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Stop Being So Selfish

I love this site. I love how inquisitive everyone is. I love the willingness to share.

But I hate the “Advice” and “Recommendations” posts.

Over the course of the past few months we’ve seen:

Before I go any further I should clarify something. I don’t hate the people posting these questions. What I hate is the need to ask everyone on PDD.

Perfect Duluth Day is an amazing resource for all kinds of really great information, but is it really the best place to share all about your experience with different dog kennels, small engine mechanics, window installers, hair stylists, etc.? You might disagree … but I think you are all just being selfish with your insight.

My wife and I moved to Duluth a little over a year ago, and at the time we didn’t know anybody. We bought a new house in June 2010 and decided we wanted to have the windows replaced before winter. We did our best to research different area businesses, but were surprised to find virtually no insight from Duluthians on the most common places to look for such information. Google Reviews was bare. Angie’s List was bare. We didn’t know about PDD. We were in the dark.

After getting a few estimates we had a local business come in and do the work. Our experience with them was horrible. So what did I do? I reviewed them on Google and then I reviewed them on Angie’s List. I made my voice heard in the two places most people would think to look. Ten different people have stated on Google that my review was helpful. That makes me feel good.

For all of you who took time out of your day to help a Duluthian in need by posting about your experiences with a kennel, handyman, and brake mechanic, will you please consider sharing that same information on Google? Rather than being selfish by only sharing your thoughts with the people lucky enough to stumble on to Perfect Duluth Day, why not share with everyone using the internet trying to find the perfect kennel, the perfect handyman, and the perfect brake mechanic?

Take pride in your opinions. I do.

30 Comments

j

about 8 years ago

Pffft. I hate people bitching. You can do this in the rant and rave section on Craigslist.

Conrad

about 8 years ago

I don't mind the comment. I think it is an interesting theory. Bitching is allowed here so why not? I wouldn't call it selfish, just not as helpful, and I think it's more along the lines of not thinking about doing a review vs. someone actually asking for help. Also, I trust more people on here than I do review sites just because I learn a little more about people from other posts and get insight into their background so I would rather get my info from here, and don't completely buy into the review sites.

Conrad

about 8 years ago

To explain more I don't buy into review sites because I think people are more motivated to review when pissed off and review sites can be manipulated to some extent. Here you just get raw unfiltered feedback

teresa

about 8 years ago

One, your post is a review and advice. 

Two, if people want to let off steam and be selfish so be it. It is a public forum. They have no ethical duty to "share" their reviews and be helpful.

Conrad

about 8 years ago

Here we go, another combat thread. PDD has been on edge as of late. Wonder what it is. Cold weather?

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

@j: If I cared about the opinions of the people on Craigslist I would have posted on Craigslist. I genuinely value the feedback from people on PDD, and I would love to know about all of their experiences.

@Conrad: You may be right. "Selfish" might be a little strong. I also understand that a person's first inclination is rarely to go online and post a review... which is precisely why I wrote this post. I hope that the folks on PDD will at least consider writing about their experiences in the future. I also completely agree that I trust peoples' opinions much more here than I do most other places. But I think the reason for that is fairly obvious; people on PDD divulge more than just a simple "I LOVE THIS [email protected]!!!!!!" When you read a well-written review on any site it's easier to trust. Take any review on Amazon as an example. I also agree with your assessment that reviews tend to either be 5 stars or 1 star. It's natural for people to want to rant or rave about an experience. To avoid this bias I'm always on the lookout for a well-written reviews, and I rarely look at a business' overall star rating. I also do my best to review any business in the area, even if the experience was just average.

@Teresa: One... you got me. Two... I'm not suggesting people stop posting on PDD, and by no means I'm am saying you MUST do anything. I was hoping to provide some insight as to way others might appreciate it if more people shared.

Pat

about 8 years ago

So how would I now go about finding a good service to replace my windows in Duluth?

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

@Pat: Right now, your best bet would probably be to solicit opinions on PDD. There are virtually no reviews to speak of on Google. You can try Angie's List and dig through their reviews a bit. I just took a look and it appears that the highest rated window replacement outfit in Duluth is Absalute Vinyl Window Company [sic]. Here is their URL: http://www.absaluteduluth.com/. I haven't used them so I can't say for sure. All I know is I would avoid Home Beautifiers like the plague.

spy1

about 8 years ago

We need new gutters.

wormbreeder

about 8 years ago

I would highly recommend Absalute for windows. We had windows installed and aluminum trim put around the old wood trim to make it no-maintenance. The owner of the company was the one who came out to show us the product and provide the estimate, which was the exact price we paid. The two guys who did the job were great too.

As far as references go, he handed us a phone-book sized document containing contact information for EVERY job they have ever done, organized by zip codes. We could write down whichever ones we liked instead of being given a cherry-picked list of references to call.

doubledutch

about 8 years ago

"If I cared about the opinions of the people on Craigslist I would have posted on Craigslist. I genuinely value the feedback from people on PDD, and I would love to know about all of their experiences."

That is exactly why you find advice/recommendation posts on PDD.  It's not selfish - it's valuing the opinions of this community over random people's opinions on Angie's List.  Maybe you're already figured that out at this point, but I just thought it was funny that you answered your own question/gripe, essentially.

