"experience" Vs. "review"

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by gwbischoff, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. gwbischoff

    gwbischoff
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    After reading a wide variety of campground "reviews" I was hoping to get a consensus on what constitutes a review.

    If you had a noisy neighbor, or if the weather was lousy, that was your experience. That's not necessarily the park's fault.

    If your noisy neighbor is a full time resident. That is useful.

    If the park is split by a railroad line, near a nuclear facility or is located within 100 yards of Paris Hilton, *that* should influence your review.

    I read so many that seem to be influenced by bad weather. If you want to include it in your comments, that's fine. Or if you've gone to the same park 157 times in July and it has snowed every time, that's fine too.

    Review the park, folks.
     
  2. Texasrvers

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    Your concern over "review" or "experience" is valid and has been touched on many times in this forum. So that I don't repeat what has already been said I would suggest you read a thread that is under the RV Park Discussion forum. It is titled "Review Comments" and was posted in Sept. 2007. It discusses some of what you mention so you might find it interesting and want to add your comments. There was also some discussion about the difference between "campgrounds" and "RV parks" and how the type of experience you want to have will affect your review of the campground/park. I couldn't find where those posts are, but I remember participating in them. They may be in the thread I already mentioned, but I didn't see the ones I was looking for. Hope this gives you some fuel for your thoughts.
     
  3. Texasrvers

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    OOPS--that date in my last post should have been March 2007. I haven't mastered seeing into the future--yet. Actually I had looked at several threads trying to find the one I wanted to mention, and I got confused when it came time to write the date. Sorry.
     
  4. Big Ben

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    gwbischoff, you bring up some valid points. But I think the vast majority of reviews do not use this forum. If they did you would see a lot better reviews more to the point, instead of rambling on about thing like the weather.
     
  5. Webmaster

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    QUOTE(Big Ben @ Jun 27 2007, 06:10 PM) [snapback]7484[/snapback]

    gwbischoff, you bring up some valid points. But I think the vast majority of reviews do not use this forum. If they did you would see a lot better reviews more to the point, instead of rambling on about thing like the weather.




    I could try to put even more into the review form text asking people to post a proper review, but they don't read any of the stuff that's their anyway, like "Write complete sentences", "Use proper case and punctuation.", and that spell check button, I guess it must be invisible in most browsers or something. :)

    I will try to come up with something.
     
  6. gwbischoff

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    Thanks for pointing that thread out.

    You guys seemed to have covered the subject pretty well.
     
  7. bonscott

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    I'll have to find that thread. I thought it pretty odd to see a recent review of a park that got a 4 out of 10. But all the "review" was, was complaining that there were too many trees and they couldn't get a satellite signal. No info on the park other then they couldn't watch their TV because of trees. Come on, that's just nuts.
     
  8. Texasrvers

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    Webmaster,

    You do so much already, and it really is appreciated. As for trying to put more into the review form text you already said it: some reviewers don’t read the stuff that is already there. And I doubt that will change. Some people will follow the rules and some others never will regardless of how much you try to guide them.

    I think both the instructions and the review form are good. The form covers the basics and then reviewers can add whatever comments they want. It is frustrating when a place is slammed due to an experience (too hot, rained all day) rather than the quality of the park. But I say again (for about the tenth time now) the type of experience you want to have will affect your review of the campground/park. If you are a “camper” looking for a natural wooded site that allows fires, etc. you are probably not going to appreciate a well manicured cement pad/patio site that does not allow fires, etc. (and vice versa) Unfortunately when some people do not get the type of experience they want they will slam the park even though it may be a very desirable place to others. I, too, have my preferences, but I try to be fair to the park even when my “experience” wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d like. That is why comments are important. It gives us a chance to say why we gave a particular rating, and then others can decide if that would make a difference to them.

    Again thanks for your attention to this site and your on-going desire to improve it.
     
  9. gwbischoff

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    QUOTE(bonscott @ Jun 28 2007, 08:30 AM) [snapback]7488[/snapback]

    I'll have to find that thread. I thought it pretty odd to see a recent review of a park that got a 4 out of 10. But all the "review" was, was complaining that there were too many trees and they couldn't get a satellite signal. No info on the park other then they couldn't watch their TV because of trees. Come on, that's just nuts.



