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 Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood?

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Southern Fried

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  • Location: Bremen, GA
Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 6:19 PM (permalink)
I understand that the Roadfood site has quality standards and wants this site to be a cut above the other restaurant review web sites. While this is worthy goal, the current Roadfood setup appears to discourage user participation in the published reviews.
 
As an example, look on Roadfood at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room in Savannah, GA. There is one small review and one old photo. If you look on Yelp, there are 285 reviews and 57 photos. At one point in time Roadfood was superior to the other sites because of all the photos. This is no longer the case because people are adding lots and lots of restaurant photos to Yelp and other sites nowadays.
 
As another example, look at Toscanini's in Cambridge, MA. There is one small review and three photos on Roadfood. On Yelp, there are 637 reviews and 84 photos.
 
And the Daily Catch in the North End of Boston is not on the Roadfood site. Why hasn't anyone added it? On Yelp, it has 422 reviews and 245 photos.
 
I could go on and on with the comparisons. Pick your own Roadfood favorite restaurant and compare the Roadfood user input and photos to Yelp. It is true that the Yelp user input would benefit from some editorial review and cleanup, but is easy to ignore the lesser quality input.
 
Yes, you can post anything that you want on the Roadfood forums. But it is not so easy to get a Roadfood review published. While the intent may be to ensure the quality of the reviews, in reality this publishing process seems to have put a major damper on user input.
 
And you say?
 
#1
    1bbqboy

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    Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 6:24 PM (permalink)
    Sit back, relax, and pretend it is 2003 again. 
     
    #2
      wanderingjew

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      Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 6:39 PM (permalink)
      I don't think its difficult at all...
       
      I have dozens and dozens of restaurants that need to be reviewed....I have photos....I can review them, and they'll get posted...

      I just don't have anytime to whittle my life away on the internet...and I've given up...
       
      I do trip reports when I can, and honestly I barely have enough time for that anymore...
       
      When I can finally hit retirement age (that's more than 20 years away) then I'll have all the time in the world
      <message edited by wanderingjew on Fri, 06/21/13 6:45 PM>
       
      #3
        Davydd

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        Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 7:26 PM (permalink)
        wanderingjew

        When I can finally hit retirement age (that's more than 20 years away) then I'll have all the time in the world

        Oh?
         
        #4
          Davydd

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          Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 7:47 PM (permalink)
          Maybe the powers to be should answer, but I always just assumed there was an editorial standard on Roadfood.com trying to be consistent with its stated philosophy and standards. For instance don't expect McDonalds to be reviewed in Roadfood.com like Yelp. Yelp is a free for all that allows anyone to post just about anything short of libel. I imagine at this time there are probably a lot more people using Yelp as well since it is a smartphone staple for social media and has a lot of strategic partners. The Roadfood.com message board forum is much broader in scope and opinion and also maybe has as much of a free for all as Yelp and probably has strengths of opinion Yelp couldn't equal. The forum just isn't organized for easy cataloging and searching say if you traveled to a city and wanted to know what was available. I also think that independent forums such as Roadfood.com are being eclipsed by the newer social media as just part of an evolutionary trend. Also, as I mentioned before, in another thread, I just don't see any unified synergy between the Roadfood.com reviews, the Roadfood.com message board forum or even its Roadfood Facebook page, and that puzzles me.
           
          #5
            TJ Jackson

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            Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Fri, 06/21/13 7:53 PM (permalink)
            I am guessing that WJ will at that point start up www.lutefisk-n-hotdish.com, which will in time rival and even surpass www.porktenderloinsandwich.com
             
            all to be washed down with that most favored of all adult beverages
             

            <message edited by TJ Jackson on Fri, 06/21/13 7:57 PM>
             
            #6
              Tony Bad

              Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sat, 06/22/13 5:08 PM (permalink)
              Southern Fried

              And you say? 

               
              You are comparing apples to oranges. Any one can post their thoughts on any restaurant here in the forum. Yelp certainly has value, but when I read reviews I often find ones where people will trash a place because the line was too long or for some other reason often without even dining at the place! How do you justify reviewing a restaurant you never ate at? To me, roadfood reviews are the word of a trusted friend while yelp is like reading something scratched on a bathroom wall.
               
              #7
                Greymo

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                Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sat, 06/22/13 5:14 PM (permalink)
                Tony Bad


                Southern Fried

                And you say? 


                You are comparing apples to oranges. Any one can post their thoughts on any restaurant here in the forum. Yelp certainly has value, but when I read reviews I often find ones where people will trash a place because the line was too long or for some other reason often without even dining at the place! How do you justify reviewing a restaurant you never ate at? To me, roadfood reviews are the word of a trusted friend while yelp is like reading something scratched on a bathroom wall.

