* Prices may differ from that shown
I originally submitted this topic as a product proposal, while Ciao happily accepted it, Dooyoo thought it could fit well in this category. This review is mostly regarding the length of reviews.
I think a lot of people have been wondering about this for a while. Most of us have our own ideas on the maximum word limit and we all know that a Premium review on Dooyoo must be longer than 150 words unless it's an express review, but I think a lot of us have different ideas on if there should be a maximum word count.
The minimum 150 word count is quite deceiving to the new members in my opinion, because I think they'll assume that 150 words is all they need to write and they wonder why they only get somewhat useful or someone say why there needs to be a bit more information. It's hard to write an informative review in less than 150 words and even harder to show that you've put some effort into the review, but it can be done.
On longer reviews, it's easy to see the effort that goes into it, especially if it's well formated and displayed. If it's too long it risks having too much information and not enough opinion. Sometimes putting too information irrelevant is known as padding. At first I wasn't too sure what this meant but I had an idea that it was writing things unneeded for a higher word count so they would get a higher ratings.
So it seems that higher word counts will equal higher ratings. So if a person wrote a 5000 word review would everybody rate is very useful and nominate it for a crown? Hell no! I don't think word count is very relevant in reviews, but it is a matter of preference and opinion. I don't think a review for one song needs to be very long. A track by track review on an album can work but neither a chapter by chapter review for a book nor a scene by scene review for a film because of spoilers and both you and the reader will be working too hard.
I aim to have the word count between 500 and 1000 because I think I can cover most of what I want to say between these lines and it's where I'm most comfortable in. There have been times where I can go over and under the target, but it's not always been a great deal to be because I think it's the content of the review that's the most important. A review with a four hundred words can be just as good as one with two thousand words and can make just as much amount of money.
Below are three very short example reviews about about a pair of shoes.
A) "They're awesome shoes. So cool. Red is my favorite color so I just had to buy these. Can't believe they where only fourteen dollars!"
B) "The shoes are very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very nice! "
C) "I like these shoes, they where very cheap to buy. I love the bright shade of red and the swirly patterns. I think they look iconic, but I find them very hard to walk in because of the high heels and it's very difficult to clean. So they are best for parties and summer wear."
Most of us would find C the most useful. Not cause it's the longest, but because we get the most insight and opinion on the shoes. We know the shoes where nice, but in C we get to know why they're nice. It can still be extended some more but it's on a good start.
My final conclusion is this: Don't worry too much about the word count. I'm not telling people who write shortish reviews to write more longer ones nor am I telling people who write longish review to cut the words down. Everyone works at different paces and are comfortable writing in different lengths.
In my opinion a Dooyoo internet review should cover a variety of different tasks and be a multitude of different things. First of all, i will start of with the bare essentials of any dooyoo review!
A dooyoo review should always be:
1. Well laid out - It is my belief that a dooyoo review should be nicely structured. No one wants to open a page up and just see miles and miles of blur on their page because the author cannot structure a paragraph. Therefore, i really think a system of paragraphing and subtitling helps a review.
2. Clear and concise - No one wants to read through your ramblings to find about 3 words of useful information. You really have to go for it when it comes to clarity. Obviously, theres room for a little humour and fun, but keep it in reason.
When i do my internet site reviews i always think its massively important to cover these topics
1. How easy the site is to use - This is important because obviously the primary function of a website is to give users easy access to the information they want.
If the site does not do this, then it is not going to receive 5 stars from anyone.
2. Subject - Obviously you need to give a good background about what the website allows you to do. Is it a betting website? Or a shopping one? What does it actually allow you to achieve. Just because you know what you want doesn't mean the user does.
3. Optional extras - To finish with, i always list any other bits and pieces that i like about the website. Is there anything cool it has or does? Basically what is there that you did not expect?
That, is my opinion on how to write an interview doooooyoooooo review!
So what constitutes a good Internet review? I am sure we all have different ideas as to what we want to see in a review about a particular Internet site; some will want to know about loading speed, if navigation is simple, if the site is aesthetically pleasing a plethora of information that needs to be compressed into the review in an instructive yet concise way. The danger in writing a review on an Internet site is trying to detail every facet of the site, and although this can be ok with smaller concerns it makes a review daunting if you try it with reviews on large sites like eBay or Amazon. Better in that case to mention the various facets and think about the information the reader may find useful in a punchy sentence or two rather than a paragraph on each!
No need to tell us about your life history leading up to the day you first started using the site a short paragraph telling us why you decided to browse/ buy from / sign up to the site is all we want to know. Why did you choose the site over its competitors? Was it word of mouth that led you there? Was/is the site offering special offers/deals that made you type their web address into your browser? Just a gentle introduction as to why you use/used the site before you move on to the bones of the review.
About the Site
Pretty obvious when you think about it, but us readers want to know what the site has to offer! What makes it stand out from its competitors? i.e. why should we visit the site in question? Or indeed if it is a review deriding the sites ability then why should we avoid it? Let us know All about the look and feel of the site, is it fast to load? Does it require any add ons to be installed to make it function correctly? Is the site easy on the eye? Is it easy to navigate around? If the review is for an Internet service rather than a site then tell us the features that stand out if you are reviewing a web based email service for example then we want to know if there is a cost, what the storage capacity is all information that is vital when making an informed decision on a product or the use of a web site.
