Meta: on writing reviews

May 5, 2006

This rant has been brewing for over a month, but was finally triggered when I went over to Amazon earlier this week to look at reviews for an html reference book. So when I went back to writing prose rather than html yesterday, the word count was 1700 words of rant instead of shapeshifter smut. :-)

On writing reviews…

We’ve all seen them on Amazon. The one line reviews that say “This book sucked!” or “This book is great!”. They’re not very helpful, and one of the reasons they’re not very helpful is that they don’t tell you _why_ the book sucked or was great. You have no way of knowing whether that person’s tastes match yours, and hence whether you can trust their opinion to reflect what you’d think of the book.

Read more: The job of the reviewer isn’t to say whether she liked or disliked the book….


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