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Reader comments are useless for ...

I just read some Internet restaurant reviews. Here is an example for a place in my town; I'm sure you've seen similar things on other web sites.

Anyway, I started thinking about anonymous Web site reviews, and I believe absolute anonymity creates credibility problems for such reviews, since for all we know:

  1. Restaurant owners could be slagging their competition in these postings.
  2. The reviewer could have a personal axe to grind, e.g,, an ex-spouse waits tables there.
  3. The reviewer knows nothing about food and beverage beyond his or her personal taste.
  4. The reviewer dined there once, hated it, left and never said a word to the manager/owner.

Professional food critics are different. They are not absolutely anonymous, they merely conceal their identity in order to avoid special treatment. If a restaurateur feels a review was unfair for any reason, he or she may contact the publisher of the review with a defense. Any reputable publisher will relay the owner's comments to the review's author, where there is a chance - though not a certainty - of a "frank exchange of views", as they say in diplomatic circles.

None of this happens on most Internet "reader comment" sites.

What do you think ?

Views: 6

Tags: reader_comments, restaurants, reviews

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Comment by Dallas on February 27, 2010 at 11:52pm
No, they charge to get out.
Comment by Dallas on February 27, 2010 at 7:55pm
Miss Pru,
Are you taliing about the BDP at "Euro-Disney" across I-45 from The Woodlands Mall?
Comment by Dallas on February 27, 2010 at 7:51pm
Chez,
I bet you could spot the ringers, now that I think of it. By the way, that photo is a pretty fancy presentation for veal.
Comment by Chez moi on February 27, 2010 at 5:15pm
Not sure, Dallas, but I think I could spot the promo plants in there.

That said, I am very picky about my veil parmigiana. Not everyone can do it right.

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