Many websites require account creation before the full features can be accessed, and I personally want to know whether this process was a painless and speedy affair or a never ending tirade of security questions including your Fathers Inside leg measurement or your first ever pets birth sign! Was the requirement to sign up necessary? If you had to enter credit card details was the site secure? All questions that can be covered in a review without going into information overkill.
Of course there is; and I know it is becoming something of a mantra for me but please please please include plenty of personal opinion! Id much rather read about the little niggles or pluses you find while using an internet site or service than a dirge of faceless information that I can pick up on the site itself. For this kind of review I would say that 50 to 60% personal opinion is a fair target to aim for, no matter how unimportant you fell something is it could be the one piece of reading that sways potential users thoughts.
Below is my review for the gmail web based email service which I wrote a while ago. I have tried using punchy informative chapters and plenty of my views in it to make it useful. Of course it is not a cast iron guide as to what a review in the Internet category should be just my personal take on it! Remember above all else that when you are writing a review you should enjoy the experience if you dont then there really is little point in doing it!
Gee! Youve Got Mail
Weve all got email addresses, most of us more than one, and although the one that is associated with our Internet service provider is almost certainly the main one we use it never hurts to have a back up or two in case of connectivity problems. Up until now the big hitters in the free web based email business have been Hotmail and Yahoo, but now theres a new kid on the block, and it is from the creators of the most used search engine on the net Google. But why would you need yet another email address? Well, Gmail is a little different from the other web based email clients, as I will try to explain.
So whats Gmail all about then?
Well, as the good folk of Gmail themselves say Email is supposed to be a productivity tool. So why spend time filing messages, then later trying to remember where you put them? And why delete important mail just to stay within some arbitrary storage limit? And who could argue with that? Gmail offer an amazing 1000MB of storage with the sole purpose that you do not throw away, sort or archive your incoming email but simply store it en bulk and then search for it with an adaptation of the famous Google search engine. Phrases are simply typed into the search field and any emails containing the word or phrase are bought up for inspection. Better still you can search for the name or email address of the person who sent the email to you and you can search just the emails received in the last twenty four hours or since you started using Gmail if you prefer.
At the time of writing (March 2005) Gmail is only available by invitation or referral, this is because officially the whole system is still in beta test mode. However, Gmail are issuing a lot more invites to members over the past couple of weeks, I myself have close to fifty of them. If you are lucky enough to receive an invite you will be sent a link which when clicked on will take you to the create a Google account page. A standard set of fields need to be filled in including name, password and security question and answer. Also of course you need to choose a desired login name which will be prefixed with @gmail.com to become your Gmail address. The bonus with Gmail not being widely available at the moment is that there are still good Gmail addresses to be had. Once you have chosen your Gmail name a quick browse of the terms and conditions and agreeing to them takes you to a congratulations page that offers a few hints, tips and ideas on how to use Gmail effectively.
Sending and receiving Gmail
Emails are sent and received with Gmail in pretty much the same way as all others, signing into your account takes you to your inbox which will show you any email received. Simply clicking on the email opens it for reading. When you are finished reading an email you can archive it or if it is a special email you can add it to a label (similar to a folder) for easier searching. Composing an email is also simple with a single click on the Compose Mail link taking you to a fairly standard looking blank email; attachments up to 10MB can also be added.
Gmail has a clever little innovation of grouping emails from the same contact as well as any replies you have sent so that you can view each email and reply like a conversation. This keeps emails in context and proves an invaluable one stop function to read all emails sent and received from any one person.
A Sophisticated Spam Filter sits at the heart of the Gmail system and in the time I have been using the system it has flagged two emails as Spam correctly. If any email slips past the filter there is a Report Spam button which removes the offending email and informs Gmail that a spam email has got past their filter.
POP access and Email forwarding
You can also access your Gmail Emails in a POP3 email browser which basically means that you can read your Gmail emails using programs like MS Outlook Express. Also there is the option to have Gmail Emails forwarded automatically to another of your email addresses for easier synchronisation of multiple email accounts.
Viruses are a massive problem with emails so Gmail have decided that executable files cannot be sent or received (According to Gmail Most computer viruses are contained in executable files)
No Pop up adverts, just unobtrusive relevant ones
Computers automatically scan Emails for keywords and then place relevant adverts to the side of the Gmail page. Gmails are not being read by humans so there is no real security or privacy issue as such. There are no pop up adverts and no adverts will appear in the body of any emails.
Accessible with most Internet Browsers
Gmail supports virtually all browsers. Favourites like Microsofts Internet Explorer are joined by up and coming Mozilla and the increasingly popular Firefox and Netscape. Safari is also supported so Mac users need not feel left out.
To save the time and effort associated with filling in a new address book or contacts list you can simply import your present one from Hotmail, Yahoo and others. It takes a bit of understanding to do this but full instructions are given to make the task pain free.
Keyboard shortcuts in Gmail make composing and reading emails even easier. A full table is given on the Gmail help pages with each shortcut explained so that it will soon become second nature to use the relevant keys for a particular task.
The Gmail Notifier needs to be downloaded independently but is a must have utility in my mind. It sits in your system tray and checks your Gmail account every two minutes, when it detects a new email it raises a small flag above the system tray giving you information on who the new email is from as well as the fist few words of text.
