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Making Reviews more helpful

Jul 8 2008

As more people join the site, I'm attempting to build in some tools to surface reviews which are more helpful than others. Obviously the length of a review will be a factor in how much information it gives. But another major factor is how knowledgeable a person is on a given subject. If a person joins the site and only offers a single review of a commentary, but no other reviews, then it is difficult to know what he or she really knows about that commentary in comparison to others.

This is something that makes Amazon reviews less useful than they could be, because we can't quickly tell how much a person really knows about the commentaries in relation to one another.

So, I've added to the bottom of each review the total number of reviews the person has submitted as well as the total number for a given book of the Bible. Here's a sample for Gordon Wenham's commentary on Genesis.

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You can clearly see that Denver Seminary has a ton of reviews as well as quite a few in this category, as does the previous reviewer, but John Piper's Desiring God has fewer reviews in this category. Of course, we know that a theologian of John Piper's stature has likely looked at more than 3 commentaries on Genesis, but we might not know that about another site reviewer. Hopefully, this will help students get a better idea of the value of each review.

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