Photo: A walk in the fields near Tetebatu, Lombok.

About us forum

Change in how Travelfish member accommodation reviews work

Posted by somtam2000 on 15/3/2010 at 09:43 admin

I've received a few emails over the last week or so regarding this, so I thought would do a post explaining what is happening.

As regulars will know, Travelfish members are able to post reviews on the pages for specific guesthouses and hotels etc. The idea was to allow others to post their experiences -- good and bad -- in order to give other Travelfish readers a broader range of opinions on a place rather than relying just on the opinion of the Travelfish researcher who wrote the place up.

In the past, comments have been largely unmoderated. Once a member has added a certain number of reviews, they all begin to appear with no input from us. For the most part, this has worked well. Occasionally we've had to remove or edit posts, but mostly the system has run itself satisfactorily.

However, as Travelfish has increased in popularity, so have the volume of reviews, and so have the number of reviews that have required direct intervention from us.

So, we've decided to switch to a pre-moderated system. What this means is that no new accommodation review will appear on the site until it has been manually checked by either myself or a couple of others (if you'd like to give us a hand in this regard, please post in the thread below and I'll be in touch.).

This means there will be a delay in reviews appearing. We're aiming to have them turned around very quickly, but depending on how busy we are with other things, approval may take some time -- and not all reviews will be approved.

We plan to send the new system live in a couple of week's time. It will definitely be up and running by the end of the month.

##########

So what is a good review?
Simply put a good review is one that will help others decide if the place in question is for them or not. A one line review saying "this place rules" or "this place sux" isn't as useful as one that explains why it rules or sux.

It's really no different to meeting somebody just arrived at the train station and being asked "where did you stay and how was it" -- what would you tell them?

##########

So what is a less good review?
Less good reviews may not make the cut. Reasons reviews may not be approved include:
Spam - doesn't need further explanation
Rant - if you've just had a really bad time at Joe's Lodge and have posted the same rant on every accommodation review site you can find, we probably won't run it.
Too short - Very short reviews. For example "I loved it here." won't get a run -- not because we don't believe you, but because you didn't tell us why you loved it. The idea behind the reviews it that they're helpful to others -- the more information you write in the review, the more helpful it is to others.
lawyers - Any review that we deem is likely to result in lawyers sending us nasty letters probably won't make the cut. Your anonymous - we're not.
closed - If a property closes down, or is removed from Travelfish for some other reason, the reviews for that property are automatically deleted.
other - a catchall for anything I haven't thought of in the above!

Don't take the above to mean we're canning most of the reviews -- far from it. Once the new system is up and running, any review you post from then on that gets canned will be marked with one of the above in the Member Centre so you'll know why.

##########

Frequently Asked Questions
1) I joined Travelfish last week and posted a review, but it hasn't appeared. What gives?
Post some more reviews on other places you stayed at. Members will have no reviews approved until they've reviewed a few places. You stayed at more than one place during your vacation didn't you?

2) I'm the owner of a place, can I post a rebuttal or a thankyou?
Yes of course, but please identify yourself as the owner, be polite and don't get into slanging matches.

3) I posted a negative review and you deleted it. Why?
We run a lot of negative reviews. We don't run reviews that may result in lawyers sending us nasty letters. You're welcome to post something negative but bear in mind you're doing it behind a cloak of anonymity -- that's a cloak we don't have!

4) What does "This is a Travelfish recommended reviewer" mean?
While all Travelfish members are equal, some are more active than others. Some are very active on the forum, others on the reviews section. When a member reaches a certain threshold of activity we note them as a "recommended reviewer" -- this suggests they're got perhaps quite a bit of experience in the region and you may find their contributions especially informative. Reviews by "recommended reviewers appear before those of everyone else. (Note we're still rolling this out, so please don't be offended if you're not on the recommended list right now!)

5) Why can't I add photos to the review?
Because I haven't had time to code it in yet! We do have plans to allow member submitted pics in the future.

##########

So that's about the story. If you've more questions or suggestions regarding this, please let me know in the thread below.

Thanks!

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,707
 Send somtam2000 a private message   Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by caseyprich on 15/3/2010 at 15:30

"You stayed at more than one place during your vacation didn't you?"

Yeah - but half of them aren't listed on this site and most of them don't deserve much in the way of praise or blame. The place I stayed for 6 days at was great though and that's the only lodging I care much to talk about.

Plus - I accidentally gave Phu Quoc a bunch of 5's when I though that was the top mark --- And I haven't been able to change that --- can you fix that.

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Send caseyprich a private message   Where has caseyprich been? 


Posted by somtam2000 on 15/3/2010 at 20:11 admin

Caseyprich,

You can change the ratings in the Member Centre. Log in, go to Member Centre and you'll see any reviews you've made listed there. Click on one to edit it and you can change the ratings to adjust to out of ten.

Cheers

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,707
 Send somtam2000 a private message   Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by caseyprich on 16/3/2010 at 06:30

thanks - yeah - i tried that but i get an oops! message. tried two different web browsers, perhaps its because i'm in china, sometimes things don't route correctly. thanks for the advice though.

#4 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Send caseyprich a private message   Where has caseyprich been? 

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/3/2010 at 12:06 admin

Ahh ok, no doubt a problem with some change I've made. Leave it with me. Well bell you when fixed.

Cheers

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,707
 Send somtam2000 a private message   Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by Archmichael on 17/3/2010 at 08:36

The new policy sounds reasonable, Somtam.

You mentioned possibly needing help sorting through reviews. Can this be accomplished from a remote location? (Remote from you, I mean.....as in, from USA, where I am writing from.) I can lend a bit of a hand, so let me know how that might happen.

Cheers!

#6 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396
 Send Archmichael a private message 

Posted by mattocmd on 17/3/2010 at 10:00

Stuart,

I can help out...shoot me an email if you need help with this.

Cheers

#7 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365
 Send mattocmd a private message 

Posted by somtam2000 on 18/3/2010 at 08:06 admin

@caseyprich - that error has been fixed -- thanks to you and exacto for pointing it out.

@Archmichael @mattocmd - thanks a lot -- will be in touch once I've finished writing the editing stuff.

Much appreciated all

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,707
 Send somtam2000 a private message   Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by Archmichael on 18/3/2010 at 09:42

Ok.....sounds good.

#9 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396
 Send Archmichael a private message 

Posted by francesstella on 18/3/2010 at 20:34

I'm pretty new on Travelfish but I'd be more than happy to help out with review approvals!

FSH

#10 francesstella has been a member since 16/2/2009. Location: Italy. Posts: 95
 Send francesstella a private message 

Posted by CunningMcFar on 25/3/2010 at 21:12

Hiya Stuart~
would be interested in lending a hand as well, let me know
Thx

#11 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
 Send CunningMcFar a private message   Where has CunningMcFar been? 


Posted by travellingsarah on 26/3/2010 at 12:10 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

I can help too if you need me.

#12 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
 Send travellingsarah a private message   Where has travellingsarah been?   Website 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.