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Testudo
So far, I've been writing reviews and managing to hold the remarks at a single type-written page (...so that the remarks don't quite fill an entire page when viewed in the database).

I've just written what I think is an informative and entertaining review but it comes to about three and a-half pages (over 2,000 words) - - a lot when compared to the length of my typical review remarks. My sensibilities tell me that it would be in bad taste to post remarks of this length but the alternative is gutting the review to the point of losing a lot of information and all of the enterainment value. As far as I know, the review software would accept the 2,000+ words but I'm wondering about pushing that envelope.

Since the review database is more of a numbers game, one alternative is to go terse on the database remarks and then just post the full review in the Forum. On the other hand, I always read the remarks to get a sense of where the reviewer is coming from since everyone assigns the numbers without any general guidelines.

Do you or anyone else have any suggestions or advice???
Webmaster
QUOTE(Testudo @ Apr 10 2008, 03:00 PM) *

So far, I've been writing reviews and managing to hold the remarks at a single type-written page (...so that the remarks don't quite fill an entire page when viewed in the database).

I've just written what I think is an informative and entertaining review but it comes to about three and a-half pages (over 2,000 words) - - a lot when compared to the length of my typical review remarks. My sensibilities tell me that it would be in bad taste to post remarks of this length but the alternative is gutting the review to the point of losing a lot of information and all of the enterainment value. As far as I know, the review software would accept the 2,000+ words but I'm wondering about pushing that envelope.

Since the review database is more of a numbers game, one alternative is to go terse on the database remarks and then just post the full review in the Forum. On the other hand, I always read the remarks to get a sense of where the reviewer is coming from since everyone assigns the numbers without any general guidelines.

Do you or anyone else have any suggestions or advice???


You can post as long of a review as needed.

As long as it's well written and informative, it will be activated as soon as the queue is processed.

If it's pages long, poorly written and would require me to edit it for 15 minutes before putting it on the site, or it's 2 pages of complaining about a park 5 different ways, you've posted 3 reviews and the other two say "Nice Park", don't look for it online anytime soon.

DXSMac
I tend to write lengthy reviews myself. I didn't think there was a limit, either, but I sent in a rather long one recently on a park I liked, and a few things got edited out of it! Made me wonder if I had hit a character limit, as none of my other reviews had been edited...... Even though I gave the park a good rating (7 or 8 I think....), I had mentioned that the park charged extra for 50 amp service, and that part got edited out. dry.gif Ok, in that same review, I also had a couple of "editorial opinion comments" on some things, and those got removed, ok, fine.....

My guess is...... try to stay factual without "emotion" words (and without "editorializing"). And, I guess..... try to state facts without rambling (which is a problem I have!!!!! ohmy.gif )

JJ
Testudo
Thanks for weighing in on this topic, "Webmaster" and "DSXMac"....

I think I kind of answered my own question by "airing" it in the forum. I decided I needed to do a re-write so as to cut out some of the details on which I based my decisions and the clever turn of phrases. Making so much light out of a bad situation (ie. being too sarcastic) would tend to bring my objectivity into question, I think. Too much detail information might actually tend to make me identifiable to the campground and result in retribution (since it seems the campground might be the corporate asset of a nationwide chain).

The review is kind of important to me since I feel that I was led astray by both the campground's marketing effort as well as by recent posters at RVPARKREVIEWS.com. Looking again, carefully, at the recent reviews upon which I made my decision to patronize the campground, I can't point to a vast conspiracy to defraud but the end result is that a few recent reviews were totally different than the campground I stayed at and now 'smell' like shills.

Essentially, the first draft of my review would have followed nine and ten star scores that more or less commented, "Nice park", and where I would have detailed, "...five ways", why it wasn't. I can get the 'glowing' reports from WOODALL's and the campground's own marketing efforts. I come to RVPARKREVIEWS.com for the _truth_. I hate the trashing of otherwise acceptible campgrounds for trivial reasons as much as anyone else.
Florida Native
I think the bottom line here is that when money is involved some of the slimeball types of owners (thank goodness a small %) are going to try to scam the system and post good ones on themselves and poor ones on their neighbors. It is almost impossible to stop and I think we just have to learn to read between the lines on both the good ones and the bad ones. I sure do. I also think that a lot of the bad campground owners, don't have enough sense to use the internet either. This helps. When I was in the lodging business before retirement, this was rampent and caused many problems. The owners of this site have tried to stop the BS and I salute them for that, but as readers we must read between the lines a little too. I would never read a 5 page review or even a 1 page review. We are on an extended trip (20 states so far) and I have been trying to review everywhere we stay (we used Wal-Mart a lot too).
Bud in Florida
I think it would be perfectly fine to post a concise review and then say if you want more information check out the forum. That would give the reader an option. I too have found some parks that get a great review, not quite as nice when I got there. I really like reviews that tell me why they rank a place as they do. I personally won't give a park a 10 unless it has sewer hook ups, but that is just me (and my wife!) Others really value lots of trees and could care less about sewers, but if I know that when I read the review I can make my own decision.
Florida Native
Bud, being from Florida myself, I haven't seen a tree in days in or out of a park. The campgrounds in parts of the west seem to all be gravel parking lots. I am in one right now in Southern WY and not only do I not see any trees in the park, I don't see any as far as I can see in any direction. We pretty much rate the park for the area. I think I maybe over rated one recently in the redwood forest as it was so pretty, it just took my breath away. The check in process and friendliness of the staff is very important to me in my rating, but others may not be so interested.
jan-n-john
I'm bringing this thread back to explore another aspect of guidelines. As I read reviews, and particularly when I visit parks based on the reviews, it becomes clear that the numerical rankings mean very different things to different reviewers, especially what should constitute a 9 or 10 grade. A similar problem arises when low ratings are given because of some unusual incident that is not likely to be repeated for other guests. Obviously there will always be limitations on the consistency of user reviews, but still one wonders whether some guidelines as to what should make a park a 3 or a 10 or whatever would be useful. I have seen parks given high ratings that just in no way, to me at least, should be given that rating, in view of the quality differences between them and the truly best parks out there.