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

@DoubleDutch: I think you've missed my point entirely. The comments and suggestions on PDD are valuable because they are well-written and sincere... not because they are on PDD. The same reviews could be on any other site and they would still be good reviews. I think it IS selfish to not share your opinion with a larger audience. Don't you think tourists looking for emergency car repairs or a good place to get Vietnamese food deserve the same insight as PDD readers? And what exactly makes this community any less random then Angie's List and the others? This is my first time posting or commenting on anything on PDD... so does that mean my opinions about a good small engine mechanic should carry any less clout? I hate to think that is true.

emmadogs

about 8 years ago

Spy1, we used A-1 Gutters about 4 yrs ago to install new gutters, downspouts, etc.  They did a good, quick, inexpensive job.  I'd use them again.

bluenewt

about 8 years ago

The reviews and advice on PDD are more trustworthy than the reviews and advice on Craigslist not merely because they are well-written but because we know something about each other from past posts and comments.

Just last week I said to my sweetie that we should try Jalapeno Express because there were good reviews on PDD and they came from people whose user names I recognized. I knew they weren't from people posing as reviewers to pump up their own business. I knew they were from people who know something about real food. 

I don't have any interest in spending any time on Craigslist. I avoid unpoliced sites where the multitudes can vent anoonymously. It's just too depressing.

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

@BlueNewt: At no point did I suggest that anyone look to Craigslist for reviews or suggestions. The anonymous nature of Craigslist makes it a horrible choice for that kind of information. Google and Angie's List on the other hand give you the ability to look at a reviewer's entire body of reviews.

I am not suggesting that Duluthians stop using PDD to rave about a new restaurant in town. I too read about Jalapeno Express and can't wait to drop in for a burrito. But, I do hope those that have stopped in for food at Jalapeno Express will review the business on places like Google, Yelp, and UrbanSpoon. These are the places *most* people go to get input on food. If a locally owned business (especially a new one) is going to appeal to out-of-towners, it will need to be represented on these sites.

adam

about 8 years ago

Luckily, with the advances of the internet, PDD can be accessed directly from the Google. Done and done.

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

@Adam: Excellent point. Fingers crossed that anyone looking for a thorough review of Duluth's mini golf scene can only be so lucky as to make it to PDD via the middle of page 2 search results on Google.

edgeways

about 8 years ago

So replace bluenewt's "Craigslist" with "Google xyz" and the point is still valid.

Sun Dog

about 8 years ago

I joined Angie's list, but have never used it. (I have a handy husband who wants to do all the repairs himself.) Angie's List phoned me months ago asking me to submit a review because they really need  reviews.  Angie's List only works if people submit reviews. And one of these days I want to hire someone so I get things fixed sooner rather than later.

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

If "most" people use other services, then it's the fault of those people for not posting reviews on those services once they do their own research (be it trial-and-error or whatever). But they generally don't, which is the price you pay for relying on hit-and-run websites where people get what they want and leave, rather than an actual community of people where users stick around and contribute.

TimK

about 8 years ago

This thread makes me feel like someone is poking me with a stick.

samh

about 8 years ago

I agree with you, jpoliver, I hate those kinds of posts too.  Almost as much as I hate posts where people just bitch about stuff.  Sorry but you had to have assumed you'd draw that kind of attention.  

I would prefer if PDD was more an outlet for amateur journalists and quirky "seen in Duluth" kinds of stuff.  I no longer live in the Zenith city but still enjoy reading about what's going on there.

Endion

about 8 years ago

I love how the posts complaining have the most comments.

I agree with the above poster, I trust the opinions here more than I would on Craigslist.  I went to Jalapeno Express last night because of here.  It was better than Burrito Union, cheaper, but still not quite as good as Chipotle.  I also went to what I call the "chopy chopy" hibachi because I read about it here.  

The complaining threads annoy me, but it reminds me of the people who live here - lots of awesome people and a few fart-sniffing pretentious a-holes who complain about the stupidest of things.

Ahhh, a perfect Duluth day!

jpoliver

about 8 years ago

Thank you Endion for proving my point.

I don't have a problem with you or anyone else preferring the opinions of the people of PDD. If any of you actually read my original post you'd recognize that I wasn't complaining about people soliciting opinions from a trusted community. On the contrary, my gripe is that people *have* to come here to get insight about their community.

As long as you keep your thoughts about Jalapeno Express to yourself and PDD... others in the community are missing out. If your review writing is anywhere as effective as your name calling then you'd be providing a great service to the community. 

But alas... it sounds like you and your cronies will simply wait for some poor needy soul to come along and beg for your invaluable insight.

Next time I'm looking for a good cup of coffee I'll make sure to come straight to PDD.

Steven

about 8 years ago

Where can I get a good cup of coffee in town?

Endion

about 8 years ago

My cronies?

I disagree with a lot of the posters on here. 

I also probably wouldn't come on here to look for a good repairman. Mostly because there would be a 30 comment discussion by some people how "repair-man" implies I mean a male and it should be repair person, a few would complain how I need to use all organic materials, some would just troll and hijack the thread, and others would send me to the most expensive person in town because they couldn't fix it themselves.

A couple other people would attack my grammar or when I use two spaces after each sentence.   

You're still a FNG in town, fit in or move to a place like the Twin Cities where you can get killed for answering an ad on Craigslist. 

No one has died yet from PerfectDuluthDay.com..

"Yet" being the key word I am sure.

emmadogs

about 8 years ago

There was the Duluth Murder House, however.

p.s. You used two periods after 'com'.

Lojasmo

about 8 years ago

Anybody have good suggestions for fake pot?

doubledutch

about 8 years ago

"And what exactly makes this community any less random then Angie's List and the others?"

It's not random.  It is a community (I question the accuracy of calling Angie's List a community).  People here get to know each other, if we don't already.  It would mean much more to me if a friend told me to stop being so selfish than it does for a stranger to say the same.

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