The Times ran an article today written by Daisy Greenwell (if you haven’t read her articles, you’ll like them since she writes about food fairly often and in a cultural and lifestyle sense) hat discusses online reviewers and their approaches, roles, and perspectives on the process and websites themselves. Throughout this post are screenshots of portions of the actual article.
Now that the piece is published, I’ll tell you all about how it came about.
A few months ago when I was in the final days of my pregnancy, Ms. Greenwell contacted me to enquire about my role as a Top Contributor on TripAdvisor. With over 280 reviews, I guess that’s something to be proud about. It’s also something I don’t spend much time dwelling on. Trips happen and while I’m busy writing about it for my blogs, why not whip up a review too? It’s only fair since I use TripAdvisor information to help plan the adventures in the first place. So back to me being very pregnant and on the phone with Ms. Greenwell… She interviewed me and I answered her questions honestly. I think I gave birth within a week or two after that so talking on the phone was just my speed at that point in the pregnancy. I kept quiet about her article until today because it’s her scoop to share, not mine.
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, she asked about sending a photographer out to take my picture. Me? Post-pregnancy me? With my son’s age still being counted in weeks, I am not feeling my fittest but professional photographers bring out the best in us, right? Hopefully. They even sent Don Moloney, a professional photographer, to photograph me in seven or so poses to choose to run with the piece. I waited and hoped a photo would look good. I guess it must have because one friend didn’t even recognize me. Provided, the ponytail makes a difference.
I was relieved when the interview was shared in a straight-forward manner, giving little chance for misquotes. Honestly, I was worried I would somehow come across as a ruthless reviewer who seeks out opportunities to ruin businesses with harsh ratings. Trust me, I’m not. I think anyone who knows me will laugh at that worry now that I’ve voiced it. Of course, I also worried about that photo. Should I have worn a necklace? Did the post-pregnancy weight show? Were my Tracy Anderson DVD workouts helping? Would I shine through as the person I am in spite of the fact I was faced with a photographer (usually I snap my own portraits with my camera’s self-timer feature, like I did for my Twitter profile pic).
Want to read my reviews on TripAdvisor? Go right ahead. I’ll warn you though, some a short and some are long with no consistent review format being followed. If I go to a place that doesn’t give much of an impression, I only mention the part of the experience that made an impression. The boring things that every restaurant or hotel offers/has/does are skipped.
So that’s it. And my boss (ahem, baby boy) is asking me to make him lunch now. He’s so good at encouraging me to keep my blog posts brief in favor of the all-important snuggles, floor playtime, and meals.
Do you write review on TripAdvisor? What food do you think defines the success of a restaurant or hotel? What is your top pick in Cork, Dublin, or Ireland for a place to visit, stay, dine? I’d love to hear from you!