19 million reviews on two million products. That’s the claim of Summize, a search engine devoted to finding reviews. It’s available at http://www.summize.com/ .
I like review search engines because I like to hear about other user experiences before I shell out a couple hundred bucks for a new camera or monitor or whatever. It works like you think it would: enter the name of a product, model number, etc. I did a search for Diet Dr Pepper — because, well, it’s sitting here on my desk — and got one result, from Amazon, but unfortunately no reviews.
Time to expand a bit. I did another search, this one for acer notebook and got 128 reviews on 54 products. I love the results layout. A bar icon shows, at a glance, how well the product is doing with good, so-so, and bad reviews. The name of the product is shown with a snippet of the review copy (not so useful), source, and sometimes a price.
For getting additional information, you have two choices. You can go straight to the offsite page for product information, you can choose to get a “Summized” page. The Summized page, like this review for an Acer Travelmate, shows the reviews from best to worst, and includes the date of the review and the source. If the review is over a certain size it won’t be shown in its entirety — you’ll have to click a little “more” link to unfold it on the page.
You may do a search where you get an overwhelming number of results, and you find yourself wanting to just get the best products (so you know what to shop for) or the worst products (so you know what to avoid). If you do a search for Toshiba, for example, you’ll get several thousand results. Use the nav on the right to pick only products people mostly loved and you’ll get one set of results (mostly CDs.) Pick products people mostly hated and you’ll get another set of results (mostly electronics.) Sometimes you’ll find that a particular brand gets much love and little hate (Altoids).
You can also do head-to-head comparisons using a vs syntax. For example, you could query coke vs pepsi and get two bar icons summarizing user reviews. (Or try the ever-popular stuffing vs potatoes.) You can also stack additional search terms if you want to compare many things at once.
Lots of information here, very usefully summarized. Don’t forget to check out the blog for new features and data mining results. Now if only there was an RSS feed to get the latest product reviews.
This post came from ResearchBuzz, a site with news and information about online data collections. Visit us at ResearchBuzz.com .