My personal Opinion
I have a number of email addresses, mainly so that I can use applications like MSN and Yahoo Instant Messenger, but I have never been keen on the way they work. Gmail is an all together different experience though. The look and feel of the site is crisp and competent with the Google search feature a real boon in searching for any word, phrase or person in the blink of an eye. The layout is simple and very much designed for ease of use with tags clearly labelled and adverts placed to the side of the screen so that they are non obtrusive. The Spam filter works well with three porn and medication emails being tagged as spam and delivered straight to my spam folder. The Gmail Notifier is an amazing add on to download, especially if you are connected to the internet via broadband it simply tells you who the email is from and the first few lines of text so you can rush to your inbox should it be that long awaited and important email. When sending Gmails they arrive without delay. One small negative point in my mind is the fact that you can only attach files up to 10 MB in size, with the advent of broadband connections this is not a very high limit in my opinion with AOL offering 15 MB and Hotmail matching Gmails numbers. If Gmail really wanted to become kings of the free web based email market doubling the size of attachments to 20 MB would have the competition reeling. Because of the attachment size limit and the fact that I cannot import my AOL contacts as yet I knock a star off the rating, but I still award Gmail four stars out of five and recommend it.
I have this uncanny sense of timing. Having lost my mojo when it comes to writing these ere opinions, closed my Ciao account and cashed in on Dooyoo I kinda thought that was that. Then bugger me, I writes a piece about me hols in New York and all the old enthusiasm comes back. Soooooooo
having posted a few opinions I decides to rejoin the Dooyoo guideroonie bandwagon for the
.*counts fingers* third or fourth time or samfink like that. Same day I join, the lovely Nathalie Munn has her contract terminated and were left with reporting to 2 Spanish sounding geezers. Oh
.and theres a Dooyoo facelift pending which is already in place on the German site. Hmmm
.if Id have known about the Nathalie thing
Aaaaaaaanyway, seeing as Im here now, I am the guide for the Internet category (go see my piccie on the Dooyoo guide page for proof) so I thought Id letcha know how its gonna be.
Right crowns and stuff. As far as I know, its still the top 10% of opinions in any particular category that should be crowned by Dooyoo each week. So if 10 opinions are posted, 1 should be crowned *kapeesh?* Crowns can be won by either recommendation by the Dooyoo guide or if the opinion gets a significant amount of nominations or both. So whats gonna light my fire assuming anyone at all wants to light it? *reader rolls eyes*
In general terms, you can either go for reportage or throw in a bit of creativity. I guess the idea is to give an honest indication of what a web site is all about and whether you think its any good. This might mean a matter-of-fact mystery shopper style kind of approach or maybe you might want to try to spin a yarn whilst still managing to give an accurate assessment of the site you are reviewing. Personally, I prefer those that try to be a bit different without going too far off the beaten track but that wouldnt sway me in terms of recommending one opinion against another. It should be the best man or woman wins but without forgetting that its good old Dooyoo that award the crown (whoever that might be these days).
Most writers go for the straight-forward side of A4 broken into logical sequences of paragraphs. Thats fine as long as you capture everything you need too. You may prefer to use sub-headings which can be a more reliable way of including everything you want to include. However, some readers will prefer one format over another so you may want to bear this in mind.
One thing you must do is try to record all the pertinent facts. That may sound a bit like a lawyer at the Michael Jackson trial but there aint no point in writing about all the lovely colours a homepage has without going on to say what it does and how it does it.
Generally, you should try and keep your reader interested. There is no specific ideal word count but anywhere between 1000 and 1300 words should be enough to get your message across. You can go on for longer or even post something shorter. I guess it just depends how many words you need to convey your message. One tip to save on the word count is to not include sequences of what happens if I click this link then that link. Ive read a few reviews where the writer has gone into copious detail about what follows each click, which I honestly think is unnecessary. If you think of it like a book review or even a movie review, you are trying to give a flavour of the site and not a blow by blow account of every single thing that can happen when you hit the keyboard. Leave the reader wanting more and maybe trying the site out or even avoiding it like the proverbial plague if you think it stinks.
The kind of essentials I would wanna see is:
*How quickly does the site load and at what connection. Dial-up will be very different to broadband and erm a slow connection may put some off. An indication in approximate seconds (or even minutes!) with maybe a warning about large numbers of applets slowing things down if its heavy on Java and stuff.
*What is the main portal like? Is it exciting? What are the links like? Is it mainly text or images? Does it have decent jpeg files to excite the eye? Whats it meant to do?
*How well constructed is the site? Are the links logical? Is there a help section? Does it have FAQ? Can you contact the site owners?
*Does it do what it says it will? Ideally, you may well have ordered from the site if its a service proposition so if its say Tesco, what was the service like? Did you receive the goods? Was the delivery timely? Did you get what you asked for? How often have you used the site yourself? Do you know of others that have used the site?
*Is it competitive? If it's a site that sells digital cameras at half the High Street price then let's know all about it. If it's selling stuff at more than the other sites around then let your public know. They will appreciate the knowledge and send you gifts. Ok then, they won't send you gifts but you get the message (I hope)
*Do you recommend it or do you think the site sucks? Be honest. No one will love you for eulogising about a site thats about as useful as monkey in a really large barrel erm with lots of other monkeys in it.
