Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
/ About Me / Half-time Remote DevOps/Systems Engineer for $40,000 /

On Reviews

4/5 - Blonde hair is nice. Not washed often enough. Blue eyes charming. Intelligent. Unique. Could lose a bit of weight. Stable in career, bad about day to day chores. Would date again.

So why review?

  • You help keep other people from making the same mistakes, helping encourage them to not go for it, moulding the market towards your tastes. Same goes in the reverse.
  • Because you're angry and you want to rant for relief.
  • If you don't review your noisy, crappy lawnmower, your neighbor may buy one and you'll get to listen to it every other Saturday.
  • You can use your infinite wisdom as a user who didn't read the manual, to bash a team of engineers who might have made a mistake.

Why not review?

  • It costs time. Of all of the things I've ever owned, time has to be the most precious.
  • You don't directly get anything out of it. Or generally, you likely shouldn't.
  • You might offend someone who was involved with the thing you are reviewing.
  • You might be reviewing something that will indirectly come back to get you. Let's say that you work at company A and review it after you leave. Company A sucks, you say. You join Company B. Company B needs Company A's services. Awkward.
  • Who cares what you think? (This is a serious question and is another topic)
  • Someone else probably (not always) reviewed it in better words with the same concerns addressed.
  • It likely won't directly benefit you. The indirect benefits will be probably be minor.
  • There's a good chance you're angry when you do it and your review will have a strong emotional slant.
  • If it's a positive review, you'll probably give it 5/5 which is almost always dishonest.

On that note, what about ratings?

Lyft and Uber especially emphasize on super fanatical ratings. I can understand expecting a lot from your drivers to ensure a good customer experience, but the truth is that at Lyft, a 3/5 ride is generally rated as a 5/5. I think it hurts the really good drivers from getting the ratings they deserve. And the crappier drivers tend to only feel it on 4/5 ratings. Average/met your expectations is 2.5/5, period. Unless otherwise stated that the scale is different. Your rating average should be 2.5/5.

On Lyft, I have had many excellent rides. A good number of them genuinely are 5/5. Most are 3/5. Some have been 1/5. But for me, the average is higher than 2.5/5, which makes me a pretty happy customer.

I think this makes things even more confusing on Amazon. 3/5 starred product? It must suck! A 2.5/5 star product should be completely sufficient. 5/5 should be mind-blowing for what it is. I think what further makes things difficult is that even when being honest, people have different scales. And people more likely to write negative or positive reviews also likely have different scales. People will also position themselves around things which appeal to them, which I suppose would raise the honest review average a bit.

And that's all I have for now. It's a lot easier to type on a keyboard than a manual typewriter. On these rubber domes I can type so fast that I easily write endless words of fluff. Quantity over quality!

I'll try to remember that adding more nonsense to the pool makes it all worse. A few good words are more valuable than a dozen of less.




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