Saturday, July 4, 2009

Categorizing when reviewing (random daily thought)

Often when you ask me whether I liked something, whether it be a restaurant or a movie or whatever, you will hear me say "it's good for what it is". I always find that it is more useful to rate something among a comparable subset of goods/services rather than just giving a blanket opinion.

For example, the NY Times reviews restaurants on a 4 star system. However, there are restaurants where a 2 star review would probably be the highest it could possibly achieve while a 2 star review would be devastating for certain restaurants. This is the same for the Zagat Survey. The only qualifier is usually a price range listed after this main review component. I think that every review site should have a value/worth rating. I've eaten at ridiculously expensive places as well as many cheap places. Personally, I often find good value at both ends of the spectrum and very little value at the places in between.

Another thing I try to avoid is comparing apples to oranges. My friend who saw O with me didn't think it was anything special, saying that he wanted more energy and that he would have a better time at a concert with high energy fans. While the prices are comparable for a night out, I wouldn't make this direct comparison. I understand that there are subjective preferences. I'm sure I have friends who would feel out of place at said concerts that my friend would love. So when I try to give my opinion on something, I try to qualify the event as best I can with as objectively comparable events as possible. And this is why you'll frequently hear me say that something is "good for what it is", and if you're not sure what I think "it is", then you should ask.

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