*Accept criticism. There can be a disposition to rate everything with a big VU at times but if someone does come along with a U and makes a few constructive suggestions then try and have an open mind about what they are trying to say. None of us are perfect and ratings shouldnt be taken personally. Its your opinion they are reflecting on and not you personally. Well..unless you think you might be only useful as opposed to very useful or somewhat useful. I wont tell you what my good lady would rate me as ;o)
-The WWW is a BIG place-
Of course, there are literally millions of sites out there with new ones coming on stream all the time. Theres everything from bulletin boards to joke sites to sports sites too erm porn sites no no dont do those. Oh you get the picture lots of sites. With so many great sites its always interesting to read about the new ones and what they do and dont just write for crowns people are interested and will read your opinion if its about an interesting site.
Oh well, there you have it. Its an uncertain future for Dooyoo and its been that way for a while but then there are few certainties in life. Well, apart from Lesley getting her melons out on Big Brother and the womens England footie team not swapping shirts at the end of their next game.
Thanks for reading
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br> A word from our sponsor... This Q&A challenge can help newbies find out what Dooyoo is about and, if many established members participate, what the community is like and will hopefully convince them to stay and become active. To be sure, everything has been said before, but has it had any impact? Only for a limited time until the opinion disappeared from the front page. By presenting the tips on helping new members in the form of a questionnaire which can be done by several members the impact can perhaps be prolonged. Several members, better: many members, to show that many roads lead to Dooyoo. Q: When did you join Dooyoo? A: Oh my lord, way back when. I think it was in May 2000. I had several disagreements with the powers that be here when the site was re-designed or, rather, undesigned in the summer of 2002. I threw all my toys out of the pram and stomped off for a good while. I've been back for around a month now, and you can thank - or heckle - Proxam for that. Q: How did you discover Dooyoo? A: I had a brief fling with freebies, I think. Anyone remember beenz? Somebody was running a site telling you where to get them together with a load of other internet money-making links. None really caught my eye until one day there was a link to Dooyoo there. At the time, they were brand new and desperate for a bank of content. They were paying 75p for each opinion submitted, 15p for every read your opinions got, and even 5p each time you read someone else's opinion. Everyone was writing what today would be called one paragraph churns, and everyone was posting several opinions each day. We were earning pots! Q: Why did you join? A: Ah. I'm running ahead of the questions. Sorry! Money! I had no idea that a community would ever develop, but I'm glad it did. In the early days of Dooyoo, I was making twenty or thirty pounds a week, which is an outrageous amount
for the effort I was putting in. I typed opinions straight into the box - what a sin! I joined Ciao too, but that soon fell by the wayside, as I got to know people on Dooyoo through the commentary sections. Ciao didn't have these at the time and it seemed a very sterile place by comparison. At the time, I was recovering from a serious illness, I had two toddlers at home and my husband worked during the evening. I was terribly bored. Dooyoo quickly metamorphosed from a place to earn some shekels to a replacement for what used to be a very active social life. It quickly became a blessing to me. Three years on I still enjoy writing opinions and reading them too. Q: What was your very first opinion on? A: I think it was Beenz! For a while, they were fun to do, and worthwhile too. Much better than those dreadful Ipoints and Mypoints are now. Q: Did you find it easy to get the hang of dooyoo? A: Oh, yes indeedy. It was a much simpler site then. The search section worked. The navigation was intuitive and straightforward. Capital letters existed. Question marks appeared only when you typed them. There weren't too many people, and no one had any expectations. There was a UK office and it had lots of friendly staff who took an active part in daily proceedings. It was all very easy. Having said that, it did take some while before it dawned on me that really, we were supposed to be making some effort with the things we were writing and that the ultimate aim was to provide genuine advice for surfers, people who weren't actually members. I was never bright! Q: Did you read other opinions before you posted your first one? A: I have absolutely no idea! I can't remember what I did yesterday, let alone three years ago! Probably, no, I didn't. I just wanted to earn 75p! Remember too, that Dooyoo Mk 1 had no new-in lists and, to be honest, hardly any content at all on the day I joined. There wasn't much
to read! One found people to read by following the names of people who'd been rating and commenting around the site. Would I advise people to do that now? Lord, no. Where's the excitement or fun in that? The big hook on Dooyoo is that a person can join up, write an opinion - yes, even a so-called crappy one - and find that people will pop up and say hi within minutes. Those of you who have been around a while, think back. Wasn't that just great? Wasn't it fun and exciting? Isn't that what got you hooked? Who wants to be a boring researcher who checks out every possible eventuality before getting stuck in? My advice to someone joining would be to write something, anything. Write a couple of opinions. Say hi to people who say hi to you. If what you've written is pretty crappy - which is pretty likely - take criticism on board. Once you've got some words of your own up - not too many, but some - get reading yourself. Read anything and everything. Say hi to lots more people. Before you know it, you'll be having great fun. And that's far more important than getting all anal about whether your first opinion will be "right" or not. Q: Do you write no/some/many comments? A: I do write a lot of comments. I like writing comments. Many of my comments are completely irrelevant to the review on which I'm commenting. Sometimes I just say "hello". Sometimes, though, I say lots and lots of relevant things. Many people will tell you that short comments of praise such as, "super opinion" are mere prostitution, translatable as "read lots of my opinions please". Well, who cares if they are? It is true that writing many comments - however relevant they are - is likely to result in your getting more hits to your own opinions. I look at that as a fringe benefit, not a reason to do it. I like to say "hello" or "super opinion" even if I have nothing else to say because I
