Lots of people read online reviews. Whether it’s for a movie, a restaurant, or a new gadget, the opinions and experiences of others are often help. The problem with some reviews though, is that they’re simply too long. They go on and on and one, and it’s hard to get to the meat of the review. Sometimes we need the subtleties and the details, but sometimes we just want to know if it was good or bad.
Enter PhrazIt. PhrazIt is a interesting website that let users give reviews in 30 characters or less. That’s right – 30 CHARACTERS – not 30 words. User reviews are displayed as a tag cloud. In typical tag cloud, fashion those reviews getting more votes appear in a larger font. Users can add their own 30-character review or vote for an existing review simply by clicking on a phrase they like.
Many libraries are incorporating both patron reviews and tag clouds in their OPAC displays. I think PhrazIt is an interesting hybrid of these two concepts. I can imagine it being used in a library setting. My initial reaction is that it might work well for “browsing” new books online. It could very well have uses beyond that, but the inherently short nature of the reviews of PhrazIt make me instantly think of browsing. The interface is very intuitive, and once you realize exactly what the site does, it make perfect sense. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.