Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CHATTER 29 myTaste

Anonymity in expressions of opinion do not appeal to me. If I know the author of an opinion, even by reputation, I have a better idea of how to value it. Just as I know that if I pick up a book by Robert Ludlum I will not take it seriously whereas I will respect the views expressed by authors such as Stephen Jay Gould. Where blogs and the I'net are concerned it is always problematic as to the reliability to expect from unrefereed sites. Even Wikipedia has its problems as a reliable source in some areas.
That brings me to My Taste, a site that occasionally, and rather indiscriminately, uses posts from my own site. On one occasion they published a post about a restaurant that had been closed for months! I don't often look at it but today I did. They offer a section 'Top' restaurants for Australian Capital cities. I idly clicked on the Melbourne one and this list appeared

Bluefire in Docklands

Most of them have star ratings based on two or three reviews that can be followed back to the contributors and these vary in quality and enthusiasm BUT how peculiar that five of the top ten are in Docklands and how odd that not one of the generally highly regarded restaurants that feature in Gourmet Traveller or the Age Good Food Guide get mentioned. Even Attica, which achieved world wide recognition after one group of reviewers rated it 74th best restaurant in the world, missed out on myTaste's top 10!
It is not evident on what evidence this list of 'Top' restaurants is compiled, nor who is responsible for it.
Surely myTaste could call their
list something more appropriate than what it surely is not.

This sort of nonsense gives blogs a bad name.


thanh7580 said...

It looks like their either very lazy and have just compiled a list from the reviews they have available or they are pushing some agenda. I'm not sure. Either way, they should try and give some clarity about how they are reaching their conclusions.

It was great to see you again at the St Ali Vitasoy gathering.

Elliot and Sandra said...

I'm not sure if there are commercial aspects to their lists or if it is an accidental creation of the way there computers are programmed but I suspect the former. They did write to me saying they will have a look at it. We'll see.

Paul said...

Hi Elliot,
Your post prompted me to go have a look at this site, and I found one of your reviews fairly quickly, as well as a profile. They make it look like you are actively posting reviews for them. I get the feeling from your comments that you've never actually been consulted on this? If thats the case thats poor form.
A bit of a search around the site reavealled absolutely nothing about who is behind it or where it was based. I did find a reference to sponsored results.

I'll add a 3rd possibility on the prevelance of docklands restaurants - if the website is just aggregating ratings, I'd say there would be a fair chance of the publicists getting involved and the docklands restaurants are the sort of places that have (or need) publicicsts.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Paul
They did ask me if they could post my reviews with attribution and I was quite happy for them to do so as I hoped it would give the blog better exposure.
I'm quite happy to see reviews there but not overall ratings which are so deceptive.

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