9;m not the impersonal kind. I don't want to read something and bugger off in silence. It makes me feel like a skulker and a lurker. I like to make contact, and a rating just doesn't cut the contact mustard, not for me, anyway. Q: When you click on the list of Newest Reviews, do you read your friends' opinions no matter what they're on/according to subject no matter who has written on it/preferably the opinions of new writers? A: It all depends on how many reviews have been posted since I last looked at the list and how much time I have. If there aren't many, and I'm not in a hurry, I read them all. If there are zillions upon zillions and I can't hang about long, I would read with the following list of priorities: firstly, those people who write stuff I'd never miss cos they're so great; secondly, people who post only on Dooyoo because like as not I'll catch the opinion elsewhere anyway; thirdly, opinions in the Books category; fourthly, anything which catches my eye. Q: Do you write your opinions in one sitting? A: Yes. I don't agonise over them. I write most reviews in twenty to thirty minutes, at a guess. I write them in Outlook Express and am so lazy I don't spell check them either. Tsk @ me. I'm not a good example. Book opinions are easy, I know what I want to say, and the words seem to write themselves really. That's why I write so many of them! I write quite a few opinions about food too and as they're more factual, I probably spend an extra ten minutes or so checking I've got my facts right before I actually post them. I find food opinions fairly boring to write but I feel most passionately about globalism and trading relationships between the developing nations and the West and about the cack companies want us to put into our bodies. And so, although the opinions are boring to write, I find myself hoping as much, if not more, that at least someone will make
a good purchasing decision when they read them, as I hope people will read the books I write about. Anyway, I'm waffling. One sitting, half an hour tops. Q: How often do you post a new opinion? A: Whenever I get the urge to write one! Don't listen to anyone who tells you how many opinions you should post, or how often you should post them. Write what you want, when you want. It's a free opinionating world y'know and don't forget it. However, if you write rubbish because you can't be bothered, don't be surprised when everyone's equally unbothered about reading you. Q: Do you use a spell check? A: Oh. Answered this one already too. Oops. No. Oops. Q: Do you think you can improve your chances to get a crown if you suck up to a guide? A: Oh gosh, yes, of course you can. Joke. Sigh. Why is this question here? Is Lookaroundcafe getting on everyone's nerves again? It *is* only Lookaroundcafe who says that, isn't it? Aren't we giving him a dignity he doesn't deserve by writing a question just to answer him? [Hello Lookaround!] Q: Are you a member of a forum or a chat room? A: Yes. I'm a member of Tooyoo and Chatterweb. The former is a guestbook type affair, the latter a threaded messageboard. If you're the organised, businessy type who likes to write and read opinions but isn't so interested in the social side of things, then I guess you'd find them both boring. If you like to chat generally and enjoy navel-gazing about Dooyoo generally, then you'd probably like them. You can find them here: http://www.hotshotsdesigns.co.uk/tooyoo http://www.chatterweb.co.uk/board There are others, also good fun, but these are the two I belong to. Q: Does it get to you when members praise or condemn you? A: Erm... how do you mean? I don't care what ratings I get. I find ratings the most interminable and
boring subject. I don't look to see what ratings I've been given and so unless you leave me a comment, I'll have no idea you've been to see me. It seems to me that if someone doesn't like what I've written and has constructive criticism to make, they'll leave me a comment. If they don't care to explain the error of my ways to me, then I don't really have much interest in their silent rating. So in that sense, no, it doesn't get to me. I do, however, love it if someone tells me that they've enjoyed reading what I've written. I can't think of a time when someone's condemned me in any nasty way, though. What would people condemn me for? I don't really get you. Erm... if someone spammed Dooyoo with opinions entitled "Jill Murphy Smells of Cats Wee" I'd probably think it was an hilarious joke for a while, and then I'd probably do a big boohoo. So erm... yes. Write me praising comments and don't title your opinions "Jill Murphy Smells of Cats Wee" please nicely! Q: What did you do in your spare time before you joined Dooyoo? A: Before I had two children, and before I got ill, I was never in, always out and about. After those two things and before finding Dooyoo I read even more books than I do now! Q: What do you wish for the future? A: For myself? A smallholding and self-sufficiency please. For the world? Peace, love and harmony. And an end to world poverty. For Dooyoo? A management that gives a shit. And a final word from our [hacked] sponsor... If you want to participate, please add: I dare you and double dare you (with a jelly tot on top) to take this opinion straight to Ciao without asking Malu. Ner.
