Have you ever written a review for anything—hotels, books, restaurants? Here recently, I’ve written a few book reviews on amazon.com, and an application review on iTunes, but up until a few months ago, I hadn’t written a review on anything. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have noticed or cared about writing reviews, but one day, while reading a review for a doctor I was considering going to, I realized just how helpful the reviews of other people actually are. When I stop and think about it, every time I plan a vacation I carefully read hotel reviews and ratings, and I look for trends which, admittedly, have a huge impact on the decision-making process.
For vacation planning, I prefer to check frommers.com and tripadvisor.com. Both sites provide excellent hotel and restaurant information, along with pictures and sight-seeing details, and the reviews are usually current and packed with useful insight. When trying to compare doctors, pet groomers, hair salons etc. kudzu.com is my go-to resource. If I have an important service I need performed I’ll usually make time to pour through reviews. The effort almost always pays off and helps me make the best possible decision.
So here’s the thing. If I find these reviews helpful, maybe other people might find my reviews helpful as well. The key, of course, is time. Usually, I get so busy my lofty ideas fall by the wayside. Rather than set an unrealistic goal for myself, I’ve decided to start small. My plan is to continue doing book reviews, and whenever we take a vacation that requires a stay in a hotel, I’m going to rate my experience and comment on the service I received. I figure if I start small, I won’t get overwhelmed and I’ll also be helping my fellow travelers and consumers.
Just out of curiosity, do you read book reviews before buying a book? Have you ever written a review yourself? How often do you write reviews and what websites do you prefer?