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Exclusive set review format question

HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,076
edited August 2014 in
Ace at FBTB had a dig at my approach to publishing set reviews in multiple parts in his review of The Tumbler.

I tend to do it like that so that

- I can get something published almost as soon as the set arrives rather than several days later once I've finished building it.
- thus, I'm usually first to publish
- multiple parts encourage site revisits
- it's easier for readers to digest in small parts rather than one long diatribe

But, I'd be interested to hear what you think, whether it's annoying having to wait for the whole thing etc.


  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    For larger sets, I like it. Concentrating on the box and the minifigs first makes sense as this is what you see first, and normally the first things I look for these days are the minifigs. I also like to have a good look at all the parts, and especially the new parts, before the build starts. I like to see stages in the build during the review, rather than the completed model first.

    I guess this is because I like to know about the build, rather than just the completed model. I think you can understand the build better if you see it in stages, and more importantly for me, I can get a good idea if I would enjoy building it. If you just see the final model, it is not so easy to tell.

    To be honest, I'm not too bothered about whether you are first to publish, whether or not I will make multiple visits (I will anyway) or whether it is one long article or in parts.

    Decent sized, clear photos are very important, as is readable text.
  • davetheoxygenmandavetheoxygenman Member Posts: 214
    Broken up into small bite size pieces works best for me.

    The reasons you stated are good for Brickset and this also allows us to fit it all in while life is happening around us.

    In today's instant gratification world, sometimes having to wait for a few things is good for us. :)

    Just my two cents.
  • bkprbkpr Member Posts: 295
    I prefer one long review. I'm personally not fussed as to who has the first review, as opposed to who has the *best* review. For Lego nerds like me/us, I think in depth reviews are more rewarding to read.

    Multiple days does encourage site revisits, but at the expense of people getting annoyed at breaking things up (although that doesn't seem to be a big issue with Brickset). I liken it a little to when sites split up a story into multiple pages to encourage clicks. I even have a browser extension to grab the next page and stick it under the current page I'm reading :)

    Also, being first has its benefits for your site, especially when a set is hyped and anticipated, and the internet is searching for information.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 Administrator Posts: 2,364
    I find it easier to write long reviews in sections, and prefer to read them in sections as well. For me it is all about getting reviews out quickly while also maintaining a good standard and a broken up review is more accommodating of this, both to read and to write.

    I generally find FBTB reviews ill-informed and unnecessarily harsh to be honest, and the length of their very longest ones would put me off reading them.

    Anyway, a vote for segmented reviews :o)
  • PeteMPeteM Member Posts: 445
    I quite like the segmented reviews as, having little interest in packaging or minifigs (but acknowledging that others do), it means I can skip straight to the 'interesting' bit without all the tedious scrolling. I am a lazy internet browser :-)
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    With regard reviews, or any editorial piece, you should always stick with what comes natural to you; it's your voice, and your time. You can't be everything to everyone, some will like it, some might not. The important thing is the choice is there. What good would several reviews be, if they all take the same approach just because of a few detractors.
    Besides, if it's more convenient to post in installments - we all have lives - then that's your business. I, for one, quite liked the bite-size approach. It was novel, and easy to digest during quick, stolen breaks during the day, instead of having to hunker down for a full lego fest, with sufficient supplies to ward off starvation.

    With regard the FBTB review: I just took a look at it, and I honestly didn't make the connection you made - i'm not sure anyone else did either - it just seemed like a standard tease 'just kidding folks' type joke. But if there was a little poke aimed your way, i'd just take it as a friendly bit of ribbing... if the joke works, it just means you have a recognisable style for them to riff off - it's a form of flattery, either way.

    So I think perhaps you're being a little oversensitive (I used to write articles for a games magazine, it always pleased me when others would comment on what i'd written and how i'd written - it showed (i) i was being read, but not only that, (ii) that i was connecting with readers to the point that the writing itself was something of a discussion topic).

    Laugh it off, see the flattery that the joke itself implies - even if unintended. If you have history with the person to make you believe it was out of spite, then I wouldn't even draw attention to it, as it just sends traffic their way. Just embrace what familiarity/notoriety (if any) you acquire, it'll work for you. (And it's always better to be a good sport than a bad one).

    Last Thought: Free lego... If i were in their shoes (hosting a forum/news blog), these freebies would be saving me ££££s every year, for doing what i'd do anyway (talking about my hobby). If a reviewer really does want to take a cheap shot at other reviewers over stylistic decisions, they might want to also consider the hand that giveth, may taketh away.
  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,076
    Thanks everyone -- I didn't take offence at Ace's dig but I was interested to hear whether others thought the same.

    I will indeed continue to do as I do now given that most people who have replied here like small chunks, and those that don't can always wait until it's all been published and read it in one go.
  • bkprbkpr Member Posts: 295
    @huw LOLZ, I don't think anyone's gonna be holding off reading any info :P

    I think also, people'll read ALL reviews of the Tumbler while they wait for their package to arrive, no matter where they or ow they're formatted.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    edited August 2014
    ^ Something i forgot to add, though others mentioned, was also the advantage of segmented reviews is that they actually allow you to go into more detail, not less (particularly useful on large sets). All-in-one reviews tend to skip/skim over details in order to keep word counts/length down (or be accused of being over-long).

    The more views, the more formats, the merrier. (It's not as if reading one review prevents people reading another). In fact i'd imagine we all seek different information at different times, and so get what we need from varied sources each time.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Member Posts: 7,537
    I really enjoy your review style, particularly the detail and attention given to photographing the model. I might be getting to be an old fart but I just have no use for youtube video reviews and much prefer to look at high quality pictures at my own pace
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,528
    Just had a flick through the FBTB review - what a moaning Minnie!

    As for whole / split reviews... I don't really mind. The quality of the writing (and any associated photos) is what counts, and I normally have a hunt round to get a few different points of view anyway.

    I certainly wouldn't be changing anything you do on the account of some grumpasaurus from across the pond.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,528
    Huw said:

    Thanks everyone -- I didn't take offence at Ace's dig...

    Take offence!! Take offence!!

    Brickset vs FBTB


    (Not only are there probably more of us, but we can spell properly too! Windshield indeed...)
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 Administrator Posts: 2,364
    ^ We could have a building tournament between the biggest LEGO fan sites on the Internet one day. Sounds like fun!
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526

    ^ We could have a building tournament between the biggest LEGO fan sites on the Internet one day. Sounds like fun!

    Why just one day, when you can section it and spread it out over a number of days? :-)
  • akunthitaakunthita Member Posts: 1,038
    edited August 2014
    I like both long reviews (as long as they are broken up by pictures), and segmented reviews. As long as the segmented review has easily visible links to the earlier or later parts, and new pages on the website load fast, I don't have a problem with that.

    I agree with @legomatt‌, when you write a review, do it your way. Yes, you want to give relevant and accurate information to the reader, but it is perfectly all-right, in fact preferrable, to weave the article with your own style. And it also depends on the readership. For example too technical reviews don't work on my blog because I have a lot of young readers. On Brickset however most of the readers are older, knowledgable LEGO fans who appreciate the more critical, more detailed, adult view.

    Interestingly, there was also a recent discussion on Eurobricks about what readers preferred; video reviews or written reviews with pictures. Last time I checked (it was a few days ago), the result was vastly in favor of written reviews, which reflects the preference and style of that particular community. If you would have asked the same question at the BrickShow, they would say they prefer video reviews. So it really depends on the audience. LEGO fans tend to pick one favorite website/blog/forum that fits them best, and maybe have a few backups. It would not be possible for one site to please everyone.

    BTW, I choose video reviews as my preference. The main reason for this is because I live far from a LEGO store and it is impossible for me to judge from pictures the size, scope and functionality of a set. I need to see it in a video, and handled by the reviewer. Also, there are only so many pictures a written review can include, and they may miss an angle that I'm really interested in. Good video reviews show all functionalities, all sides, and all details. It gives me the best idea about a set without seeing it in person. But as the Eurobricks poll showed, it is not everyone's preference.

  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    If it's a set I really want I like the multiple part approach because it feeds the anticipation.
  • graphitegraphite Member Posts: 3,275
    I don't really have a preference but I am more likely to read the segmented ones done here than ones other places because I like the depth covered. I honestly don't care much about reviews because it doesn't sway me one way or the other. I can tell from looking at a set on my own if I like it or not. Reading the review just shows me things I may not have seen on my own or in some cases satisfies my curiosity about the set so that it doesn't bother me when I buy it and have to wait a long while to build it due to lack of space or time.

    It is the same with movies. I hear people all the time say "Rotten tomatoes only gave it 28%". A large number of movies I find entertaining and watch regularly are < 40% on rotten tomatoes.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,260
    edited August 2014
    I like the larger reviews being in parts - apart from it being good for BS's stats, the first part of a review, coming just a few hours after you've received it, gives advance notice to people that you have something and there'll be more stuff to read about it in due course, rather than the whole thing just 'appearing' a day or so later.

    Plus I imagine it slightly takes the pressure off you to get the whole thing done as quickly as possible, allowing you to take a bit more time over it.

    I don't read FBTB anyway ;)
  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,076
    ^ exactly.
  • aimlesspursuitsaimlesspursuits Member Posts: 207
    I like the segmented reviews. It gives me more to read throughout the day. :)
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