Reading around Dooyoo, at all the various opinions on various aspects of the Internet. I have noticed, and recently was brought to my attention, most are written without the novice considered. Now this review is not about how to write them, because you don't need someone else telling you how to do it, there are loads around dooyoo already. This review is to try and help you understand them. So when you read through all the various internet opinions, you can understand the terms used, or what they are talking about, if you are a novice or maybe not clued up on all the technical stuff. I am the same, you write your opinion on something, and get carried away, and you start using terms, and phrases, which to you, make perfect sense, but to the inexperienced, or someone maybe not in the same know as you, it is just babble. So, I decided, to write this opinion, and list and explain as many terms I can think of you are likely to find around in the Internet category. It is by no means a comprehensive list, and is not intended as a programming guide or anything like that. It is merely to give the novice some idea of what the heck that person is talking about. Probably the most common one you are going to see is HTML. What is HTML? Well, HTML, or HyperText Mark-Up Language, is the backbone scripting language used on the Internet. Every web page uses HTML in some form. Your browser can read this language, and then display the page how it is supposed to. When on the Internet, if you see a page, with the extension .HTML, or .HTM, it is an HTML document, .htm is the old extension used in Windows 95 before longer extensions could be supported. If you select to view the source of one of these pages, you will be confronted with a notepad full of what looks like random letters and symbols. However, it is actually mostly just basic English. The purpose of this opinion is not to teach you HTML, and so I wil
l avoid going into to much detail. The language is basically used to set out a layout. It tells the browser what to put where and how. It isn?t used to generate outcomes, It's a descriptive script if you like. Another term you will come across is ISP. Now I think most of you know what ISP is, but just in case here is a basic description. ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. Basically it is a company, who offer access to Internet services. Usually actual access to the Internet. They use a server, which allows your computer to contact it, and connect to it, either via modem, or cable. Once connected to this server, your computer can then branch out around the web and contact all the other servers on the internet allowing you to view pages etc etc. It is basically, if you like, a door into the World Wide Web. Without it, if you wanted to view say dooyoo.co.uk.. you would have to dial up and connect to the Dooyoo servers directly. And then if you wanted to go to Yahoo! You would have to disconnect from Dooyoo, and then re connect to yahoo. As you can imagine, would take the ease of the Internet away. So an ISP does all this for you, and sends you the results. In a sense. That's a very basic description, there is more to it, but that's basically it. Ok, Server, I keep mentioning that. A server is a PC basically. However it isn't a computer your likely to find on your desk at home running windows 98. A sever is specially set up to allow multiple connections from remote computers to it, and then process requests and perform tasks requested, in a sense. Software usually used for this is either Windows NT or 2000, or a Linux system, which is the common choice. It can handle multiple computers at once, and provides a common junction if you like in the world of communications. It's kind of like a roundabout. When you get there, you can then choose which direction to go. And people can go multiple ways
. Again, very basic description, but it's the general idea. Linux, Yes, I mentioned this. Linux is an operating system, like Windows 98, or XP etc. It is based on the open source, Unix code. This means it is usually either free, or much cheaper than Windows. It performs like any operating system, but has advantages that make it better than Windows. The main one being, it isn't Microsoft!. This means it is much more stable, and much more useful as an operating system, without the limitations and bugs known in Microsoft products. It is mainly used for servers, and you will find most big web hosting services use a Linux based server. A few use Windows, but generally you should avoid them, for reasons I will come onto later I'm sure. It's main disadvantage, which is why it isn't found on most home computers, is it is not as user friendly as Windows. Although now it is much more graphical, in the past it was a command line based system. Meaning you didn't have icons and pretty windows, it was all done with commands. This meant it could only be used by people who knew how to use it, hence gave Windows a huge advantage. However now it is much more graphical, and rivals Windows. A lot more people are switching to Linux, including myself, just to get away from the dreaded Windows. However, software is limited for it, with most common programs not supported by Linux, but again this is being changed slowly, as it becomes more popular so more software is being written with it in mind. FTP. This is something else, which is often mentioned, when talking about web hosts or such forth. FTP, or to give it its full name, File Transfer Protocol, is a method used to transfer data from one computer to another. The common place you are likely to find such a system, is on download sites, for example, AudioGalexy, or Napster. However it is also used in the background on websites. When a website is uploaded to a remote
ts based on that information." Confused? Yeah so was I. Basically, it is a scripting language most commonly used with CGI. CGI provides the gateway, Perl does the work. It is used to manipulate data in some form and give out various results depending on defined defaults and user input. Perl needs modules installed on the server in order to work, so is usually not supported on free web hosts. You wont find perl normally on free homepages. But is used extensively on company sites, even Dooyoo I'm sure have a number of perl scripts working away in the background. Another form is PHP This name was given because when it was invented in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf it was called "Personal Home Page tools" what happened to the T I don't know, but it is basically another scripting language to provide interactive content on a web page PHP needs to also have modules installed to work, and again wont usually be supported on free web hosts. It is somewhat more simplified, I think, compared to perl, but it is used in applications that sometimes perl wont support, but is more down to a matter of personal opinion. I?m sure other people could explain these scripting languages much better than me, but I am not a programmer, I just modify and install them, I cant actually write one from start to finish. Are you still with me? Something else I have seen mentioned around is MySQL. This is a database system basically. It can be linked directly to scripts and used in conjunction with them. Dooyoo for instance might use it, for storing all your usernames, passwords, etc. it then allows the scripts to access this information and use as they want. It basically is the preferred method of storing and organising large amounts of information for future use on the page. It's more secure than just having a text file with the information in it, but is more complicated to maintain. Again, not found on free web hosts usually.
SSI Server Side Includes. If you ever go to a website, and it has a page which has .SHTML extension then they are using SSI. It basically allows a page to access server information. Usually used with time systems, like if you want to display the correct time, you can use SSI to access your severs clock and print that. Some scripts such as access counters require you to have this capability. I read in some comments earlier, someone asking about Plug-ins, and what they are? Well, a plug in is basically a piece of software written by various people, which can be installed into other software. In this case into Internet Explorer or Netscape. The plug-ins can be used for a number of things, such as allowing IE6 to display Java applets, or software that allows Wave files to be played. Most are already installed in your browser when you install it, but you often find aftermarket ones, not built by your browser manufacturer, but designed to integrate into it to make it support various forms, common one being Macromedia Shockwave, or flash plug-ins like that. Well I think that about covers most things your likely to see reading around Internet opinions. I will add to it as more pops up. If you know something I have missed, or want explained then feel free to email it or leave it in the comments section, and if I understand it myself I will add it to this opinion. Look at it as a kind of Internet category FAQ page. I?m sure a lot of you have probably left more confused than when you arrived mind you, sorry?. I'll see how well this one does, if it works well, I might do more for other categories. :Bobber: Copyright 2002 uncle_bob.
