QUOTE(RLM @ Mar 9 2009, 01:01 AM)
Correct me if I am wrong
OK, you left yourself open
. Actually you have made some very valid points. Here are my thoughts.
I suspect that the “Family Friendly” and “Pet Friendly” selections are now supremely obsolete.
Not entirely, but I do think they could use a little clarification. There are many parks that do not allow kids. The 55+ parks for example. (Let's not get into a debate again over whether these are right or wrong. Right now I'm just stating the fact that they exist.) There are also parks that may allow or even welcome kids but which do not have a pool, playground equipment, or activities for children. These might not be considered "family friendly," but they are not really family UNfriendly either. I think the term could be modified to "Provides playground equipment/children's activities"--something along that line.
"Pet friendly" is just about the same thing. Some places do not allow pets, and even when they do their facilities may not be very accommodating. Other places go all out with enclosed pet runs and exercise equipment. Perhaps this could simply be "Pets Allowed," and then let the reviewer comment on the quality if they feel a need to.
Shade Trees" might be questionable even if we all agreed on what the defination of shade was.
I agree. This is a very subjective call. I think it is nice to know if there is some shade available, but I'm not sure how to achieve a standardized answer.
"Tent's are allowed." So what the heck does that mean?? Rarely, do I ever see someone comment on the qualifty of a tent site.
Lots of places allow people to camp in tents (KOA's come to mind), while others (like the upscale resorts) do not allow tents or even screen rooms. I think there are still many tent campers out there. I also think that sometimes the older folks sleep in the RV, and they set up tents for the kids. Some places don't allow this. You must have a separate site for the tents. But you are right there are not many reviews for tent sites. Still I think this is one to keep.
The Big Rig friendly question should not be answered by anyone who doesn’t own one because you don’t have any idea of the many, many variables that make it so.
I have always viewed places from a big rig point of view, so it is hard for me to say if I would still do so if I had a smaller RV. We all tend to consider only those things which affect our situation, so I agree with you somewhat on this. People can usually determine if sites are long enough to accommodate big rigs, but narrow streets, tight turns, and low branches might not be noticed. However, if you look at what they camped in you can get an idea if they considered these things. Most motorhomes and 5th wheels are big and high profile even if they are not technically a big rig. People who have these kinds of RV might be more prone to notice big rig needs. (By the way what is the standard for a big rig. When we had our 35' motorhome we were not always put in big rig sites. Now that we are 37' we almost always get one without even asking.)
Perhaps the section where we check the “radio buttons” should be expanded to include such choices as utility status, TV and satellite coverage, cell coverage, size of the site, level, access roads in and out, value for the price, expectations met, etc.. I’m not running the website, but these suggestions seem logical…. if for no other reason to “reduce the screen real estate”, minimize the emotional reviews, and update the default values into what is current today.
I agree that some of this needs to be modernized a bit, and adding a few more basic check off items would be good, too. However, I really do believe it is the comment section that makes this site good. Don't forget that you can get all the basic information about the park from any of the campsite directories that are out there, but they do not tell you about the atmosphere of the park, or about how friendly the staff and residents are; is there a party going on all the time; is there a railroad track 10' away. These are things that come out in a reviewer's comments. Yes, these do tend to get emotional, and unfortunately a park is sometimes rated low for a bad incident (at least in the reviewer's mind) when the facilities are just fine. That is the nature of the beast, and I don't think there is ever anything that can be done to keep people from doing this. I guess the webmaster could read and edit every review to his liking, but then I don't think many members would like that either.
We’ve had this discussion before, and I’m beginning to wonder if the web administrators are paying attention to legitimate concerns.
I'm sure the webmaster considers all concerns. I'm just not sure if he considers all concerns to be legitimate. (This is me speaking--not him.) I have seen many changes to this website over the years, and many of those changes came from members' suggestions. For instance someone mentioned that it was very cumbersome to have to scroll through all the reviews for a particular park just to get to the next park, and he/she wanted the WM to eliminate all the old reviews. Someone else spoke up and said they liked having the older reviews so that they could determine a pattern of service for the park. That's when the WM added the drop down menu to display/hide older reviews. That was a good solution for both sides of the issue. I also think that when I first joined the newer reviews were posted at the bottom of the list. Someone suggested that it would be better to have the newer reviews displayed first to again avoid all the scrolling so the WM reversed the order. So I think he does pay attention, and does change things when they are for the better. It's just that sometimes our ideas of "better" are not always in agreement.
Regardless of their present system, my most valued resource for accuracy is to click on the link for a poster’s previous reviews. If those are consistent, then I can trust your judgment.
At least we can end in agreement. This is one of the best features that has ever been added. And just so you know this is another one that came out of a suggestion/discussion that the webmaster listened to.