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Topic: Reviews that are not reviews

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Subject: Reviews that are not reviews
Date Posted: 5/6/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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I joined PBS several months ago and overall I've really enjoyed the experience.  I've browsed through some book titles and almost always come upon reviews that are merely copied and pasted summaries from, say, the back cover, Publishers Weekly, etc. This really annoys me because I'm interested in actual reviews, not a regurgitated plot summary. Why do people post summaries and not their own opinions of the book?

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I find that annoying too!  What you can do is vote "thumbs down" for that review.  Once enough thumbs down are gathered, I think that review goes away.  I think.

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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In the early days of PBS, there was no way to edit the book description. The only way people had to add the book summary to show what it was about was to put it in a review. Since the site now has the ability to change the book description they started to clean that up sometime towards the end of last year. The problem is that by the shear volumn of the books posted here, it cannot be done very quickly. There used to be a thread to post to pointing out reviews that were not reviews. You could try searching for that thread and when you come across one, report it so someone can go in and clean it up.

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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Two book reviewers worth reading are Dartha and Lester.  If you come across one of their posts go to their reviews and I think you'll have one enjoyable experience! =0) 

That reminds me.  I need to go write a review myself!

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 1,053
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I was going to agree with Melanie on this one.

When I first joined, the only way to get a description of the book was to put it in the review section (if it wasn't already included).  I know quite a few of mine got done this way, and they're still there.  Once the system changed, I tried to go back and edit them, but it glitches everytime I click edit on review.  I just can't access it to change it.

Now talking with PBS about it, the only conclusion they could come to would be to use a different browser (Firefox more specifically) to try to do that.  I honestly just didn't feel like messing with it that much.  Maybe another day when I have more time and can figure out how to get and use a new browser I'll do it, but until then, I just hope people overlook them.

 

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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There used to be a thread to post to pointing out reviews that were not reviews. You could try searching for that thread and when you come across one, report it so someone can go in and clean it up.

 

I've seen that thread a couple of times (and as a matter of fact as I post this it's on the "front page" again) and often wondered if it's worth the time to post.  I just checked a reported problem that is over six months old, and it hasn't been fixed.  With all the active people here, I would imagine they've already had offers from volunteers, but I seem to recall seeing something on another thread that they can't give "regular" people adequate permissions to fix things like that. 

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 2:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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Here's the current thread:

More reviews to clean up

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,749
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I've seen that thread a couple of times (and as a matter of fact as I post this it's on the "front page" again) and often wondered if it's worth the time to post.  I just checked a reported problem that is over six months old, and it hasn't been fixed.  With all the active people here, I would imagine they've already had offers from volunteers, but I seem to recall seeing something on another thread that they can't give "regular" people adequate permissions to fix things like that.

it's my understanding that the reviews don't get fixed, but as it gets thumbs-down votes, it moves it further down the page and eventually gets removed if it gets enough thumbs-down.  so if you see a non-review review (condition of book, back cover copy, etc), you may want to vote that it's not useful.  plus, if you want to post it to the review thread Patty provided the link for, others will see it and can also vote thumbs-down.  [i've got that thread as a watched topic so i can find it when i want it, or see when someone's posted something new.]

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 4:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2007
Posts: 831
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Also vote "thumbs up" on reviews that you find helpful.  This will help them move up the list, so that the less useful reviews move to the bottom of the list faster.  That also makes the reviews more useful, because if people rate the reviews, the best quality reviews end up at the top.

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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Thank you for your advice, everyone! I'm glad there's a way to sort of push the summaries-masquerading-as-reviews down the list. I can see where they would come in handy, particularly for those book titles that don't have their synopses provided by PBS. I've been using the 'thumbs down' option that many of you advised.