Rules Of The Review Road - SoGirl Blog at - 255282


Rules of the Review Road 
Oct. 30, 2011 10:06 am 
Updated: Feb. 28, 2012 7:30 am
First, let me say I love this site.  I like seeing the photos and reading about fellow AR members and checking out the reviews of recipes I may be interested in making.  Which leads me to my topic today...rules of the road for reviews according to wisweetp.  

Above all, don't be nasty.  You may hate a recipe even if it's gotten 50 5-star reviews.  That's fine.  Everyone has different taste.  You can let everyone know that it just wasn't a hit for you without belittling the person who submitted the recipe or the other reviewers who loved the dish.  But be honest, too.  If you don't like it or think that it needs significant changes to be a good recipe, it's fine in my book to say so...just do it in a courteous manner.  

Equally important;  don't submit a review and say "I'd never make this, it has way too much fat/calories/sodium in it!"  C' one is forcing anybody using this site to make a recipe.  If the nutritional content makes it off-limits to you, that's perfectly fine.  Just don't review it!  There's room for a little indulgence in almost every diet now and then.  

If you don't like one of the main ingredients in a dish, perhaps you should find another.  I hate licorice/anise/fennel...if one of these is central to the recipe, then I'll keep looking.  

And I'm going to differ on this one from many AR folks...I think it's perfectly acceptable to submit a review when you've made changes.  I like reading the reviews to find out how someone made it their own.  I rarely follow a recipe to the letter.  HOWEVER...I do not agree with someone giving a very low review when they've made changes that significantly changed the dish.  If the recipe calls for chicken, broccoli, and peppers and you used beef, green beans, and onions, then it's not the same dish any longer.  And if you didn't like it, then you didn't like what YOU made, not the recipe as it was submitted.  

Don't give a bad review if you, for example, made a quick bread but your baking powder was way out of date and the bread turned out like a brick.  That's not the recipe's or the submitter's fault.  If you are using yeast that's 2 years past the expiration date, it's a pretty safe bet that your end result isn't going to be what the submitter intended.  Try it again or walk away.  

I have 4 recipes published on this site.  I welcome reviews even if they aren't 5-star and use those constructive ones as a way to improve my recipe or give me ideas for the next one.  Not everyone is going to like something as much as my family does, and I appreciate the honesty.  I like the reviews where someone added their own spin, too.  It's fun to see the ideas, many of which are great.  

Thanks for the opportunity to add my two cents, and happy cooking to all!
Oct. 30, 2011 10:28 am
I wish there was a way to have this as the opening page so everyone has to see it before they can do anything! I'm now going to check our your recipes and I promise to be mannerly.
Oct. 30, 2011 11:13 am
I do not like the rating system, It is arbitrary. I think there should be some questions to qualify a rating Like. Did you make the the recipe as directed by the cook? Did you like it? Would you Recommend it to others? Would You Buy It At A Restraint?, Do you have suggestions for Improvement? or others that would give a rating based on a set of generic questions. I know I have to admit it I do have to bite my lip sometimes.
Oct. 30, 2011 2:17 pm
I agree 100%! I have several published recipes and if I get low ratings, it's ok...not everybody is going to like what I submit...I don't trip on that. I change up recipes all the time and I still review...if it sucks after I changed it, it's on me, not the person who submitted it. If I, on the rare occasion, make it is as written and it sucks, I'll let the person know that it sucks without writing a review that says, "Hey! You're recipe sucks!" There's a better way to put it. Great blog!
Oct. 31, 2011 4:27 am
I agree with nearly everything you said but I think "false" positive feedback is even worse than "false" negative after altering a recipe significantly. You may not hurt the feelings of the submitter but you can help inexperienced cooks the world over waste valuable ingredients by giving a "bad" recipe 5 stars with all of your changes. (Of course, I mean the generic "you", not you personally :)
Oct. 31, 2011 6:31 am
Great blog! I still think, though IMO, there should be a separate review section when the original recipe is altered. I can't count the AR recipes I've used but altered and didn't review because I wasn't sure what would be an appropriate rating should be. Lots of times I'd like to at least thank the cook for giving me a great idea to use even though I didn't come close to using their recipe.
Oct. 31, 2011 8:53 am
BigShotsMom, thank you, and I hope you enjoy the recipes. I welcome all "mannerly" feedback! : ) KingSparta, that's some good food for thought on a review system. witchywoman, thank you. linda2d, you have raised some good points, also. It's not always easy for me to try to see something from an inexperienced cook's eyes. Maybe this is where KingSparta's ideas would come in handy. I do like to see a good review even if the recipe was changed quite a bit but recognize that is way more helpful to an expert cook rather than a beginner. Cat Hill, this also ties in to KingSparta's idea and linda2d's comments. Maybe AR will take notice! I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't find that helpful. Thanks for stopping in.
Oct. 31, 2011 2:14 pm
Great blog! One of AllRecipes' terms of service state that people should NOT review or rate a recipe unless they've made it. Any time I run across a review where it's obvious the reviewer never made the recipe, I report it to AR. Usually this is like the example you give where someone says they'd never make the recipe because of the fat/calorie/salt levels and they give the recipe a low star rating. It's not fair to the recipe author to do that. This isn't a health foods web site, for goodness sake! I also agree with being tactful and courteous when giving poor reviews. I always remember one review where the person said that even their dog wouldn't eat it. I felt horrible for the recipe author.
Feb. 28, 2012 7:30 am
This is a funny blog. Reading The Buzz I see this topic come and go...I laugh when a review is longer than your blog. For instance......Yes, I believe when someone halves a recipe it is because they don't need to feed as many people as the recipe originally would have. Kinda self explanatory. But nevertheless while writing reviews people have long, long, long explanations as to why. Example, I halved this recipe because now we, that is Hubby and I, are Empty Nesters as our oldest returned to China with his wife and our three beautiful grandchildren. Our youngest is now in his first year of college out of state and he was the one with the biggest appetite. Had to use egg substitute because I didn't have eggs on hand. Always have egg substitute since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol in 2008. I couldn't run to the store because Hubby took the car today. We recently went to having just one car instead of two to save money on car insurance that has wildly risen in price over the past year. I couldn't get to the store without the car and Hubby didn't have his cell on for some reason and blah blah blah. lol Get it you don't have eggs. Ha ha ha ha ha
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About Me
I'm a born and bred Southerner now living in the Midwest (temporarily!). I learned to cook by watching and helping my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom were wonderful Southern cooks who cooked by "feel" rather than by measuring. And that's how I cook now, too. Recipes are more of a suggestion than instruction for me. I love to garden and use my fresh veggies in my creations, especially salsa and hot sauce, which are my specialties.
My favorite things to cook
Baked goods (especially yeast breads), soups, pizza, roasted and grilled veggies...
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas candy making with my mom. She lives across the country now, so we haven't been able to do that since I moved..better on the waistlines!
My cooking triumphs
Planning an outdoor party for 20 people where the main course and the main side dish were to be grilled. It was POURING when the time came. I moved everything inside and prepared the food on stovetop and oven, and it turned out beautifully anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Making biscuits at my mom's house one time and accidentally using plain flour instead of self-rising. Needless to say, I had to make another batch of biscuits when I realized what I had done! Otherwise, I've been pretty lucky!
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