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1. The underreported review: Accuracy matters. So do details.
2. The clichéd review. Watch your words. If you’re falling back on “delectable,” “delish” or “sinful,” you need to hit the “refresh” button.
3. The flavorless review. Describing food as having “lots of flavor” is unspecific.
4. The worst review ever! Saying that anything is the best ever (or worst ever) is not only unuseful, but likely untrue.
5. The one-sided review: Acknowledge both the good and the bad about a restaurant, or readers may question your conclusions and motive.
6. The impressionist review: Use specifics rather than broad generalizations. Instead of saying a restaurant was overpriced, for example, say what the prices were.
7. The emotional review: Portraying an overly positive or overly negative experience isn’t meaningful to the online reader, who is unlikely to have the identical experience.
8. The egotistical review: Avoid relying too much on where you were born as your expertise, as in “I know Scandinavian food because I grew up in Minnesota.” Well, maybe you do, and maybe you don’t.
As for Raskin, she’s headed to a new reviewing position at the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, where she has one agenda in mind: “I plan to eat a lot.”
“Yelp Help” is available as an e-book ($2.99 from amazon.com, iBooks and Kobo and other online outlets) and in print form ($5.99; online and in bookstores).
Follow Lee Svitak Dean on Twitter: @StribTaste
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