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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Think before you rate

There are so many places to rate things in today's world. You rate apps on your smart phone, products on Amazon and store websites, music in iTunes, Amazon MP3 and what have you.

I think it's great to have so many places for consumer reviews about things so that if there is truly something awful about a product, others should be saved the same problems and pains that the reviewer had.

However, there are several things you should keep in mind when you are rating things.

1. Never, never, never, NEVER give something a low rating because the app or product does what it describes but not what you wanted. That is lame and low.  And stupid. If it's an app, then e-mail the developer and say, "Hey, I think this app is cool, but it would be cooler if it would do _______." Most developers I know like getting the feedback and just want to be able to give the customer what they want. But giving them a 1 star rating out of 5 because it does what it says, but not what you want it to, is lame and it skews the overall rating which might lead to someone who might benefit from that app or product to not buy it because of the overall rating.  Which leads me to number 2.

2. Don't buy something based on the overall ratings.  Read the reviews. Especially the bad ones to see if the low star rating was actually something that deserved a low rating or if the rater is being stupid and not following rule #1.

3. If you truly have an issue with a product or app, don't just give it a low rating and not say why. That's the chicken's way out. And, you know those little buttons that say "Send Feedback" or "Give Feedback" or "Holla at me bro!"  They really mean it.  So send them feedback! I have sent feedback to many developers, including Astrid and Google - and they fixed the problem!  It's not shocking, they want their customers to be happy!

4.  Just use some common sense. Some of these "big developers" are just individual programmers trying to make a product for people to love and use, and maybe supplement their income while in school or working a low or non-paid internship.  If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't say it in type. Which is a good rule to live by in any case.

Now get out there an leave thoughtful reviews that help everyone!

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