    Actually, I'm ok with that as long as you explain that having a park with a lot of trees and it screwing with your satellite picture is important to you. That does let others who that is important to, know it.

    The "My neighbor was noisy" or "it rained the entire time we were there" really get me.
     
  10. Jerry S

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    For those of you interested in this topic, the thread refered to by Texasrvrs is currently at the end of page 3 of this section of the forum. During those discussions, I suggested that adding a checkbox for type of park (campground, rv park, rv resort, or other) with a brief description of each might be helpful. The webmaster, who has recived much (but not enough) deserved praise, could consider this if he/she decides to make any changes to the review section.
     
  11. Texasrvers

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    Hey Jerry,

    I was wondering when you would jump in on this since you contributed so much to the other thread I mentioned. I'm glad you found it, and thanks for reporting where to find it. I like your suggestion about having a check box to indicated the type of place it is. I'm just afraid that some places would not be definitely one or the other, and then reviewers would have a hard time making a decision how to classify them. But it might work, and if so it would be helpful for those people who do like a particular type of park.
     
  12. RLM

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    For those of us who are full time or extended travelers, a good review process is the difference between a pleasant or not so pleasant stay. It is also a money issue in that we don’t want to pay for the substandard.

    The list associated with submitting a review here is thorough, but most of that generic info can be obtained from a CG directory. What I want to know are the details of what’s on the list. A reviewer must use adjectives and adverbs to accomplish that. As an example, ‘excellent’ voltage and water pressure, “lots of” cable channels, ‘free’ wi-fi with ‘strong’ signals, ‘wide’ pull-thrus, etc.

    Another method for getting enough detailed information is for the separately listed items in the review process to have some discriminators. Example: Cable TV – Yes/ No/ Good/ Fair/ Poor. Wi-Fi – None/Pay for Use/Free/Strong signal/Weak signal. 50 Amp – High voltage/Low voltage. That’s a Webmaster issue.

    A reviewer’s experience factors into my decision process unless someone whose only objective is to vent frustration does it in a negative way. I can discern the useful stuff from the garbage.

    Perhaps a rating for the reviewer is appropriate. One website I use has a block to check that indicates, “This review was helpful.” That could be factored into a rating system for those who submit reviews. Again that’s a Webmaster issue.

    I think we are preaching to each other’s choir. Gwbischoff hopes for a consensus, but that’s not going to happen due to our differing expectations of a campground. The best we can achieve is to continue to do the reviews in a professional manner so as to set a higher standard.

    Webmaster, in addition to your instructions on submitting a review, I would respectfully suggest that it might be helpful for reviewers to be able to read what a good one looks like. Pick one or two and display them prominently.
     
  13. Texasrvers

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    RLM,

    I agree. The value of a review is in the details, and adding descriptors to the form might help. But I’m afraid if we get too specific many people would not have the patience to fill out this longer form.

    I am definitely a “detail” person. (That is why my posts are usually too long, but I want to say it all.) And believe it or not I have already been following your suggestion. I copied the basic review form used on this site, but then I added several more check boxes for just my use. For example under “Cable TV” I have the usual Yes or No, but I added “Free or $; Channels: Few or Lots; and Reception: Good or Poor.” I also added sections not on the basic form. So now I have a section titled ”Sites” with descriptors like “Width; Level; Paved Gravel Grass Dirt; Patio; Grill; Fire pit; Shaded; Distance to next site.” When we are at a campground I take a minute to check off the form. I usually don’t post reviews until we get home from a trip, and after we’ve stayed at several places they all start to run together after a few weeks, so these sheets really help when I start to make my comments. This is probably overkill, but I also try to take a photo or two. This is not so much for the review (although they have come in handy when I am trying to remember specifics) as it is for helping us remember what a place looked like if we plan to be in the area again.

    I like going into this much detail, but I’m afraid it would really turn off a lot of people who do not want to spend that much time writing a review. Hopefully there is a happy medium for the form, and then reviewers can add as much or as little as they want in the comments.
     
