Real Reviews by Real People: Finding a Voice Online

Media people are opinionated, and the Internet makes those opinions and the experiences that carve them easier to share. As part of the black hole-nature of the Internet, there’s not just one site worth visiting to post a review or simple two-cents. That being said, there are at least a handful that I’m happy to share with you. Who knows? Maybe one of the reviews you read will prevent you from eating at a poorly-ranked restaurant, shopping at a certain store, or even signing up for a bad class. At the end of the day, the best thing about the reviews are that they are written by real people.

Handful of Help

  1. Yelp – Often referenced just for restaurant reviews, Yelp is also great for looking up reviews of businesses, including services (printing, courier), healthcare (I reviewed my dentist), and travel (I always check Yelp before booking a hotel).
  2. Epinions – Epinions is a lot like Amazon.com (see #3). It’s a cyber retailer, but one of the best things is that you can thoroughly review the item post-purchase.
  3. Amazon – I’m more partial to Amazon (though we have some Reviewer Rewards people who love Epinions) just because of its usability, but it has the same great review capabilities and creates rankings for its reviewers based on how many people have called their reviews “useful.” They have a pretty strict review policy, which helps the site stay credible.
  4. Travelocity (and other such travel sites) Р Hoteliers beware. Travel planning sites like Travelocity, Expedia and Hotels.com are great places to thoroughly research before planning a trip, but also to make your make upon your turn.
  5. Rate My Professor – Students talk, students complain. RMF is a great site for doing both, while also potentially planning your future class schedules, learning about scholarship opportunities, and connecting with other like-minded students.
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