Christmas Lists

Check out these holiday related lists we have highlighted for you.

Christmas Carols
Things You Hate About The Holidays
Things You love About The Holidays
Holiday TV Specials

Pushed Some Small Changes to Facebook Sharing

We just pushed some small changes to how RateItAll reviews show up on Facebook, when you choose to share them with your Facebook friends.

Now, if there is a photo associated with the item or list, that photo will be included when you share the review, item, or list on Facebook. Here's a screenshot of my Facebook page - note the photo of the little Deuce Brand Watch that I reviewed:

I think the photo looks pretty sharp.

I probably only share about 10% of my reviews on Facebook - only the ones that I put a lot of thought into, and the ones that I think my real world friends will appreciate.

The other benefit to me, of course, is that people clicking through on my reviews from Facebook tend to give me lots of helpful votes :) And they don't have to login to do so.

We chose to make our Facebook integration pretty conservative - if you sync your RateItAll account with Facebook, we will prompt you every time if you want to share on Facebook. No auto spamming here. You can also turn off the Facebook connection at any time just by logging out of RateItAll, and then by logging back in using your RIA login (and not the FB button).

It's a neat feature, that's even better now with the photos. I'd encourage you to give a try if you haven't already.

To sync your RateItAll account to Facebook, just click on any of the Facebook links that are all over the site (every item page, list page, home page (sidebar), etc.). Here's a screenshot of the RateItAll logged in home page sidebar, where you can sync up with Facebook, to give you the choice of sharing your RateItAll reviews with your Facebook friends.


The Lists of 2009

OK, we're closing out another year here on RIA, and I wanted to surface a few of the lists that people have made about this last year of the 00's. Here we go:

Movies of 2009
Baseball HOF 2009 Candidates
Number One Songs of 2009
E3 Video Games of 2009
Events of 2009
2009 Oscar Nominees
2009's Dead Celebrities
Sports Stories of 2009
Obama Report Card 2009


Top Rated Video Game Systems

It's officially time for last (last!) minute Christmas shopping. Are you completely stuck? Give the gift of gaming.

As for which system to buy, RateItAll can provide you all the information you need with its Top Rated Video Game Systems list.

Check out these reviews:

Sony PlayStation 2 - " The best console for gaming ever released. It has lived a long plentiful life and is still alive. Companies continue to release better games for the PS2 pushing the limits of its aging processors..." read more.

Microsoft Xbox - " I didn't like it when it first came out and I don't like it now, not many exclusive titles are on it that I would consider AAA's, other than Forza, Halo, DOA, and Ninja Gaiden there isn't much that comes to mind..." read more.

Nintendo Wii - " The Nintendo Wii is a great family gaming system. That does mean it may not be ideal for serious gamers..." read more.

Nintendo GameCube - " When I played Super Mario Sunshine, I saw just how impressive Nintendo's GameCube is. The graphics that are on some of these games are marvelous. This is a damn good game system indeed..." read more.

Microsoft Xbox 360 - "I got this for my Birthday in May and so far everything's great. I got the limited edition 360 that included Halo3 and Fable 2 with it so that was a nice surprise..." read more.

Oh! He doesn't like playing video games... see other options on this guide of 2009 Best Christmas Gifts for Men.


In the News: December 21

Here are a few events from over the Weekend:

World Leaders, including President Obama, gathered in Copenhagen to sign a new climate deal.

Prime Minister Berlusconi was attacked by a man in Milan, using a replica of the Duomo of Milano as a weapon.

Sadly, our 2009's Dead Celebrities list was joined by actress Brittany Murphy and Oral Roberts.

Finally Avatar came out, and early reviews seem to be very positive.

In the tech world, we heard last Thursday about rumors (via Techcrunch) of Yelp being acquired by Google. As of Monday December 21st, the deal seems to have stalled.


Two Nominations for Rant of the Day

There were lots of entertaining rants on RIA today. There always are.

But there were two rants in particular that stood out.

1) Irishgit, reviewing his ex Mother in Law. Here's a taste:

"...The second was some kind of denizen of the Seventh Circle of Hell who had taken time out from tormenting poor sinners to inflict herself on earth. She hasn't said a kind word about anyone since the Truman administration, is a full-blown hypochondriac who insists on special treatment for her largely imaginary woes, combines a vicious tongue with an incredibly thin skin, is ignorant in a way that requires considerable effort to maintain, weighs about as much as the John F. Kennedy (the aircraft carrier, not the president) and detests, check that, loathes with every atom of her being, each of her sons or daughters in law...." see the full post.