  14. BBear

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    I don't mind a reviewer mentioning noisy neighbors if they complained to management of the park and they did nothing about it. And, I don't mind a reviewer mentioning bad weather if they're trying to get across for example how good or bad the drainage system is at the park...but to just mention noisy neighbors and bad weather and not going into detail to me is a waste.

    I would never give a campground a low rating just because of one thing being wrong...what I do is I have my own rating system of 10 things that are most important to me that a park either have or don't have and then I start marking off if they do or do not have these things and what number I have left starting off from 10 is the mark I give the park.

    I've never had a perfect 10 park and I've never had a park that has been below a 5...most are all in between.
     
  15. RLM

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    TexasRvers> I firmly believe that the purpose of this site is to help fellow Rvers pick a CG that they can be comfortable with and know that they spent their money wisely. It is most effective with more, not less, information. Each of us has a personal filter mechanism to weed out the junk and make that happen as we read the reviews.

    The review system might need some enhancements, but until those are put in place, by a majority of opinion and with consent from the Webmaster, I can live with “experiences.”

    It is an impossible endeavor to please everyone all of the time. We would be second guessing ourselves in every review. So please keep doing what you are doing.
     
  16. Texasrvers

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    RLM, You can always count on me to write reviews with lots of details.

    BBear, I agree with you. There are times when "experiences" can be relevant in a review. I have read reviews that mention things that are beyond the campground's control, but they still would affect your stay. Case in point: There is a very nice resort type place in Las Vegas that has had some on-going construction very close to it creating lots of noise. Of course the park didn't ask for this and they can't control it, but I am glad that reviewers mentioned it so that I can avoid this park while this is happening. As you pointed out these types of experiences are different from just "it rained and spoiled our weekend." Unfortunately some people cannot tell the difference or they forget to mention how the experience is related to the quality of the park.

    Also I am interested in the 10 things you look for in a park. Care to share?
     
  17. wmah

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    What BBear said is what I think about the it rained the whole time.

    I'll add a little detail to this. Years ago we were tent camping at a campground near DULUTH MN. It was raining the first night and our original site was in a low spot which ended up flooding up to the tents but not in them but very close and the puddle took for ever to dry up but we switched site before that anyways to a higher site. That campground had no problem with that and all went good from there.

    I'd write a review of this place but this experience was more than 10 years ago and things could be different there now for better or worse but most likley are the same and someday I will go back there only because we did have a good time there. I can't even remember what time of the year it was.

    I have written a couple reviews already stating that even with the rain the site were not full of puddles. Another point I like to make is how accessible the showers are for wheelchair users and if the sites are good for wheelchairs. I don't use one but my friend does and that is something important to us. There are still a lot of places that havn't made changes to accomadate wheelchairs.

    One place we stayed at was bad for wheelchairs to just move around on cause they use decoritive rock for the sites and not gravel which was alright for water drainage but trying to move even a power chair needed a pull to move it but other than that the place was good for most everyone else. and their showers were less then ideal for a wheelchair.
     
  18. Texasrvers

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    I think it is human nature to emphasize the aspects of a park that we are most interested in and forget about things that are not important to us. We do not travel with children and as a result I tend not to mention playgrounds in my reviews. After all we are not professional reviewers so even the best of us will tend to be a little biased toward our personal needs and likes. It is good you mention wheelchair access. While most people do not need this amenity I'm sure your reviews are very valuable for those that do.
     
  19. BBear

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    QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Jun 30 2007, 11:52 AM) [snapback]7515[/snapback]

    Also I am interested in the 10 things you look for in a park. Care to share?



    The 10 things I look for are: (1)Treatment by the staff (2)Overall appearance of the entire campground (3)Security (4)Appearance of campsite (5)Size of campsite (6)Roads and access conditions (7)Amenities of the campground (8)Restroom conditions (9)How the campground enforces their own policies and rules (10) Beyond or Below expectations...meaning was there something about this campground that made it better than expected or worse than expected.
     
  20. Texasrvers

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    BBear,

    Good list. Covers everything. I had not really thought about #10 and I haven't given enough consideration to #3 and #9 in the past. I suppose that if there had really been a problem in these areas I would have noticed. I'm going to add them to my checklist. Thanks.
     

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