Collaborative Reviews

by Amanie Mar 26, 2007 fileunderFound in Home

A collaborative review is a collection of pros and cons about a product submitted by and voted on by the ProductWiki community. The result is a comprehensive review that takes many people's opinions into account and highlights the most important aspects of a product.

How it Works

A collaborative review is made up of 2 things - statements and votes. Community members submit and vote on statements. Some examples of statements include "Low battery life", "More durable than its competition", and "Very large 3 in. LCD screen."  If you have an opinion about a statement, you can choose to agree thumbup or disagree thumbdown with it, and, with each vote cast, the review becomes more reliable.

Statements are broken up into pros and cons, making it easy to see what's good and bad about a product.

To see the history of a review, who voted, and how they voted, click on the "see how they voted" link. If you're interested in how one person in particular reviewed a product, you can filter filter on that person.

Here's a short video to give you a working demonstration:

Why it's great

The collaborative review is ProductWiki's answer to the problem of reading and writing product reviews on the Internet. Instead of having to painstakingly go through opinions expressed across multiple reviews, the collaborative review creates ONE authoritative review that incorporates everyone's opinion in an efficient and elegant manner. The more reviewers there are, the more reliable the review becomes. Even a review that with only one contributor is useful, so don't be afraid to be the first!


Here are a few guidelines to follow when submitting a statement:

  • Limit one statement to be ONE opinion about ONE aspect. Examples: 
    • Good - the metallic casing makes it solid and reliable. 
    • Bad - the color is ugly and it has a bad interface, and the batteries run out quickly.
  • Classify the statement as being a pro (a GOOD point about the product), or a con (a BAD point about the product).
  • Don't automatically add a pro or con, instead look at what already exists and see if what you'd like to say is already covered. If so, then simply agree or disagree; there's no extra benefit for adding a statement.
  • Don't add statements that are just a rewording of other statements, or a combination of other statements. If the point you'd like to make doesn't exist, then submit it.
  • If a statement you'd like to make already exists but it's listed as a pro, and you think it's a con, then disagree with the pro, and add a new statement in the con list.

While statements and votes submitted by users with direct experience with the product are valuable, just because you don't own a product doesn't mean you can't contribute. You can extract pros and cons from reading other people's reviews on the web. If you do this, it's good practice to add a link to their review on that product page for both proof and credit to the original author. Also, if an aspect of the product is inherently obvious, you can submit the statement without direct experience. For example, if a laptop weighs 10 pounds, it would be reasonable to submit  a con statement like "Extremely heavy." without every owning or using the laptop.


1.  avatar ThaiMagic53 said:

I have what I think is a very valid complaint. I researched the mini's for a couple of days; most of them. They all have their similarities and differences but I felt the main important consideration is the key board size. So, I finally decided that the Asus Eee PC 1000 HA (without blue tooth) was the one. The reason I strongly felt that it was better than the others is because it's keyboard is a mere 92% smaller than a full sized keyboard (not 80% smaller) and still has the 10 inch screen (as well as the economy price tag). So, I went to Best Buy today and put my hands on it. I was devastated to find a major problem. I was tipped off to the problem in many other blogs and it's true that the right shift key is WAY too far (all the way) to the right with the up arrow on it's left side. (Backwards in my opinion) But what really makes me crazy is that the brilliant minds that laid out the keyboard actually put a quarter-inch plastic spacer to the left of the up key...... Dig it? To the right of the question mark is a big space of plastic (for what reason?) and then the up key then all the way to the end of the row is the shift key It makes no sense at all!! It's like re-arranging the furniture in Helen Keller's home while she's on vacation..... For what; planned aggravation??? Are the designers suggesting that the right shift key is rarely used?? That the up arrow is so much more important so they chose to give the up arrow precedence and make you reach for the shift key? Is it just me?..... Or does anyone else ever capitalize a word on the left half of the keyboard while typing?!!!!! And why would the designer exacerbate the problem and eliminate a quarter inch of very important and dear real estate on a keyboard that is 92% smaller to begin with? THE SOLUTION IS SO DAMMED SIMPLE!! They should have made the space key (which is always wider than a normal key) where the plastic spacer and the up arrow is (which puts it in exactly the correct place, and put the arrow key all the way to the right where it may be used when needed. I have read that maybe it is possible through software to flip the shift and up keys around but you still have the pesky quarter inch spacer that you have to hurdle for no reason!! Their stupidity lost a buyer!!
Nov 28, 2008 9:18pm
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