2) LivUVA's review of Ronald Reagan National Airport. Here's a taste:

"...Yeah, ok, I normally like terminals B and C. They seem to have their $hit together. But on last Friday afternoon, for whatever reason, TSA apparently lacked the normal D team they bring to the airport game and opted for the F team in Terminal A...." see the full post.

Don't hold back folks, tell us how you really feel....

What we Tweeted: December 17, 2009

For those of you who don't follow us on Twitter, here is a summary of our most recent tweets.

Some fun tweets were The Robot Hall of Fame, and the Most Popular Holidays TV Specials.

We also helped our followers to discover The Best Art Museums in the World and to ride public transportation in major cities with The Best Mass Transit Systems list.

For snow-sport fans, we highlighted our guide to The Best Ski Resorts in California. If California is not an option for you, find other resorts on RIA's ski resorts guide.

We also pointed out the passing of Oral Roberts.

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National Rate Your Cell Phone Day

Today is national "Rate Your Cell Phone" Day.

Well, not really.

But given as we have just updated our Best Cell Phone list with a bunch of top new models the LG Cookie, the Samsung Mythic, the HTC Pure, the LG Chocolate Touch, and the LG Shine, we figured we'd take matters into our own hands.

And yes, we also have the Apple iPhone listed, which happens to be the fastest selling gadget in history.

So let's do this - please rate your Cell Phone.


In the News: December 15

In the news today (with links to the appropriate RateItAll page):

- The women of Tiger Woods (story still going strong)

- The ongoing Health Care debate

- Google is coming out with their own phone - watch this page for Google Nexus reviews

- Roy Halladay is on the verge of signing with the Phillies

- Glee is doing well at the Golden Globes

- Wells Fargo is trying to repay its TARP funds

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Big Ad, Small Ad

Some of us like Big Ads when we browse RateItAll.

And some of like Small Ads.

Rather than make a value judgment on which is better, we've thoughtfully decided to try and please everyone.

If you would like to see Big Ads, all you have to do is log out.

If you would like to see Small Ads, all you have to do is log in.

Go ahead, try it out on this list of Best American Beaches.

Tweeted This Week: 12/11/2009

Yes, RateItAll has a Twitter account. We have used it pretty sparingly so far, and typically only tweet a few times a day with lists that catch our eye. Here are some of the lists that we tweeted this week:

Best Mass Transit System

Best California Ski Resort

Best Guitarist of All Time

Worst US State Flag?

The Women of Tiger Woods

We also retweeted some of Jedi58's awesome travel reviews of Cairo, Venice, and Naples.

So if you're just getting going on Twitter, please follow us - we'll be interesting, we promise.
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Top Rated Christmas Gifts for Men

One of our interns, Nicholas, spent a good deal of time pulling together a list of top rated gifts for men this season across a variety of different personality types; techie, gamer, etc.

I think he did a great job - check out this full list of Best Christmas Gifts for Men (this also went out as a newsletter).
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Flooding the System with Votes (Continued)

It's fun when a site tweak works as hoped.

Check out this graph of total review votes posted on RateItAll. Can anyone spot the day that we rolled in the voting changes? We'll see if the increased volume holds, but for now, it would appear that this enhancement is exceeding our expectations.

Congrats to RateItAll's design and engineering teams for a job well done.

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Getting More Review Votes into the System

When I take the time to post a review on RIA, it's nice to know that people read it. RateItAll tries to provide a couple of different ways that readers of a review can react to reviews on the site. There's the commenting feature, which I think has been a great addition. There's the compliments feature, which is a little more buried, but which is also a nice way to tell folks that you like what they have to say. And then finally, there is the voting feature, which allows people to vote on if a review is helpful, funny, or if they agree with it.

This last feature has been the source of much entertainment and drama over the years. There are some people who can tell you how many votes they get on a daily, or even hourly basis. There are others who will get enraged if they get a disagree vote. There are some that like to drop funny votes at unexpected times. And finally, there are even those that have undertaken elaborate and sophisticated schemes to get, or give, a few more extra votes than they were entitled to.

This fascination with votes might strike outsiders as odd. Why should we care what others think of our reviews?

I know I care.

I think it has to do with the fact that when you take a time to write a review, it's nice to know that people out there are reading it. Even more than if people find my review helpful or agree with it, I care that they read it. I'll take a "disagree" vote over no vote any day of the week.

So with this philosophy in mind, we are going to try out a couple of different things this week to see if we can get some more votes into the system.

The first change you'll notice later this week is a design change that allows for one click voting. Currently, you have to click a link that says "vote," and then choose your selection. That means it can take up to four clicks to react to a review. This will be changing soon.

The second change has to do with expanding the universe of people who can vote on a review. More on this to follow.

Here are RIA HQ, we are curious as to whether a couple of simple changes can bring more votes into the system. There is only one way to find out.