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  • Jul 3, 2009
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Well, they got me.  I can't remember exactly when I came to  It was in late December, and when I first got here, I must admit, I was not nearly as impressed.  But they were gracious enough to send me an invite and so I accepted.  Because I was curious.  The site was, for the most part nice, and they just kept improving.  Are there any immediate problems I have with the site now?  Well, not that haven't already been addressed before I could write this review.  And the best part is that they continue to improve the site in numerous ways but so far have yet to go overboard like say... Facebook did with all their applicatioins and newsfeed.  Rather Lunch is a bit simple.  

As many of you probably did, I used to just post reviews on  Believe it or not I do very little shopping online.  I was interested in Amazon because I liked reviewing.  However, if truth be told, while Amazon is a great place to shop, it's a nightmare of a place to have discussion and to comment on what other people think of certain things.  While I still love going there to review, I've pretty much reserved myself to refrain from commenting on message boards or other peoples reviews (though sometimes I can't help it).  For the most part Amazon is a great online shopping mall, but a terrible place to talk to people.  There was something issing from was it... oh my god, yes!  Respect!  

But to go over  The first couple of reviews I posted I actually had fun.  I had even more fun when I realized I could insert video and pictures.  Although this isn't always necessary (most people have a pretty good idea of what they're reading about before reading) it's still something that's very useful that you can't do on  Amazon has video reviews, sure, but you don't need that.  With Lunch... if I'm say... reviewing a movie, I can pull the trailer from youtube and post it.  That way those interested in reading my review but don't exactly know what the movie is can watch the trailer.  If I review a video game, a quick google search can help me find screenshots or even youtube videos and trailers of just what it is.  It may not seem like much, but when reviewing video games and movies those visual aids can help tremendously.

I left for a time.  I can't put my finger on why.  But then one day I decied to come back (because my movie reviews get no acclaim on amazon and seemed more open to soeone saying, "You know I just didn't like it that much..." thus I reviewed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).  I've always had this view of being analytical.  I've not really been big on giving a straight out opinion.  I've always been about the big questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.  I don't have to answer all those questions but I should answer most of them.  Who, for example, was Michael Jackson?  What did he do?  When was he around?  Where was he popular?  And how was he popular?  Beyond that, I believe it's important to let someone know about something.  Not just what it is, but why it might appeal to them.  Or why it might even appeal to others.  In short, my opinion isn't the only thing that matters.  It is why in most of the comments I leave I like to question things. was a bit more open to people actually doing that sort of thing.  Where people came to discuss, but actually did it in a respectful way.  The community as a whole gets a +5 for simply being open to what just about anyone has to say about anything.

Yet what struck me the most about Lunch, and why I've suddenly been addicted... is that you really can review just about anything.  And if what you want to review isn't here?  You can create a data point for it and review it yourself (I was so proud of myself when I created my first data point--I had Ice Cream... Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream... can I review that here too?  What?  I can?  ARE YOU SERIOUS!?).  Yes, I'm advertising to my reviews... but it's not because I want you to read them... it's because I want to know what you think.  It's because I love discussion.  And because linking to other locations is easy.  Also I have a strange sense of humor.

It's just a place to express opinions and give analysis.  And yet in doing so most people go well beyond the lengths needed to make sure their opinions are backed up.  When you read a review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen notice how every single review (postive and negative alike) goes into great detail about where they come from, and even compliment other reviewers.  And they do it without insulting each other, and with class.  You can find this sort of thing for most any data point. 

That's not to say there is no room for improvement.  Certainly there is.  I can't think of any immediate thing.  Sometimes inserting pictures and video can still be problematic, but it isn't nearly as problematic as it once was.  It's easy to connect and comment on other people.  Basically the community is a lot easier to get along with.  Which is more than I can say for several internet forums.  
Part of the reason why I came back was just because of the community in and of itself.  The first time I got a comment on Amazon it was some guy telling me to kill myself or something like that.  I don't remember, but it was a guy who didn't like that I'd given his favorite video game less than five years (I gave it four) and I guess he just really really really hated that.  He had an angry face.  Uhh... like this one:

So I smiled and gave a reply.  It was a happy reply with a happy face.  Like this one:

Note how my face is so much bigger.

But the guy just kept insulting.  After getting so many nasty comments, I'd had enough of the Amazon community and came here to lunch.  Where I have a bit more freedom and the community is nicer.  Maybe because here I'm actually discussing with adults?  I don't know. 

Anyway, so far the place is pretty good.  It's easy to get a review posted, and there are updates to tell you when people comment, reply to your comments, when they tell you your review was helpful or not... it's just a lot of fun overall.

The last thing I'd like to compliment is the voting system.  On several websites, the voting system is... well... horrible.  Lunch isn't perfect, but at least it makes sure that you can't partake in campaign voting (or at least it's harder to do so).  The voting system here is a little better. 

This marks perhaps the shortest review I've written since I've returned.  This was meant to be a bit more fun.  As I believe that fun is something we can all afford to have every once and a while.  So far so good.  I'm hoping that the improvements keep coming in the future, but that the staff doesn't get too carried away the way places such as Myspace or Facebook have.

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September 02, 2010
You are hugely entertaining Sean - loved this write up!!
July 07, 2009
thanks Sean. Solid write up. Thanks for noticing the uniqueness of the rating system for reviews. It's something we've spent a lot time thinking about and it has already gone through a couple iterations. I hope that we will avoid some of the problems that other sites have faced with voting campaigns... we obviously want to avoid that. I hope that people will realize that all of their ratings contribute directly to their similarity network so be going on some random voting campaign they will really be jeopardizing their own use of the site by jacking up their own similarity network. Also, if everyone picks up on the things you pointed out about the different, nicer, attitude here at Lunch, hopefully we won't get into any childish spats like we see on other sites. It will be tough to hold onto the "nice vibe" as we get bigger, but with the help of all community we can do it. We, as the community, just need let them know... that stuff doesn't fly here. Oh.. also, on the bugs and feature requests... keep hitting the feedback button so we can log everything that's not working or stuff you'd like to see changed.
July 03, 2009
Sean, Your writing is Truly amazing!  I hope that you stick with us here at because I LOVE reading your reviews!  And if you ever have any ideas or feedback, feel free to let me know and I'll pass it along. :)  
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Lunch is a social sharing network fueled by your curiosity. It's a community where you create and discover genuinely useful information with people who share your interests. Lunch is based on the idea that you'll have the most meaningful exchanges with people who get your sense of humor, taste in books, love of snowboarding or penchant for Pac-Man.

At Lunch, you can contribute facts and opinions about almost everything. Based on your contributions, Lunch connects you to a similarity network of people who share your opinions and ideas. Through them, you can discover a mystery novel you've never heard of, a great local animal hospital, or the best place to buy folding bikes. You get personalized content in the best way -- through the right people.

Your opinion is everything -- you rate the helpfulness of what you find at Lunch. With your valuable reviews and ratings, Lunch filters out the noise to give you what's most relevant to you and most useful to others. In turn, your feedback encourages other members to create better, more thoughtful content.

Lunch is a community of people who appreciate good conversation and respect. It's a network that connects you to those who share your passion for understanding more in life.

Feed your curiosity. Lunch.


All great things start with a curious spark. Lunch is about fanning that spark and the brilliant ideas that come from it. By exploring our curiosities, we'll reach a better understanding of...

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