                I agree with you all the way.  My son won't even read reviews on Yelp because so many of them tend to be reviews that have nothing to do do with the food.
                 
                #8
                  CajunKing

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                  Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sat, 06/22/13 8:34 PM (permalink)
                  Tony Bad


                  Southern Fried

                  And you say? 


                  You are comparing apples to oranges. Any one can post their thoughts on any restaurant here in the forum. Yelp certainly has value, but when I read reviews I often find ones where people will trash a place because the line was too long or for some other reason often without even dining at the place! How do you justify reviewing a restaurant you never ate at? To me, roadfood reviews are the word of a trusted friend while yelp is like reading something scratched on a bathroom wall.

                  Tony
                  I could not have said that any better, I had been trying to find the right words, but you hit the nail on the head.  I read the review on roadfood and see who is the reviewer and judge from there.  You are so right about yelp and the others out there.
                   
                  I love the "scratched on a bathroom wall".  That is exactly how I feel about yelp and the others.
                   
                  #9
                    ann peeples

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                    Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 7:46 AM (permalink)
                    Exactly, Tony. I have broken bread with several Roadfooders, and we always agreed on the quality of food( mostly) Therefore, I trust all of my friends here. And that's why I ask all of you when I do manage to travel- like when I went to St. Louis. Nothing suggested was less than great.
                     
                    #10
                      pnwchef

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                      Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 8:58 AM (permalink)
                      imho, Roadfood is a closed site, that only posts reviews of restaurants they agree with. If a person on Roadfood has a good track record of reviewing  Roadfood type restaurants, has knowledgeable about food, it goes a long way in getting the review posted. You can post what you want in the forums, but, when it comes to the front page of this site, it has to be agreed on by the owners of the site.
                       
                      Yelp is a open site that posts all reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly of what a person sees. The reviews are from all walks of life, pictures are what they are. In order to get something out of Yelp, you need to read a lot of reviews, look at a lot of pictures and read between the lines. The reason I like Yelp is, it gives pictures of a lot of menu items I maybe interested in for my family. When I look for a restaurant, I need to take into mind, a 12 yr old, my wife, and my likes and dislikes. Yelp does this for me. imho a picture is worth a thousand words. Words/reviews are only trusted when you are able to see them expressed by a lot of people.
                       
                       
                      #11
                        CajunKing

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                        Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 3:07 PM (permalink)
                        pnwchef


                        imho, Roadfood is a closed site, that only posts reviews of restaurants they agree with. If a person on Roadfood has a good track record of reviewing  Roadfood type restaurants, has knowledgeable about food, it goes a long way in getting the review posted. You can post what you want in the forums, but, when it comes to the front page of this site, it has to be agreed on by the owners of the site.

                        Yelp is a open site that posts all reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly of what a person sees. The reviews are from all walks of life, pictures are what they are. In order to get something out of Yelp, you need to read a lot of reviews, look at a lot of pictures and read between the lines. The reason I like Yelp is, it gives pictures of a lot of menu items I maybe interested in for my family. When I look for a restaurant, I need to take into mind, a 12 yr old, my wife, and my likes and dislikes. Yelp does this for me. imho a picture is worth a thousand words. Words/reviews are only trusted when you are able to see them expressed by a lot of people.


                        Ok but as Tony said you are comparing apples to oranges
                         
                        Roadfood has a distinct definition and the reviews are guided by that (apples), where Yelp urbanspoon and the others let "john q public" rant about the long line and what ever else (oranges) and many of their "reviews" have nothing to do with the quality of the food or the care it took in preparing such or the heritage of such a place.
                         
                        Apples are not oranges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                         
                        #12
                          bartl

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                          Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 3:55 PM (permalink)
                          Southern Fried
                          As an example, look on Roadfood at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room in Savannah, GA. There is one small review and one old photo. If you look on Yelp, there are 285 reviews and 57 photos.

                          Good example, but not for the reason you might think.
                           
                          I was in Savannah a couple of years ago, and my wife and I went to Mrs. Wilkes. We were fully prepared for the good and the no longer as good, not because of the Roadfood book or the Roadfood.com review, or by Yelp for that matter, but by looking at the Roadfood.com Forums (we also found Wiley's Championship Barbecue here).
                           
