Reviews: Good News & Bad News

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by kyheirloomer, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    First the good news: I'm really pleased to see that Cheftalkers are starting to use the review section. One of the reasons for the new platform is to provide a more proactive environment.

    The bad---or, rather, not so good---news is how it's being used. There is a difference between a review and a simple statement of opinion.

    Here at the forum is the place for that kind of comment. If all you want to say is "I liked (or disliked) this book," or advise others to get a copy, etc., the forums are the place. Same goes for back and forth discussion.

    If you're up to a making a broader commentary, than the review section is the place to do it. That's where you go into depth about the usefullness of the book, how well the author accomlished his/her goal, details of the format, value of illustrations, and so forth.

    There is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion. Heck, at base that's all a review is. The difference: here at the forum you can say "this is the greatest cookbook ever written," and let it go at that. On the review pages, you can make the same claim. But you then have to justify it.

    In all things, you want to be as specific as possible. For example, if you find the recipes valuable, tell us why. Remember, our community enbraces at-home cooks as well as professionals, serious foodies as well as culinary students. What one group finds useful the other might not. Fanny Farmer is a great book for beginners and less experienced cooks. It's not so important to professionals. Your review should make that differentiation.

    A simple approach is to use the star ratings as a launch pad for discussion. F'rinstance, let's say you give four stars to the writing. The text of your review should include an explanation of why the writing ranks so high.

    We have a set of guidelines used by the formal review staff that outlines how to write a review. I'll be more than happy to send a copy to anyone who'd like the help they might provide. Just let me know.

    But the best way to learn, IMO, is to read the reviews written by the formal staff. They are doing a great job, and if you follow a similar path as they do you won't go wrong
     
  2. missyjean

    missyjean

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry..I'll try to edit my review
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Nothing to be sorry about, MissyJean. You didn't do anything wrong.

    Just trying to make the whole Cheftalk experience as useful as possible. And the fact is, we're all experimenting with the new platform to find out what works best.
     
  4. justpj

    justpj

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    Missyjean I applaud you for taking the extra time and effort to let people know how much you liked the book you reviewed.  I look forward to reading in more detail what about it you enjoyed.
     
  5. missyjean

    missyjean

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    Thank you..I will know for next time to prepare a more thought-out review

     
  6. missyjean

    missyjean

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    Thank you so much! That is very nice of you to say.

     
  7. rabicamail

    rabicamail

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    Its really a good decision to start a review section so that people can write there reviews which will help others also  to judge about the good food recipe