Charles Harries

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Review websites

A good review website is a work of art.

There's an art to an application for keeping track of personal reviews. I think that the most common reviewables are music, movies and books, but I guess you could extend it to restaurants, theme parks, museums, or architecture. I'm trying to avoid calling it content, since that sort of just leads down the road to commoditising experience, which, I'd really just rather not.

Anyway, Letterboxd is the gold standard. Their dataset, thanks to TMDB, is tidy and reliable and extensive, their featureset is complete, their website is well-designed and intuitive, their filters and sorts are multitudinous. I find myself desperately trying to feed it more and more of my data, because I know that Letterboxd will be able to surface trends and tidbits that I could never see on my own

I’ve yet to find a good alternative for books. Oku comes close, but it feels very much like a work in progress (no way, from what I can tell, to edit reviews, e.g.). Italic Type is alright but ditto, and seems to be angling to corner the online book club market.

Goodreads deserves its own bulleted list. Goodreads:

…which makes them not much good at all.

Many web-type folks track their reading/watching habits on their own website, which feels like a good alternative, if not a little labour-intensive. I think this is probably the direction I'm going to go.

Web