                          Bart
                           
                          #13
                            FriedClamFanatic

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                            Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 4:31 PM (permalink)
                            pnwchef


                            imho, Roadfood is a closed site, that only posts reviews of restaurants they agree with. If a person on Roadfood has a good track record of reviewing  Roadfood type restaurants, has knowledgeable about food, it goes a long way in getting the review posted. You can post what you want in the forums, but, when it comes to the front page of this site, it has to be agreed on by the owners of the site.

                            Yelp is a open site that posts all reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly of what a person sees. The reviews are from all walks of life, pictures are what they are. In order to get something out of Yelp, you need to read a lot of reviews, look at a lot of pictures and read between the lines. The reason I like Yelp is, it gives pictures of a lot of menu items I maybe interested in for my family. When I look for a restaurant, I need to take into mind, a 12 yr old, my wife, and my likes and dislikes. Yelp does this for me. imho a picture is worth a thousand words. Words/reviews are only trusted when you are able to see them expressed by a lot of people.
                             
                            You summarized it well....I tend to ignore the reviews there, but do use it for menu/directions


                             
                            #14
                              Heartbreaksoup

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                              Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 9:47 PM (permalink)
                              I'm an Urbanspoon Prime, and I don't look twice at the user reviews.  Another problem that has not been mentioned above is the restaurants that ask their patrons to please review them on Urbanspoon or Yelp.  That wouldn't be a problem, except in many, many, many cases, that is all that the patron ever does on the service.  They activate an account, make that one glowing review, and that's it.  One and done.  All that's left is what looks like a bunch of shill reviews.
                               
                              Where Urbanspoon does score much, much higher than Yelp, and even these Forums (owing to very reliable and awesome members losing interest or finding other things to do [Littleman, Ort., etc] or missing your question) is linking to blogger reviews.  If I'm considering a new place to eat and there are blog reviews at Urbanspoon, I will certainly read those.
                               
                              I do think that Roadfood.com needs to do a much better job in adding restaurants to the database.  I don't think that they need multiple reviews and hundreds of photos.  I think one detailed and thorough review of a place that meets this site's criteria should be sufficient.
                               
                              #15
                                Tony Bad

                                Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 10:51 PM (permalink)
                                Heartbreaksoup


                                I'm an Urbanspoon Prime, and I don't look twice at the user reviews.  Another problem that has not been mentioned above is the restaurants that ask their patrons to please review them on Urbanspoon or Yelp.  That wouldn't be a problem, except in many, many, many cases, that is all that the patron ever does on the service.  They activate an account, make that one glowing review, and that's it.  One and done.  All that's left is what looks like a bunch of shill reviews.


                                 
                                That is a great point. There are also many reviews from "one and done" reviewers who tear up a place leaving one to wonder if it wasn't a hatchet job with ulterior motives!
                                 
                                #16
                                  ces1948

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                                  Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Sun, 06/23/13 10:51 PM (permalink)
                                  Look at today's front page featuring Elliston Place. 4 reviews, One glowing, another favorable, 2 negative. 
                                   
                                  #17
                                    billyboy

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                                    Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Mon, 06/24/13 2:16 AM (permalink)
                                    Just to touch upon what many have said, it is somewhat involved to get a review on Roadfood. I think this is a good thing.  I read many quick, fly-by-night reviews on other sites that don't really help me to learn anything about the place, the experience or the food.  I have found out that many places "SUCK!" or "they ROCK!!".  Maybe the reviewer's significant other said yes to a marriage proposal earlier that day and everything was great or maybe the reviewer was fired from their job and nothing was going to be good.  Or maybe the review was about the food and the experience but unless there is some detail I can't really tell. 
                                     
                                    Now, one does not need to be a professional reviewer to write a review but it does require some attention to detail.  Describing the atmosphere, food and overall experience are essential to a good review.  Higher amounts of user reviews doesn't always equal quality.  I do this as a sideline and I have about 30 reviews on the site right now and I'm working on a few more to submit. 
                                     
                                    I'm not a fan of bad press so don't talk too much about the places I didn't enjoy.  If someone wants to know about a specific place and I didn't like it, I would send them a private PM and give them the details. 
                                     
                                    FCF, being that the Sterns and Stephen Rushmore Jr's names are associated with the brand I would guess they want to be selective about what they put their name on.  I know that the restaurants in their books have all been tried personally by the Sterns.  Not sure if that is the case with the site given how vast it is.  Negative (counter) reviews can be posted on RF in repsonse to an already posted postive review. 
                                     
                                    I mostly write up Trip Reports now as I like the ability to express more in them and craft a whole experience from a weekend trip away from home or a "staycation" in NYC.  There are plenty of places I have really enjoyed (and many have their hit & miss qualities) and return to in my Trip Reports but very few of them end up as reviews.  I think of the reviews as the best of the best,  The places I would recommend to anyone again and again without hesitation and who do so many things, so well, so consistently that I'm wowed everytime I go there.  Peter Luger in Brooklyn, NY, Voss BAR B Q in Yorkville, NY, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY and Katz's Delicatessen in NYC come to mind.
                                     