I know that this topic is "Tips on writing good opinions - How to write a good Internet review" but everything I could possibly advise has already been covered, so I have decided to write about the things which make a bad review. This may be particularly helpful to the newer members at Dooyoo who are unsure how to write a good review. If I was planning to write my first review I would first search for all sorts of help from other Dooyoo members. I am by no means one of the more experienced Dooyoo writers, as writing here is simply a hobby which unfortunately I don't have as much time as I would like. Anyway, less about me, let's get onto the tips and points. Don't get me wrong, I am not an expert in this topic, well I hope not anyway!! Firstly never write a review about something that you know little about. If possible, try to write reviews on your favourite topics and whatever might be your area of expertise. If you have a look at the reviews I have written it is quite easy to realise that my best reviews have been in the field of cricket where I am extremely knowledgeable and can write about with great ease. Many members are extremely good book reviewers and so concentrate in that field. One of the most important points to remember that a good review doesn't necessary have to be pages and pages long. I, for one prefer the shorter reviews which are to the point and embedded with sufficient detail. Many of the longer reviews can be tedious to read and are probably not even read properly by many members. I believe that if you right an extremely long review, most members will simply skim through it, give it a "very useful" rating and go to the next review! The shorter reviews are far easier to read. A key point which I have picked up from reading some members' very first review is that they often write their review in one big section, with a poor use of punctuation and a lack of paragraphing. Para
graphing off your review makes it far more presentable to the reader and aids the reader in reading it. If it is difficult to visualise this on the page then first write your review on Microsoft Word then cut and paste it into the appropriate box. Microsoft Word also provides a handy spellchecker to remove many spelling and grammar mistakes you may have made. It is too easy to make a typing error especially when you are in a rush to finish things. This is something I have seen from many new members and I try to comment upon this in a friendly manner so they are not offended but learn from their mistakes. Gaining a creditable reputation on Dooyoo is extremely important in order for your opinions to be valued by other members. Participating in other features of Dooyoo such as the message board and chat facility can only help you gain recognition and can also be extremely useful for any help you may need or even queries regarding Dooyoo itself. Take time in writing your review and don?t make the mistake of trying to post many reviews on the same day. Many members dislike this and tend to discard your later reviews. Also spend time checking and improving the vocabulary. Take pride in what you have written and try to produce a review which will be most beneficial to other readers. When you write the review the first factor is picking a suitable title. If possible try and make the title sound interesting to lure the reader in. The use of wit goes down very well and originality is a great thing! You need a short and snappy title which seems interesting to the reader so he will read it! Imagine you were surfing on Dooyoo and then think whether the title you have selected would interest you and make you read it. That way is often the best. Try and keep away from dull titles, as it will only gain you less reads. There are an endless number of reviews on Dooyoo, so the title needs to make the reader click on yours ahead of many others. Writ
e a clear, concise review using as much of your personal opinion as possible. Never simply write as much as you possibly can. If possible go through it at the end and cut out bits you feel are unnecessary. A crowned opinion has no significance on the number of words; more important is the quality of the review. Don't just fill up the space with facts, stick to your opinion and then use necessary information to back up your point of view. Remember that the reader can go to the product's website if he wishes to read the facts. It is far interesting to read a person's view on the product and whether you like/dislike it etc. This is a consumer opinion site to provide the reader with a range of views. If everyone simply mentioned the facts it would be a waste of time. Once you have completed your review check over it to make sure what you have written has made sense and there are no grammatical errors. If necessary cut out the waffle to make the review even more concise. What the reader wants to read is a well-written, detailed piece, not a long boring rant. Try and end the piece on an interesting note and if possible try and invite others to contribute in the comment section. If you stick to these simple guidelines you are sure not to fail and over time you will gain the recognition of others. Another way to prove the number of reads you receive is by reading and rating other reviews. I cannot stress to you how important this is. Also writing comments, be it worthy praise or constructive criticism, usually goes down well as the writer acknowledges you have the taken the effort to read the piece. Obviously, do not insult the writer but if appropriate give him advice so he can improve in the future. Remember we can all improve somewhere. On the other hand, if someone criticises you, don't be offended by it. Instead make sure it does not happen again. Commenting on opinions you have read is far better than simply giving it a ra
ting. When the reader sees your comment he may click on your profile and read some of your opinions. Never be dishearted by what someone may have written. I hope this has been of some help to you! Cheers Jackal123
