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User product reviews could be classified as the first true componentĀ of Web 2.0. It’s the ground floor of social media. Unfortunately, I believe they are becoming less useful. I am a big fan of Trip Advisor. I never book a trip without checking what people have to say about the hotel or rental car company I am considering. So I hate to pick on them but over the last few months, I have noticed a trend. If you sort reviews by rating, the hotel is the best thing since sliced bread when favorable ratings are on top and on the other side of the sort, the hotel is over-run with rats and the staff goes out of their way to ruin your vacation. So which do you believe? Essentially, you are left to trust your gut which is the sameĀ place we were 10 years ago before reviews became common place. Now, I am not saying that all reviews are useless but for web sites that have reached critical mass, we do need a better system. One that allows me to read reviews from people like me. What if there was a way for me to hear reviews only from people who have kids, an income over a certain amount, have traveled to similar destinations in the past, have similar tastes in brands and think Chili’s is okay food. Not great food, just okay. Then when someone says a hotel has great food and the staff is very friendly, I have a context to define “great food” and “very friendly staff.” Now wouldn’t that be more helpful the next time you are trying to plan your next trip or purchasing a product?