                                    I seem to recall Michael Stern saying in an interview one time that he's not a fan of negative press either and he'd rather have Roadfood be about clueing people in to the great places to go rather than what to avoid.  The good, the bad and the ugly?  They can also be found in the forums with a bit of legwork.  If I have to spend a few extra minutes doing a search for a restaurant either here on RF or elsewhere online, it's a First World problem I can live with!
                                    <message edited by billyboy on Mon, 06/24/13 5:44 PM>
                                     
                                    #18
                                      ces1948

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                                      Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Mon, 06/24/13 10:43 AM (permalink)
                                      I do use the reviews on yelp and urbanspoon to get information on places that we may visit. Of course you do have to separate the wheat from the chaff when reading reviews on any site. One interesting thing I do occasionally is look up places I've already been and have an opinion on and see how the other posters feel about the place.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        EdSails

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                                        Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Mon, 06/24/13 3:41 PM (permalink)
                                        I have been trying to stay away from getting involved in this thread but I think it's time to put in my 2 cents worth. I think billyboy and Tony Bad nailed it. Yelp has no standards. Anyone can post a review, which means that the owner of a restaurant can get friends and relatives to write glowing reviews. I have also seen firsthand where a restaurant's competitor will post a bad review about their competition. There are no standards on Yelp. Also, it is very common to look in places like Craigslist and find ads looking for active Yelp members to pay $20 to $30 for writing a good review for them. 
                                        Roadfood reviews are a different thing entirely. You submit the review and it goes through the editorial staff to analyze it for quality and what other standards they apply. I have always had a very positive experience with getting my reviews put up. The professional standards that Bruce, Stephen and Michael apply to approving the reviews give me a sense of accomplishment by knowing that I have had my review approved by some of the top people in the field. When I see one of my reviews on the front page of Roadfood, I know that I produced a quality piece that was approved professionally. 
                                        Yelp, on the other hand, has no standards. There is not anything like a long-term quality on Yelp. Instead, a review on Yelp may not even mention the food. Sometimes a Yelp review is simply about how someone felt ignored because the waiter was spending more time at the table next to them, or a place with an hour wait, so the review was not even about the food but about the fact the person gave up waiting and went somewhere else. 
                                        As far as the comment about the number of reviews on Yelp vs. a real Roadfood review, think about this--a Yelp review can be as short as "the food tastes like $#^^". So a place has 300 reviews. How many of them are quality reviews and how many are just "I took my girlfriend there and she had a great time and enjoyed the dinner".
                                        The bottom line is this---Roadfood reviews are expected to adhere to a certain level of professional quality. Yelp reviews can be written about anything and posted, even if the whole Yelp review had nothing to do with the food. When I get my Roadfood reviews posted, and especially when it is the "Roadfood of the day", I know I have produced a quality piece of work that I can be proud of. 
                                        <message edited by EdSails on Mon, 06/24/13 3:42 PM>
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Gyp

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                                          Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Mon, 06/24/13 4:29 PM (permalink)
                                          Yelp is a open site that posts all reviews, 
                                           
                                          Not really. See any of the various articles claiming that Yelp allegedly filters out positive reviews, deletes reviews for no apparent reasons, and pressures businesses to the point that some call extortion. 
                                           
                                          here are also many reviews from "one and done" reviewers who tear up a place
                                           
                                          Yes, and this. It's enraging. Conversely someone who eats somewhere once & Yelps about it, declaring it the greatest culinary experience of their life. They have the best this and the best that. Sure they do, please provide some frame of reference by listing all of the other places you've eaten this and that at and maybe you'll have some shred of credibility. 
                                           
                                           
                                          #21
                                            ces1948

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                                            Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Mon, 06/24/13 7:44 PM (permalink)
                                            So basically what I glean from this is nearly all restaurant reviews should be taken with a large grain of salt.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              CCinNJ

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                                              Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Tue, 06/25/13 2:02 AM (permalink)
                                              No. Sometimes you reach for the pliers...sometimes you need the wrench.

                                              Roadfood should have a high threshold. The forums are here to support a dialogue for members to engage in conversations about potential visits to Roadfood restaurants. Those conversations occur before & after said visit.

                                              Yelp is more after-the-fact reporting...and it's usually impossible to determine how or why the decision was made to visit. Especially after reading a large percentage of reviews from people who are simply amazed or astonished by things like....the menu selections...like it was a big secret or conspiracy to withhold the information before the dining experience.

                                              Read Yelp for an extended period of time and it's easy to regret that time you'll never get back in life...

                                              Like 2 stars because a restaurant was on the sunny side of the street but the reviewer happened to leave the sunglasses at home or in the car.
                                              <message edited by CCinNJ on Tue, 06/25/13 2:15 AM>
                                               
                                              #23
                                                ces1948

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                                                Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Tue, 06/25/13 9:42 AM (permalink)
                                                I think I've only done one review for Roadfood and unfortunately it wasn't positive. Some would say I shouldn't have bothered and I see their point. OTOH I would appreciate knowing before spending my money if some place wasn't up to snuff. These food judgements are so subjective though, what may taste great to you may taste awful to me. But certain things aren't really judgement calls such as the place not being clean.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  bartl

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                                                  Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Wed, 06/26/13 8:30 AM (permalink)
                                                  CCinNJ
                                                  Like 2 stars because a restaurant was on the sunny side of the street but the reviewer happened to leave the sunglasses at home or in the car.

                                                  I was on the phone on a rep from Yelp the other day (for other business), and asked about that sort of thing. He said that if you see a review that is unfair on the face of it (I have literally seen someone give a place one star because bad traffic made them late and they got there after the place closed for the evening), you should flag it for moderation.
                                                   
                                                  Bart
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    cecif

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                                                    Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Wed, 06/26/13 8:59 AM (permalink)
                                                    Sigh. (You saw this coming, Billyboy!) I reappear from my absence only to note that some completely ridiculous reviews still slip through the cracks... such as my pet peeve:
                                                    http://www.roadfood.com/R...ew/320-5301/durginpark
                                                     
                                                    Didn't even eat a meal there, but got his negative review posted. Where is the usefulness in that...?!?!
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      billyboy

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                                                      Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Wed, 06/26/13 9:43 AM (permalink)
                                                      cecif


                                                      Sigh. (You saw this coming, Billyboy!) I reappear from my absence only to note that some completely ridiculous reviews still slip through the cracks... such as my pet peeve:
                                                      http://www.roadfood.com/R...ew/320-5301/durginpark

                                                      Didn't even eat a meal there, but got his negative review posted. Where is the usefulness in that...?!?!

                                                       
                                                      YUP!  I saw that you had replied and even before I read your post I knew EXACTLY what you were going to say!  
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        TJ Jackson

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                                                        Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Wed, 06/26/13 10:02 AM (permalink)
                                                        I think it is the original/baseline review that gets the full scrutiny.  They want to make sure it has the right style, enough illustrating pictures, etc etc
                                                         
                                                        This Durgin park review is just a followup review, and as you say, not a very good one
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          wanderingjew

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                                                          Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Wed, 06/26/13 10:28 AM (permalink)
                                                          cecif


                                                          Sigh. (You saw this coming, Billyboy!) I reappear from my absence only to note that some completely ridiculous reviews still slip through the cracks... such as my pet peeve:
                                                          http://www.roadfood.com/R...ew/320-5301/durginpark

                                                          Didn't even eat a meal there, but got his negative review posted. Where is the usefulness in that...?!?!

                                                          Ceci,
                                                           
                                                          Didn't you try to write  a favorable review of Durgin Park that never got posted?
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            CajunKing

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                                                            • Roadfood Insider
                                                            Re:Why is it so hard to get a review added to Roadfood? Thu, 06/27/13 9:37 PM (permalink)
                                                            billyboy


                                                            cecif


                                                            Sigh. (You saw this coming, Billyboy!) I reappear from my absence only to note that some completely ridiculous reviews still slip through the cracks... such as my pet peeve:
                                                            http://www.roadfood.com/R...ew/320-5301/durginpark

                                                            Didn't even eat a meal there, but got his negative review posted. Where is the usefulness in that...?!?!


                                                            YUP!  I saw that you had replied and even before I read your post I knew EXACTLY what you were going to say!  

                                                             
                                                            Another one is Camp Washington Chili in Cincinnati, the last two reviews for it were negatives
                                                             
                                                            I dont know if the powers that be are trying to become more like the other review sites, but that is not why I came here and will still be here.  I came here for the insightful reviews and wonderful postings and trip reports from people like Billyboy and WanderingJew and Buffettbuster.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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