Saturday, January 23, 2010

eHam.net review updates

Yesterday on the Elecraft reflector Aptos head honcho Eric posted a request for people to submit new reviews of Elecraft products at eHam as "some of the eHam review categories are getting stale." Since he had helpfully provided a link to the K3 review category I took a look and sure enough since my updated review of November 24, 2009 there had been only three new reviews prior to Eric's call to action, and two of those had given less than a 5/5 rating.

I looked back through the reviews and was dismayed to find that my lengthy and not entirely complimentary review of September 18 in which I gave the K3 4/5 had been deleted. At first I suspected something sinister was going on. However my attention was eventually drawn to the review guidelines which state: "Multiple reviews of the same product by one person unfairly skews the product ratings. If you submit more than one review for the same product your older reviews will be removed. If you want the content of your older reviews to be in your updated review then you are responsible for cutting and pasting your old review content into your new review."

But eHam.net doesn't always do what it states. For example, two fulsome reviews of the K3 by AD4C are present, one on September 5, 2009 and one on November 26, 2008. Finding these helped restore my belief in my sanity, because I was sure that I had seen others post updates to earlier reviews that were still present on the site.

It's a pity that eHam.net doesn't make this policy clearer - for example, by warning you when you are about to post a review that it will cause the removal of an earlier one - and that it doesn't apply it consistently. Otherwise one might be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that skewing of the results is acceptable if the direction is favourable towards an advertiser.
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