Is there some way that guidelines could be created that would help us reviewers assign numerical scores that are more consistent and helpful to others making decisions about using a particular park, or is it just a non-starter?

DXSMac
I feel that even if the Webmaster tried to publish "guidelines" for numerical ratings, it would still be subjective. I don't think there is a solution here. People will rate what they will, that is what makes this site great. You have to take it all in consideration.

JJ
jan-n-john
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 12 2009, 08:38 PM) *

I feel that even if the Webmaster tried to publish "guidelines" for numerical ratings, it would still be subjective. I don't think there is a solution here. People will rate what they will, that is what makes this site great. You have to take it all in consideration.

JJ

I agree there would still be subjectivity in it, but I think there would be a bit more objectivity than now and to my mind, and in view of the fundamental purpose of the site, that would be a good and useful thing.
DXSMac
But the trouble is...... people will still interpret the "guidelines" very subjectively. For example, I'm boondocking right now at a dry camping state park. There is road noise, as the park is right next to I-80. But, I find the road noise somewhat "comforting" as I'm a solo. However, someone else may say the road noise is HORRIBLE.

JJ
jan-n-john
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 13 2009, 07:16 AM) *

But the trouble is...... people will still interpret the "guidelines" very subjectively. For example, I'm boondocking right now at a dry camping state park. There is road noise, as the park is right next to I-80. But, I find the road noise somewhat "comforting" as I'm a solo. However, someone else may say the road noise is HORRIBLE.

JJ

They will take the guidelines subjectively to some extent, but there could still be an improvement, ie the ratings could better communicate to a reader the quality of the park. For example, if the guidelines laid down certain objective criteria for assigning a 10, (and lesser levels), and a park didn't meet the criteria, then presumably no one would rate it a 10. It also would generally help people understand what a 10 means. An example. If it were me, I would say that to get a 10 a park must have paved sites, and at least half the sites must be pull-throughs. Another approach would be to set out several such criteria, and allow a park to miss only on a given number of them.

Nothing is perfect, but if we take the view that it can't be done we get nowhere. I believe the ratings could be improved. The other day I noticed a park that had three reviews; two 10's and a 1 (I wish I had bookmarked it). That clearly shows the craziness that can go on if there are no guidelines. C'mon, we can do better than that.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(jan-n-john @ Sep 16 2009, 10:40 PM) *
If it were me, I would say that to get a 10 a park must have paved sites



It's great if you like paved sites and feel that a park must have them in order to get a 10. The problem is that some campers think paved sites constitute a concrete jungle and therefore believe that such a park should only get 1's because of it.

QUOTE
C'mon, we can do better than that


It's not a matter of doing better. It's just a matter of reading the comments to get an idea of what the park is like, and then choosing parks that meet your ideal of what a park should be. For example if someone said they did not like a park because the sites were paved and gave it a 1, you should consider the park regardless of the rating because you like paved sites.

If you want a controlled rating system that assigns a point system to each characteristic and/or amenity and that tries to insure that every camper rates the same park just exactly alike, then we already have that. It's called Trailer Life or Woodalls.
Tom
QUOTE(jan-n-john @ Sep 16 2009, 08:40 PM) *

That clearly shows the craziness that can go on if there are no guidelines. C'mon, we can do better than that.


Well, what would your "guidelines" be? When I see campgrounds with 1s and 10s reviews, I read the reviews and can usually tell what's going on (personal conflict with manager, owner or friends of owners giving biased reviews, etc). The number rating gives a start point, the written review fills in the blanks. When I see a written review that consists of "Nice park" and nothing else, look at the reviewers other reviews... they probably wanted to reply about a certain park, and had to make a minimum number of reviews. Same with a "1" review... when I check other reviews, sometimes it turns out that reviewer seems to have impossibly high standards.

This is why it is important to give a good written portion of your review, try to be accurate to explain why you rated the campground as you did.

I enjoy reading the reviews, and find, after reading all (or most) of the reviews of a campground I can get a good idea of what I will find there.

This is the largest campground review site I have found, it seems to work pretty well. I am not sure how to improve it!

nicki
Texasrvers (and others) you hit the nail right on the head. Not everyone looks for the same thing in a campground. I have never really thought about or noticed, for example, paved vs. unpaved roads in a campground, but for some people they can make or break the camping experience, and THAT'S OK. The same goes for many other qualities. I can forgive a park for road noise, and possibly even give it a 9 or 10, IF it is located somewhere such as outside of New York City or other metropolitan area. Road noise in the middle of Montana--not so forgivable. It all depends on what kind of camping experience is expected, on that particular camping trip. That's why I think the comments are SO intriguing and valuable. In my opinion, no "solution" is necessary, as there is no problem, as long as the comments continue to be allowed and carefully thought out.
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