The user survey is still running: it's been a great success, with around 750 responses so far. I've been reading the comments and there are some good ideas and suggestions being made. One common complaint, which if I'm honest comes as no surprise as it was also complained about last year, is the quality of the reviews.
It's a difficult problem to solve given that there are over 26,000 reviews in the database which are being added to at a rate of 10-20 a day. Clearly, weeding out the 'unhelpful' ones is not something I or another individual can do easily: besides, what qualifies me to decide if a review is 'unhelpful' or not? Different people have different opinions.
So, I've implemented what I hope is going to be a quick-fix which I hope will help weed out the poor ones: I've added an algorithm to the reviews database which will effectively delete them when they have been marked as unhelpful by enough people. If a review has over 5 ratings and more than half of them are 'unhelpful' then the review won't be displayed any more.
For this to work it needs you help: Please, if you read a review and you think it's not worth the paper it's written on, so to speak, then mark it as unhelpful. If enough people do this, the poor ones will be weeded out.
I'm not 100% convinced by algorithm is perfect, and I'm sure over time it will need to be tweaked, but that's easily done once enough ratings have been made. So, play your part: rate every review you read!
Update: I've made a couple of tweaks following your requests: the rating area is now not so prominent and the alert box no longer appears, just a discreet message under the radio buttons.
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