Stuart Blog 2: Local reviews II

Friday, December 30, 2005

Local reviews II

Thinking about the CleveWiki project motivated me to articulate precisely what I'm looking for in a review aggregator.
  1. Open data. My data should be mine. I'll post it and you'll scrape it. That way several aggregators can have access to a combined and much larger pool of reviews. They'll compete for eyeballs based on how well they package the data.
  2. Open data. The data should come out as freely as it goes in. That way users, or some clever third party, can layer one aggregator's reviews on top of another. For instance movie reviews with restaurant reviews and then organize it all spatially on a map.
  3. Weighted rankings. I want to be able to see a list of restaurants rated highly by people who I feel have a record of discriminating taste that matches mine. This could be done automatically by a feature similar to Amazon's "Users who purchased this book..." technology or it could be done explicitly. Users could mark other users as trusted. However it's done, searches could be ordered by community rankings, trusted user rankings or personal rankings.
  4. Tags. I find tags useful. They are a great balance between flexibility and ease of use. No matter how well thought out a categorization scheme is, there are some users who will think differently and appreciate different categories.
When I system combines these simple things I think we'll see a wonderful complexity emerge. Imagine doing a search for local public theater events and then displaying the results on a map next to the locations of all the Italian or Puerto Rican restaurants in the neighborhood that have been highly rated by a trusted circle of reviewers.

No comments: