Why Do People Bother With Tripadvisor?

Old May 3rd, 2014, 06:46 AM
  #41  
 
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1hughes, again, you are attributing something to TA which is not within their control. All reviews are the view of only one person and it is subjective.

You are correct though that they are worthless. But ALL reviews are worthless to YOU unless it is YOUR review or by someone with whom you have found yourself consistently agreeing.

The problem lies in people thinking that reviews are going to tell them how THEY will find something. Everyone has different expectations, taste, standards, etc. If mine differ from yours then clearly my review will differ from yours.

I grew up in Toronto. In 2012, there were 1308 new restaurants opened in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Do you really think anyone has tried them all and then picked which is their number one? Is there an objective list of criteria that all reviewers use to judge each one?

Relying on reviews by strangers is no better than simply judging a restaurant from what you see through the window and what you see on the menu posted at the door. In fact, I would say the latter is probably a more reliable way of choosing where to eat.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 07:21 AM
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ALL reviews of anything are subjective. Books, destinations, theatre, film, dance, food. They are ALL subjective.

Which does not render them without value.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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Reviews are valuable if they are factual.

I remember reading about what ended up being my favorite Waikiki hotel (sadly now closed) during an early trip to Hawaii. People made negative comments because there was "rust on the bathroom mirror" and "stains on the carpet". Both things that did not trouble me (considering the low price I was paying). So it was valuable for me to read their comments going in, to know what to expect, even though they did not change my decision.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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Yes suze facts can be useful. So what?

The topic is not about anything objective in a review it is about subjective opinions in reviews.

The OP is saying that TA (of which I am not a fan at all by the way) gets it wrong when it rates a restaurant 'No. 1' etc. The OP is trying to say that s/he thinks TA is supposed to be FACTUAL when in fact it is not.

Blaming TA for what users think of a restaurant is pointless. What might make sense is to suggest to TA that they stop ranking subjective data and simply list reviews by individuals by date.

But then all those people who think reviews are a good thing and blindly follow such subjective ratings would moan about that no doubt.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 06:59 AM
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Funnily enough, on re-reading the OP, the OP says s/he in fact does not follow reviews and is actually saying don't follow them. The OP has tried to describe why they are not worth following but hasn't done a very good job of doing that.

Nevertheless, to the question asked, 'Why do people bother with TripAdvisor' the answer isn't that difficult. In fact, the OP has answered it already. "The numbers make life simple because now there is no need to think. Just follow the rail of breadcrumbs."
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Old May 5th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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"... the rail of the breadcrumbs"! Sorry dulci - your typo made me smile

Since the time Popov described Regent's street in London as a 'shopping mall' I have been interested in his interesting opinions. But that's just me, a mere woman.

About TA: after one fairly bad experience in a little family-owned hotel in Prague with amazing, awesome and glowing reviews, I have learned to be more critical of a place that receives ONLY wonderful reviews.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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TripAdvisor used to be good. But now it gets too much attention from companies and they use their representative to offset people's comments. I wouldn't try too much on their reviews.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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When I need a fast reply, I go to TA.

When I want to find reviews, I go to TA and first of all look at the names - how many reviews do they have? Skip those with 1 or 2, the rest is accurate.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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I use TA as an easy place to check prices on a hotel from a variety of sources.

I also look at the travelers' photos, compared to the professional photos.

Then I can link directly to the hotel via TA.

I don't pay a lot of attention to the reviews, except the extreme ones.
Out of curiosity more than for decision-making.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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I have to take back my comment about restaurant reviews.. such I just wrote one after a particularily good meal at a small place just outside my city.
However... as stated by others.. reviews are subjective .. and usually have few FACTS ( exceptions would be opening hours and prices) .. its someones opinion after all. I have read reviews by folks who honestly think Applebees has good food... they are not lieing.. they are stating their opinions. So .. restaurant reviews are trickier then hotel reviews.. which will generally have a few more facts.. ie , location, room size, decor style, amenities offered.. etc. but even so.. hotel reviews are subjective too.. some folks will decide a room is "too small".. and yet I have stayed in same place and though room size was average for location.. etc.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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When I mentioned "facts" above I was referring to hotel reviews. Specifics about the conditions of the room.

It's not "someones opinion" if the shower curtain is torn, the mirror is rusty, the carpet is stained, people are smoking in the common area outside your room, etc.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 03:49 PM
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I use TA regularly. As a frequent visitor to Bermuda for over thirty years I post in the forum. Same for the town where I live.
When I head to a new town I read the reviews for hotels and restaurants. The rankings are not significant. I booked a hotel in early Sept for a stay in April. I kept going back to see if the reviews noted any issues. Several complained of noise so I contacted the hotel GM. He moved me to a floor which he said was the quietest. I very much appreciated having an opportunity to identify a potential problem and resolve it before my stay. I also like the pm feature.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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My use of TA is similar to cmcfong's above.

I do think the strength at Trip Advisor is in the Destination Forums and the PM feature so people can contact each other directly. If I needed to know if my favorite bakery in Puerto Vallarta was going to be open this Sunday or what time the parade starts downtown (for example) I could easily find that out just by posting in PV (that's not going to happen here on Fodor's).

In the hotel reviews section and as several people have mentioned I think the actual traveler photos you can post are incredibly valuable. To see what you actually get in comparison to the hotel's website photos.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Person to person harassment is deleted if someone flags it, just like Fodor's.

The difference is that Fodor's is moderated, whereas deletions in TA seem to be automatic. That is how the forums cliques manage deletes of opinions negative or contrary to the group-think. And how some forums wind up the domain of Destination Enthusiasts.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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I have not experienced anything like that on the 5 TA forums where I actively participate. Pretty much daily and for the past 10 years.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 04:22 PM
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I use Virtual Tourist where you may ask questions of people who live where you are inquiring about.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 09:00 AM
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John, That also happens on Trip Advisor. I live in Seattle and regularly answer questions on the Seattle forum.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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correct! Remember 1% reality.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 12:24 PM
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migb, it has been a few months since you submitted your post, but I have been paying closer attention to TA since then, and your observation seems spot on to me. For some time I have wondered why the Trip Advisor forum sites are so uneven in quality. Some of the boards -- Germany, for instance -- still have regulars who actually offer advice, but some are dominated by five or six highly opinionated individuals; the latter have very little useful information yet have an inordinate number of blank spaces for deleted posts. Some of the posts on their UK board are like that. Now I know why. Anyway, I go back to places where I can get good information and avoid the others.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 01:30 PM
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Volunteers respond. Each forum is as good as the folks who respond for each board. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are dead. It is what it is.
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