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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am considering adding on a new feature to HobbyTalk for posting of reviews by members. For R/Cers it could be reviews of different products, for modelers it could be kits or even accessories such as light kits, for Diecast collectors it could single cars or even series’ and of course for our slot car fans they could review cars, track add-ons and hop-ups.

When you post a review you can include a picture, write a short review, give the pros and cons and rate it from 1 to 10. Then other members can add their own opinions, pros and cons and rate it. An over all rating is given that combines all of the rating given by those that posted.

What I want to know is if this feature would be of interest to you and if you would use it, not only to read about items but to post your own reviews? Let me know!
 

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Silent but Deadly
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In diecasts, where there are so many factors that do or don't please all the folks who read, it might be hard to actually get a fair review without bias based on personal preferences, which may appear unfair to others and eventually leading to disagreements on the subject. The JL board is pock-marked with mini-reviews.

To be accurate, an observation on a product should be unweighted by biased opinions or grudges against said product, or the company that makes the item. And then, there will always be the next person in line who asks "well, what makes you such an expert".

It will be interesting if this comes to pass, and I will read with an open mind.

:)
 

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Have to agree... Maybe the first few folks would set the criteria for the reviews in the future? Hank, maybe a post on what attributes should be reviewed for each type of product would be good. You would get input and then have a standard list of attributes with a 1 to 10 scale for each including an overall impression score?
 

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thats a great idea for a forum,,,,,,,,,good thinking
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback... keep it coming. As far as people giving unbiased opinions, that will never happen from "common" people and rarely happens with professional reviewers. Reviews are by nature, personal opinions, and IMHO, trying to sanitize them is the wrong thing to do.

How many times in a magazine do you really see a bad review of a product? Hardly ever and the reason for that is the fear of loss of advertising $$$$. IMHO, that does nothing for the end user and actually hurts them.

With the review system I am looking at, someone can review and rate a product then others can add their own review to that one. In this way we get a huge cross section of personal opinions and in the end it evens out.
 

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hank,
you can count on me to write a few reviews of some R/C equipment, if you do decide to go forewards w/ a section for reviews!!

i vote - MAKE A REVIEWS section...

-Tone
 

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Hank


To be honest, I'm not for it. I think some boards begin to get too watered down with too many forums. At first I thought it was a great idea to start a slots only and Toppers/oldies only forum. I went to these and tried posting because I enjoy them. Now they have become almost forgotten to me. I really enjoyed it when they were still part of the JL die-cast forum and would change my mind and bring them back to the fold. I think Toppers, slots and opinions should all come back or stay on the JL boards to at least keep it from becomming a WL only or gripe session. When those topics were posted on the JL site I loved the interaction but to have to go to those forums for those topics only in time kinda made me forget about them.

Instead of making another forum, I prefer to close/combine some of them. I respect the idea and the concept but in my opinion, I will not go over to another forum to post my opinion or review and prefer to keep it at one place to keep the topics more fresh and move the old stuff out of the way.

Thanks for the chance to view my opinion.

Mark Hosaflook
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I enjoy the feedback from all since the only way I know if something will be useful and/or helpful is from feedback.

While the line you have to walk when creating new forums is just how much is too much in any one forum and how many are too many? Normally I look at it in a couple of ways. One is if there is a natural division that can be made and second is the amount of traffic. What happens if there is too much traffic within a forum is that a single days postings do not fit on the first page. If that happens, the number of people that visit the 2nd (or 3rd) page drops about 90% from the first page and you end up getting into a "bumping" contest to see who can keep their favorite topic on the first page.

I am very against using "stickies" unless it is for very important information, such as the fest info here. I try to make sitewide announcements if there is info that should be of interest to most of HobbyTalk's members, but as we see very few people read them. This is disappointing as this info may be of vital importance to members and not reading them may leave you in the dark one day...

Anyways, back to the subject. I feel reviews located in one place is a very good resource, not only for members, but for geneal visitors. Only about 25% of our visitors are actually members and only about 10% are active. The review area wouldn't be another forum, but custom designed software just for the posting of reviews.

Below is a link to one such example. While not very active it will give you an idea of how it could work. Look at a few of the items that have a number of reviews in them to give you a feel of how it could work.
http://www.viperalley.com/viperrev/index.php

Keep the feedback coming at http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=87916 so you can see what others are saying and put in your 2 cents worth. We can't make a half-way intellegent decision without your input.
 

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I'm intreagued after viewing the viper review example you provided.

How do products/categories get added?

How will it be moderated?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would most likely ask each area what general categories to have. A number of options come to mind and each "hobby" on HobbyTalk may have different needs.

The RC review area could have categories such as On-road Kits, Off-road Kits, Radios and ESCs plus an Accessories topic. Maybe the Diecast would want to have categories by manufacturer and Modelers would want them by genre (scifi, monster, cars, aircraft, etc.). None of this is set yet and I would ask for input on this as only you know what would be best for your area.

Products get entered by members. The first person to do a review of an product creates the product listing. At this time I have no intentions of moderating the reviews. The normal HobbyTalk TOS will apply (with appropiate actions taken if need be) and as always, we do not edit to only let good posts (in this case reviews) be posted. If we allowed only good reviews the whole review process is pretty much worthless.
 

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Hello,
I 've been thinking about your ideas and read your responses to the inquiries. I half agree with Markos on the fact that when I returned to Hobby talk, I left the JL die-cast board for some off the same reasons discussed--not because I was tired of the squabbling or the WL craze, it was because JL released my first priority in hobbies which is slot cars and a new board was started. I still collect some die-cast but with no manufacturer preference and no direction or purpose other than a certain item appeals to me. I figured it was the wrong place to blend my off-the-wall DC collecting style with the hard core JL collectors as it was for slots. I have considered getting on the general DC collecting forum, though.

I have a whole new board just for slot cars--but I can't intermix with the friends I made on the JL DC board because of this division, so I'm torn between that issue. I do agree that too much will weaken any forum so a division might be in order, but I think this place has more than enough forums now. I browse the models forums, DC forums and even check the computer section --but not once the RC forums because that I have zero interest in and that's the biggest part of Hobby Talk.
Now for a members review area for slots--I don't think we need it or would use it. One reason is a lot of guys buy/fiddle with used stuff like old Aurora and Tyco--not easy or near impossible to review--another is that new product doesn't come along that often and when it does it may be specified to one phase of the hobby-such as racing--limiting the amount of reviews. We also have a lot of body makers and NO-one will diss them, so all the reviews will be biased. We have a few dealers that regularly keep us informed of new releases, but not enough to sustain a new forum. I don't think it would see or have much use over there. I would rather see something done about the swap and sell section upgrade which had that sticky sitting on top of the thread which was recently removed. I had posted my opinion on that over three months ago and have yet to hear anything see anymore about it..
Thank you for opportunity to voice my opinion.

Cheers...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Boss9.... Yeah... I deleted that today during some cleanup. I am not sure how well the Swap and Sell area will work for areas other then the Rc area. BTW, the traffic here is pretty much split in 1/3 between RC, Diecast (lumping Slots in here) and Models. Maybe I'll pop another question over on the Slots area again and see if I can get some more feedback.
 

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Hank,
I really appreciate your fast response but you didn't get into the issue or the reasons for deciding not to try a new S&S. You said you deleted the sticky today while you were cleaning up You also said you didn't know how well it would work. Surely the responses to that would warrant a try--don't you think? What was your final thought to decide and cancel it? If one third of the forums worked well with it why not try the other two? I think the die-cast guys would love it. The percentage of viewers you mentioned means little to me with the slot cars grouped with the die-cast. Why would you do that since they are a completely different product and split from the JL DC board? Give me the numbers with them as a separate division or not included at all if the percentage of that forum is so minute. I'm guessing it would be lopsided with the RC forum being the heavyweight. On a side note, I never knew how big RC'ing really was. What I got from your response seems like a shrug-off with no input to my opinions--and the same with the other reply about the Review section that you'll post a note for other response--no ifs ands or buts. Please, I'm not trying to be rude, just curious as to what you make of my remarks--if anything at all. I mentioned that I appreciated you allowing me to voice my opinions but if that's all I get I might as well be "watering the flowers" in the wind.
Thanks again and goodnight.

Cheers...
 

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Hello from the slot car board!

Growing up in the 60's I remember the track tests from Car Model magazine by guys like Howard Kilgore and Dale Flannigan, those are the types of reviews I would be interested in. Some of the reviews I have seen on the BB were nothing more then seeing how many faults you could find with a new car. Most of the "faults" were nothing more then production tolerances that are in all toys. The reviewers seem to forget these are relatively inexpensive toys, not high dollar tight tolerance racers. Honestly I think there are too many "experts" out there and they all want us to think the same way they do.

I don't mind the posts about a new car someone recently received because it lets me know what is new out there.
If the review is OBJECTIVE describing a new car, colors available, packaging, improvements from the last issue, etc... I'm for it.

MOO

Marty
 

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At the beginning of each review there should be an automatically inserted note stating that "the opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer and may or may not be accurate to the subjective experiences of other reviewers." (Well, maybe you should word it in a bit less nerdy fashion :freak: )

I think the more input and information, even if it occasionally contains factually wrong or intentionally misleading information, will, after many people have had their say, give a general idea of a product. Those who may be inclined to misunderstand certain aspects or intents of a product as well as those who purposely deride a product will be quickly recognized for their weaknesses and rightfully ignored.
 

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Hank
In the oval section we kinda already have a section like the "Oval Racing Product Support" so I think we are covered in our area, but in the other forums they may need something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
boss9, Actually, while the new Swap and Sell software has been used by the RC area for awhile, it really has had less then a warm welcome. Why I will never know as the advantages of using it over a forum setup are many.

We then have to look at the photo album. This is another area that has had very little use. How little you may ask? Less then 1000 page views per day. Again, I'll never know why people don't use it more.

We next look at the main HobbyTalk pages. While the vast majority is RC related, there are over 2000 pages of information there... guess what, very few use it and would rather ask a question in the forums that is already covered by an article in our main area. We have had a spike the past couple weeks, but that is mainly due to the magazine article that came out this month.

So in the end, having information that is not located within the HobbyTalk forums itself get little or no use from our members. Each of these extra software programs cost a yearly upgrade fee and at this point I'm not sure the use of it warrents the extra costs. Many members have helped support us through our HobbyTalk Supporter program... these added extras were to give them something back. But if it's going to be used by so few, maybe there is a better way to use the Supporter fees.

I go back and forth on this a lot, I want so bad for these extra features to get the use they deserve. This is not meant to be disrespectful of anyone, but sometimes I think if you don't spoonfeed people, put things in front of their noses, they don't have the ambition to even click one extra link.

Anyways, enough of my whining. I'll be moving the RC Swap and Sell area back to the forums and most likely delete the new Swap area. Since I can only base a seperate Reviews area on past seperate areas, I most likely will put a dedicated Reviews area on hold.

Thanks for everyone's feedback and emails. They got me to thinking and to come to a decision.
 
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