There's no point in repeating everything that's been mentioned in the "Home > Internet > Information > Reference > dooyoo.co.uk > Tips on writing good opinions > The Site In General" because they go into a lot of detail that's very useful to all opinions on Dooyoo and you should all have a browse through this category at some point anyway. I'm not here to tell everyone how to write Internet opinions. After all, everyone has their own natural style. However, keep three things in mind when writing your opinion: information is the key, personal experience adds loads to your opinion and try and make your opinion as balanced as possible. The following is a guide to some of the information I personally think should be included in the various types of opinions you can write in Internet, and it's entirely up to you to choose which you want to (or can) include and which you leave out. If you are a web wizard and know practically everything about the Internet, try to keep the amount of unexplained jargon or acronyms to a minimum. You might know that an ISP is an Internet Service Provider, like Freeserve, AOL, Blueyonder etc. but does your readership? What sorts of Internet opinions are there? The Internet category falls into three main types: websites, services and the Forum. ? Website Opinions. Most of us mere mortals (yes, even me, my minions) are still running 56k modems down a phone line. So, in some cases, it might be worth mentioning the loading times of some web sites, especially if you found them to be exceedingly slow over a number of visits. For example, www.shockwave.com can be quite a fun site, but there's no way I'd access it from home. I wait until I'm at university before going anywhere near it. Obviously, if loading times were very quick, or you're using broadband, this is not really an issue (although, feel free to mention it if you wish). Some words a
bout site design are nice. Again, you don't have to go into detail about colours and the fonts used etc. but it's wise to include such information like how easy you found it to navigate, was the information all correct and up to date? Are there any broken links (i.e. links which don't go anywhere, or to out of date pages), or is the site still under construction? Perhaps you were looking for a specific thing like a file or a piece of information, or even pictures of a naked Britney Spears. Did it take you long to find them, or were you running around in circles with no idea where to go or what to do next? Speaking of naked Ms. Spears (not THE Britney Spears mind you, but a fictional... oh, who am I kidding?), if the content of the web site you're describing is a tad... adult, then you should probably mention this as well. It might be obvious that it's an adult site e.g. www.britneyinthebuff.com or www.swearyhumour.org but other sites might not be so obviously named and some readers might have younger children around and could do with the warning before going off to view the site. If you are using a web site that requires you to sign up before you use it, then give a rough idea of what sort of information the website requires from you. Do you have to give twenty pages of complex personal history or a simple username and password? If your email address is a necessity, are you inundated with spam as a result? Do they send out good, interesting and relevant stuff in their emails or is it a waste of time? If they required your credit or debit card details, did you feel you could trust them? Did you have faith in the security of their site to keep your details secure? On those occasions that the web site offers a lot of services (e.g. Yahoo!, Amazon etc.) it's not entirely necessary to go through each bit, giving an explanation. Usually, in cases like this, one or two small examples can adequately show what the web site i
s all about, without boring the reader to tears with long lists, repeating stuff you've said already. ? Services. Services opinions can be split into two main sections ISPs and Other Services. When writing about these, it's your personal experience that matters more than simply listing what the company is offering. After all, we could simply read their services off their web site. i) ISP opinions (and, to a lesser extent, hosting firms). Most of the opinions about ISPs I've read on Dooyoo are complaints, especially aimed at those bastions of niceness "AO Hell" and "NT Hell". Of course, we all appreciate your viewpoint and you should let people know why you are annoyed with your ISP. However, why not tell us why you picked one ISP over another. Was it price? Good worth of mouth? A free trial that simply ended up being a lifetime commitment? Did it offer the ability to sign up over the Internet? Payment methods? There's always a reason why you made the decision before you had your bad experiences. Go on, give us that information! Hosting firms are similar - give the details that made you choose them. Describe the hosting packages: amount of web space, the web technologies (ASP, php, cgi etc.*) if any. If you have problems, again, please tell us, but don't solely base your opinion on your complaint because after all there must have been a reason you chose one firm over another in the first place. In both the above cases, you may also wish to comment on their web site and, if necessary or applicable, their customer service standards. * These are technologies used for creating dynamic (changing) web sites. Ordinary ISPs don't usually offer anything for this, so you have to go to a hosting company. ii) Other Services. Other services include things like web-based email (Hotmail, Another etc.), auction sites (eBay, QXL) plus online services like secur
e payments (PayPal, NoChex) etc. Like the ISPs and Hosting Services above, tell us why you used these services over other, similar ones. What prices, costs or charges are involved? How did you sign up to these services? Did you find them to be good value for money for what they offer? Like everything else, list what you thought was good, and what you thought was bad. Give some examples of how the site's works. Again, going into minute detail about everything isn't necessary, but give the reader an idea of how the site/service works. As you can see, a lot of the things I suggested you include when writing about web sites is also applicable across the whole Internet category. Usually, web-based firms operate through their web site which means when writing opinions on these services/firms, more often than not the opinion is split between how good their web site is and how good the actual company is. Feel free to list a few alternatives as well, and this is especially true id you think you've found a hidden gem of a company that you want to share. ? Internet Forum opinions. These are hybrids of Internet opinions and Speakers Corner opinions. You're not reviewing anything in particular, but you may be called upon to describe your experiences anyway. There's not much I can really say about these ones, apart from the fact they're a lot less "technical" than anything else in the Internet category. Writing opinions of this type is more like writing a general Dooyoo opinion, and the only thing I would say here (which I've already said above) is to try and explain any jargon in plain English. -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0- Anyway, there you have my guide to what to include in an Internet opinion. Please note these are not rules, and this is not telling you HOW to write. Everything that is written above is by no means everything you'd need to include in an Internet opinio
n, but hopefully there's enough there to get your old brain ticking over. The most important thing is to have fun, and don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts.