Here at Bizyhood, we speak with a lot of people about the difference between “reviews” and “feedback”. We firmly believe that reviews are mostly irrelevant. Unless the person doing the review is a known expert, it is impossible to know the reviewers perspective and how it relates to our own standards and expectations.
A perfect example is the recent Google Glass review fiasco on Google+ Earlier this week, a patron of a restaurant in NYC was asked to take off her Google Glasses due to privacy concerns. This led to the patron submitting a 1-star review on Google+.
So, where’s the problem? Perhaps none if it had stopped there. But then Internet troll’s started piling on – with apparently 13 other people who had never eaten at this restaurant giving similar 1-star reviews and discussing their distaste for the restaurants policy. The restaurants loyal customers then came to their rescue, and they now have (at this time) 394 reviews! It appears that before this event they had less than 30 total reviews.
It’s great that their customers came to their defense. But now, the restaurant’s review page is just a bunch of noise. A lot of the “reviews” are simply political statements about the benefits and drawbacks of Google Glass in public and people’s opinions about the technical prowess (or lack thereof) of the restaurant owners.
All the original poster was trying to do (I hope!) was provide feedback. Specifically, feedback that she was unhappy with the restaurant’s policy of not allowing Google Glass. Fair enough. Great information to know. Unfortunately this was a one-sided conversation. What was the business owner’s perspective? It would have been of great benefit to consumers to learn the reasons behind having this policy and whether the restaurant had any flexibility in reviewing it. But that wasn’t available on Google+. And then the noise started. Now I can’t really learn anything from their Google+ page. It’s too much noise and irrelevant posts under the guise of reviews.
We believe that feedback,and not reviews,is the information that consumers and business owners should be sharing (and should want to share). There’s plenty of places for people to vent and rant and spread their own opinions on political and social issues. But on sites like Google+ and Yelp it’s just noise and not helpful to the business or consumers trying to learn more about the business.