I've been putting a bit of work into the Gear Database to upgrade the review system. I'll continue to work on it in the days to come but here's where we're at with some of the enhancements:
1) Modify your old reviews. If you've already written a review on an item and want to add some details or you change your mind about your review later, you can now go back and make changes. Simply click on the "Write a Review" link again for the item that you've reviewed and it will allow you to edit your review. I'll add an "Edit Review" link shortly to make it easier to navigate. If you've written any reviews you may want to go back anyway to complete you review and add some of the new information that I've now provided for. (see below)
2) Review Subject. Some reviews don't have subject lines. Go add a subject to your review to make it easer for people decide which ones to read.
3) Recommend it? There's now a drop down where you can recommend the item. Select either "Yes" or "No" and the script will place a thumbs-up or thumbs-down icon next to your review. I'll build some statistics around the percentage of people recommending an item vs. not recommending it later.
4) Pros and Cons Added. I've added two new fields for pros and cons. Enter the a few main thoughts in here. With the subject this will provide a nice quick overview of the item. (i.e. Pros: Cost, Low toggle pressure, easy to pack)
5) Review summary. Each item now has a summary graph of how people rated it. A few more quirks here but I'll iron those out.
6) Helpful or Not? You can now give feedback on whether a review was helpful or not. There are two buttons at the bottom of each review. This will help people select which reviews to read first.
7) View all a User's Reviews. Click on the reviewers name or on the (user reviews) link and you'll get a list of all reviews written by that user. You'll also see a graph of how the person rated all the items he reviewed. This is helpful if there's a specific individual who's reviews you value and you'd like to see them all. This will also in the future become the page from where you can Manage all your reviews.
8) Fixed the Star Ratings. The star ratings are now out of 5 only and I've fixed the bug that gave a distorted view of the ratings.
9) "New" reviews marked. new reviews will now appear at the top of the list and be marked with a yellow "New" icon
10) Review formatting. Some people write really useful long reviews. These used to appear as a single paragraph in the old system. The script will now format your text with line breaks to look just like your original input.
11) Review validation All reviews will now be validated before they are posted to the web. This means, whether you post a new review or modify and old one and editor (in this case it's me only!) will read your review before it's posted. I'll obviously let negative reviews through but this should cut down on malicious reviews and unsubstantiated bashing of manufacturers.
12) Old reviews are included. I've migrated all the "old reviews" into the system as well. These were written before I switched to a user registration model on Dropzone.com. This means they don't have valid usernames associated with them and are missing some information like a rating etc. The information in these are good so I included them. I've tried to adjust the system so the ratings and numbers don't get skewed by these unrated items (I'm basically ignoring them when calculating averages) If you spot a review that you wrote on the old site that you'd like to have associated with your Dropzone.com username, send me an email with your username and the ReviewID (top right corner of every review) and I'll make the association so you can start managing and updating your review.
OK - that's a mouth full. There are still a few small bugs and broken tags - I'll fix those. The Dropzone database and reviews will be next to receive these modifications. I've got a few more cool features in the working. Hope this helps!