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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » MAGIC - The Magazine For Magicians » » How can our reviews be better? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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lumberjohn
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To me, the point of reviews is to help me to determine where I will find the most value for my money. Accordingly, all relevant competition should be taken into consideration. That is why it is so important to have knowledgible reviewers, as they should know what similar products are on the market and the relative advantages/disadvantages of each.

If, for instance, a new version of "Collectors" is released, it isn't of much help to know that the effect "Wows laypeople" or requires several standard card moves. The vast majority of effects on the market are impressive and mystifying to laypeople. What I want to know is whether this version is the one I should spend my money on. Is it better than other versions of the same plot -- many of which are found on compilation books and DVDs? If so, in what ways is it better -- or worse?

I don't think there should be any prohibition on naming other effects, books, or DVDs while reviewing the effect in question if they are relevant. If I'm reading about a new Collectors effect, then I'm obviously interested in the plot. I would want to know the reviewers thought of other similar effects that play stronger.

So in summary, what I would like to see in each review is a mention of what else on the market is comparable and how the product in question compares to those other effects. Reviews are meaningless without benchmarks to guide them. This is the primary flaw I find in most reviews.
ElliottB
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Well, this applies to both Magic and Genii, but I would like to see review standards more consistently applied.

Anyone who has read either magazine for a decent period of time knows that, for better or worse, certain reviewers are much more critical than others, especially about things like bad crediting, poor grammar, lousy scripting etc.

I remember recently reading a pretty favorable review (I think it was in Genii,) where, mid-review, the reviewer casually mentioned that on the DVD, the magician teaches numerous techniques without any crediting or permission. The reviewer gave the magician a little slap on the wrist, and continued with the favorable review.


Multiple rehashed techniques with absolutely no permissions AND no credits!??

We all know that some reviewers, such as Jamie or Brad, would have torn such a product apart…to say the least.

But the product lucked out and got a pass with someone else.

I’ve noticed this happen over and over again…where certain products, with multiple serious issues, luck out and get a free ride, while others, with maybe a few little issues, get severely criticized…all depending on the luck of the draw.

Sometimes, within one review section, I feel like I am reading two different magazines.

Depending on your perspective, it is either unfair to the authors/creators who “draw the short end of the stick” with the tough critics, or the purchasers who buy the products reviewed by the more forgiving reviewers.
michaelmystic2003
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MAGIC's reviews are the only ones I trust... sadly, I wouldn't trust the Linking Ring reviews for anything...
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bsears
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Yeah. The Linking Ring reviews have gotten a little better, but for the most part they usually air on the side of favorable and the reviewers obviously have much less knowledge than those at the big magazines. I heard one magic creator say that the only way to get a negative review in the Linking Ring is if politics are involved.
michaelmystic2003
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They gave two Dan Army DVDs in a row a "Recommended" rating.... enough said.
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Kaylan
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In order to make the reviews section better, make it longer. It's my favorite section and I'm always wanting more. How about 2-3 more pages?? Please??
truthteller
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What do you guys think about the length of reviews? Would you rather have more products but shorter reviews? Would you rather have fewer products with more indepth reviews?

Brad
Vlad_77
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Brad,

The reviews are well written in my assessment. I like the style. If you go to fewer but longer reviews, you are pretty much doing what Genii is doing. Each magazine does what it does well. I don't think it's broke, Brad, so please don't fix it Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: Folks, remember, magazines are actually put to bed in advance. So, a new product might not be up for review as yet, plus, the reviewer needs time with the thing being reviewed. Take all of that into consideration and you find that MAGIC and Genii aren't purposefully late on reviews.
Richard Kaufman
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Personally, I prefer the reviews in Genii. Smile
Hansel
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Me too!
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Corbett
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I prefer the shotgun approach to reviews. Quickly hit the pros and cons on a lot of items, rather than a discertation on 3 new products.

Side note: I've never read a negative review from Peter Duffie. Does he always just get the good stuff, or is he too kind to offer any negative reviews?
motown
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I agree with you Richard.
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