Good reviews are a good Idea
Good reviews are a good idea, and here’s why: we are intrinsically negative emotion sponges. When we have bad experiences, we remember them forever, but if we have a good experience we often forget it or it fades over time.
Some people (with too much time on their hands) have actually measured this negative bias and have determined that about five good experiences are needed to override one bad one. But if you go through the process of writing a review, you cement the good experience in your head. As you think about what went right, your brain releases the same chemicals as if you were experiencing the happy event all over again.
Bad reviews would seem like a good idea in that they warn other people away from a product. Like sticking a sign in the sand that says “Danger: Quick Sand!”. The fact that some products have few reviews while others have lots of reviews is the biggest sign in the sand to me. Even so, be careful about reviewing a negative experience: we don’t want to be the type of people that dwell on all the bad things!
That said, some snake oil salesmen out there need a warning sign! And some manufactures will completely lie about what a product can do. If you fall for one of these traps, I find that you get filled with a fiery need to tell the world. You want to defend the innocent and crush the offensive! This is a good thing!
What I am addressing instead is the one time bad experiences that we just can’t let go. A first time at a restaurant may present you with a waiter or waitress that is off their rocker! Should we rush to Yelp and tell the world? Should we hold on to that negativity and relive that experience? Are we really defending the innocent? I think not.
In short I feel that a positive experience should be quickly lauded and shared. It makes us better people and helps commerce for good things grow. Negative experiences should be taken with a grain of salt and considered before warranting the effort.