Reviewing

Writing and reading reviews (of products, papers, books, whatever) is one of the most common forms of collaborative work, even though it is far removed from the stereotyped image of what collaboration involves (people who know each other working together, face-to-face, in real time).

As with other forms of collaboration, the Internet has greatly democratized the reviewing process, with many more non-professional reviewers now participating. Such reviews can be found, for example, at Amazon.com, which invites readers to post their reviews of books being offered for sale. Sébastien Paquet and others favour a different, more distributed model. Rather than centralized review repositories, they envisage reviews being posted on individual websites and blogs, but in such a way that they can be harvested and indexed - i.e., as RSS feeds. A standard format for doing this (RVW) is becoming widely accepted and at least one blogging tool (Blogware) has implemented it.

 




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