their own or someone else's) from other sites, so you get duplicate content. Some people write the minimum necessary, whilst others will go on for pages.

If you decide to reward reviewers or institute a reputation system, some people will attempt to abuse it. So if you want to offer money as an incentive, be aware of these issues and plan accordingly.

Syzygy




msg:920445
 8:01 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I imagine that it's very hard to get the first load of reviews...

Ever bought issue Number One of a new magazine and wondered how they manage to have a "letters to the editor" type of section, maybe even a readers "problem page", or similar?

How & why?

Easy; they create this content themselves in a style that suits the magazine and the target audience in order to encourage readers to contribute their own...

Similarly, the publishers may ask friends and family to contribute such material in these early stages. Again, the purpose is two-fold:

1) to provide actual content, and,

2) to provide the audience with clear examples of the type of content that suits the vehicle (magazine/website, etc).

Hope that makes sense.

Syzygy

deliriumtremens




msg:920446
 10:06 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why not try a combination of registration and not-registered?

People who are registered get to post their reviews straight away, non-registered people have to have their reviews approved before they go live.

Lets people review without registering if they want to (impulse reviewers), keeps a hold on spam and yet encourages repeat visitors with the "status" of membership.

Kneek




msg:920447
 4:24 pm on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

they create this content themselves in a style that suits the magazine and the target audience in order to encourage readers to contribute their own

Syzygy, normally that would be the easiest thing to do, but the topic I have chosen is hard to write about because not a lot of people I know (and me neither) have had actual experiences on the subject. However, I could try to get in contact with some people through the internet and just ask them to write about their experiences.

Why not try a combination of registration and not-registered?

Deliriumtremens, that's a very good idea, I think I should go with that one.

I also have another question. In the future I'd maybe like to make more of the same sites on different subjects. Would it be best to have 1 domain name for all of these subjects, like subject1.experience.com, subject2.experience.com, etc. Or would it be better to just have www.subject1-experience.com, www.subject2-experience.com, www.experience-subject3.com, etc?

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