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There are lots of 'reviews' on bikeradar.com which are almost always too short and not very thorough. I look at them sometimes just as a news source, certainly nothing more. For some reason on 2010-7-14 I finally clicked on the link in the bit of text beneath those reviews which says:
About BikeRadar reviews: Our review scoring system has changed in 2010. Therefore recent reviews may have comparatively lower scores than past reviews. Click here for a full explanation of our ratings.
The link is http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/our-review-ratings-explained-25005, and there are various critical comments but the last one (at the time I looked) is downright disturbing, which is:
itchyhorse Posted Mon 26 Apr, 7:59 am BST Flag as inappropriate
Having worked supply side within the bike industry, I can say that because of biased opinion a lot of decent product gets underrated and subsequently ignored by websites/magazines. In the case of a saddle bag that a distributor has bought a few hundred of it might not be too much of a problem. But you try selling a bike that's been unfairly panned. Worse yet, what if it's an expensive bike? Well, that happened to the company I was working for and they'd spent just over £30K on the stock of this particular model. As a result of the review; just one review... The stock sat there till the end of the model year and it was cleared out at roughly what it cost the company (though having warehoused it all year they probably lost money on it). The reviews are extremely far reaching it seems especially with everyone having access to the web nowadays. An addition to the story.. The company began advertising with said website/publishing house the following year and we never worried about the outcome of a review after that. We were in the club as it were, and we even got the chance to have our earlier lesser reviews pulled from the site to save any brand damage. Product reviews are (on the whole) carried out by journalists wanting to be bike riders. Very rarely is it the other way round. On that basis most of what is written is rubbish.
If I knew the names of that company and that magazine/website, I would never visit/read the latter nor buy anything from the former.
Instead of correcting a possibly unjustified bad review on their own website and/or by commenting on it on that website/in that magazine, they advertise in it, and have bad reviews removed. They are not helping remove injust (or just badly done) reviews, nor correcting them, no, they are helping to make all reviews from that website/magazine untrustworthy. These people are part of the problem that generates bad reviews. It's quite unsurprising that this guy then attacks the writers in the magazines for ridiculous reasons "journalists wanting to be bike riders" which is just complete and utter bullshit. They are inept, yes (I've seen it enough times and I have given examples elsewhere on my website), but a 'bike rider' isn't going to do any better. It's about attitude, nothing more, nothing less. Example: I don't need to be a painter to appreciate a painting by Rembrandt, nor to be able to judge lots of other paintings by amateurs, as shite. So I don't need to be a professional bike rider to be able to judge bikes, or parts thereof.
Most of the reviews in magazines and websites thereof, are rubbish because these people have a non-critical attitude. Bribery by advertising such as the above shows, just makes it even worse. I.e., the reviews are useless, but with those bribes the collective of reviews from that magazine/website is worse than useless.
I put a note on that bikeradar page on 2011-11-10 in which I asked this guy to name the website and magazine so decent people can boycott them. It got removed very quickly. I have put the message there again with an extra comment about this removal. If it gets removed again I will never visit bikeradar again, and I will assume they are complicit in that behaviour that 'itchyhorse' admitted.
My saved-page just after posting: bikeradar: our-review-ratings-explained-25005 (copy from 2011-11-12)
2011-11-18: I got a reply to my reposting, and it weasles out of the removal issue by saying the links are to a commercial website, which is bullshit. The links were to my reviews/criticism pages. See the original posting file which I made in the texteditor, and thus saved here (my bikeradar post 2011-11-10).
They also say I implied they are the ones itchyhorse meant and that that my 'threat' was evidence for that. This is rubbish, because I said that if bikeradar removes my comment again, then I will assume they are complicit in this behaviour (and of course not necessarily with the company itchorse worked for!). This means I did not think nor say that they are the ones who itchyhorse meant, nor that I thought they do such things at all (although by removing my comment they did give such an impression), except if they remove my comment again. In that case I would assume that the impression they gave of being complicit is a fact (and that does not imply they are the ones itchyorse meant, there could be lots of magazines and websites who act in the way itchyhorse describes). So, they themselves were responsible for giving the impression that they are complicit in this type of behaviour, by removing my original comment.
The revised post (minus links) + extra comment about removal page can be found from the link above (the 'saved-page'). My response to their email was therefore this:
On 11/18/11 12:45, James Costley-White wrote:
> We deleted your comment from our ratings article because (a) we felt it
> implied that we were complicit in the alleged wrongdoing referred to by
> itchyhorse and (b) it contained links to a commercial website.
The links were to reviews and criticism of reviews which are separate from the commercial section, so this is not valid.
And you could have just removed the links.
Such links are allowed anyway on the forums so I don't see the point.
> Your threat to 'put on my website that bikeradar is complicit in this
> behaviour' suggests this decision was justified.
No, the view that you are complicit in this type of behaviour (I didn't mean this particular instance, since I know this type of thing happens a lot everywhere), was a logical conclusion of your removal of my comment. So you interpreted that incorrectly.
So I did not imply that that the removal of the comment meant to say that your website was the one that 'itchyhorse' meant, but the removal of my comment seems to show a clear indication that your website cannot deal with the analysis that I did, of both criticism of reviews, and that something similar might be going on with your website. And that something similar was going on with bikeradar appeared to be so only because of your removal of my comment.
The 'threat' I made was of course for this purpose, to either let you let the comment stand, reply to it, or say what needs to be changed.
> However, we will allow the reposted comment to remain, as it doesn't
> contain the links. The second comment containing the threat will be removed.
It's not a threat, it's an analysis of your behaviour, what it implies and/or gives an impression of, and that I do not tolerate such behaviour. Neither the unwarranted removal of comments, nor the behaviour of the type itchyhorse described, and thus, if your website appears to do what he says, which by your actions of removal of my comment you did appear to do, then I will do whatever is necessary to counter that.
I've dealt with enough crap in the bicycle industry such as itchyhorse described, and it's time to get rid of that...
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Last modified: Sun Jan 8 15:40:49 CET 2012