What online review ratings really mean [Comic]

It seems like since the advent of the internet — from simple HTML pages, to Geocities, to modern blogs — there is always someone or some website reviewing a product (may that be user rated reviews) and giving the product ratings. If you were a cynic like the artist over at xkcd, you may conclude that star ratings mean the following:

Sadly enough, the “has only one review” quip is, more likely than not, true.

[via xkcd]

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  • sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    Hey, have you checked out the “user ratings” at newegg.com?
    They’re really a hoot.
    And I think that in general, they bear the truth of our friend’s comic, too.
    They are good, tho, for susing out some of the more common complaints with many products.
    I’ve looked over a number of items that I thought I wanted to buy,
    until I saw what kind of problems were being reported by the users.
    Amazon.com has some ‘good’ reviews also.
    So, in that sense, they are good, because they can warn us about what *not* to buy.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  • jayesstee

    “I have to agree with Eric989 re cnet and Majorgeeks” – me too. CNet is definitely a no-no these days.
    Also, for those interested, “freewarebb.com” have reliable user ratings.

  • Mags

    “has only one review” also have to agree on that.

    When it comes to SW I look at many places for reviews, then decide whether to download or not.

    I have to agree with Eric989 re cnet and Majorgeeks.

  • Eric989

    “Has only one review” is pretty much spot on. In general I think that these ratings are almost useless but they do vary from site to site. For example cnet’s user ratings are almost inversely proportional to the quality of the product while the users of Majorgeeks are right most of the time.
    I have found many great programs that had terrible reviews and many many many terrible programs that had high marks. You really just never know.