Why I’m abandoning hReview for book reviews

I’ve been using hReview, the microformat, to write book reviews for several months now. I like the idea of a standard format that is recognizable to everyone looking for reviews. And I see good results with my reviews in search engines.

But I have issues. For one thing, I don’t like the star character entity that is used in the rating system. In most browsers, you can easily see how many stars a product gets. But in Safari, the stars are rendered in a very confusing way. I contacted micoroformats.org about this but didn’t receive a reply and nothing changed.

I also don’t like the fact that the entire content of the review is set into a blockquote. I’m not quoting anyone, I’m writing a review. It gives me the semantic heebie jeebies to put my review in a blockquote. I’m sure the good people at microformats.org had a reason for doing it this way, but it doesn’t work for me.

There’s a new review posted today, done the old fashioned way as a regular post. I’ll reevaluate the results for a while and see if I want to abandon hReview forever.

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4 thoughts on “Why I’m abandoning hReview for book reviews”

  1. It isn’t manditory to use a blockquote element as the review. You are allowed to use any element you see fit. As for the stars, you can also use images or text 7/10 for example. That should help sort out these issues.

  2. So I can use p class=”description” instead of blockquote class=”description” and it will still be a recognizable microformat? Interesting. Thanks.

  3. The hreview creator is really just a proof of concept. As long as you use some “containers” for the classes then all will be well – div, span, p are all good.

    Also the stars are not mandatory, you can just use a numeric rating.

    You could have a look at our site LouderVoice which is all about publishing and aggregating reviews to/from blogs in hreview format. If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Conor. I will definitely look at your site to see how you are using hReview. Comments from other people similar to yours made me re-evaluate my position. I’ve since created an hReview format I think I can live with. See this post.

    I see the rating is supposed to be mandatory, but I’m going to try doing without it.

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