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summize.jpg
a new type of search engine that crawls & analyzes user reviews of brands, consumer products, politicians, actresses or musicians, & presents the results as visual summaries or "snips", together with a bar chart of the "buzz" over time. the resulting color bars show the sentiment of these reviews: the more green, the more great reviews; the more red, the more wretched ones. users can explore products by category, compare pairs of products, or sort products by green (best) or red (worst).

[link: summize.com]

see also mood news & color music organization.

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13 COMMENTS

This is really an amazing site. The design is clear, and understandable. Very neat. This is much better than saying that a given item got 3.7 stars.

Sat 19 May 2007 at 4:06 AM
Adam Sanderson

Beautifully designed, very useful, and just cool!

The one thing that bothers me is that there are no links or even attributions for the reviews--and all review(er)s are not equal. A positive review for a computer from a CNET user means more to me than an equally positive review from walmart.com, for example. Adding that little bit of context would make a big difference.

Also, a big thank you to Mr. Infosthetics for maintaining this site--it's a great resource for staying on top of developments I otherwise wouldn't hear about, at least not until everyone else already knew about them :)

Sat 19 May 2007 at 11:39 AM
euphrosyne

Great idea. Because it is not really a retailer (it seems to only point to retailers), it is not subject to any herding or swarming to generate more sales, thus reviews are more representative of what users actually think.

Sun 20 May 2007 at 4:21 PM

Andrew -- thanks for the writeup.

I am one of the founders of Summize, the designer of the UI -- and a regular reader of infosthetics. Very pleased to receive positive comments from this audience.

Although we are aggregating more and more reviews, one of our design goals is (paradoxically) for the user to "read less". So expect to see more visualizations and easy/useful design features.

Thanks again.

(ps - euphrosyne, review attribution is coming.)

Mon 21 May 2007 at 1:14 AM

Great idea, however beeing color blind (red/green) it is hard to nearly impossible to figure it out. This is something which should be changed.

Mon 21 May 2007 at 2:12 AM
Stefan Mokros

Apropos to the colorblind comment, I suggest that the website designers and others could benefit from the advice on colormaps available at colorbrewer.

Mon 21 May 2007 at 9:58 AM
gmh

oops! the proper link to colorbrewer is:
www.colorbrewer.org.

Mon 21 May 2007 at 10:01 AM
gmh

A mash up of this and metacritic data would be very useful.

Mon 28 May 2007 at 5:11 AM
Sven

Stefan et al. —

We (Summize) now have a "color blind mode" that alternatively renders the snips in grayscale. Check it out: color blind mode.

Thanks for the comments.

Tue 05 Jun 2007 at 1:38 AM

Oops, I foobarred the link. Trying again: color blind mode.

http://www.summize.com/color-blind-mode

Tue 05 Jun 2007 at 1:44 AM

Oddly, the Summize logo, which mimics the colored statistical bars is colored in the opposite direction (green to red) rather than red to green. Just a little point of consistency... unless I missed something.

Tue 05 Jun 2007 at 8:21 AM

Summize is impressive. We have a similar service, but with a focus on expert reviews of consumer electronics, cameras, phones etc. Here's an example of a productpage: where you can se an average expert rating of the product, but also awards, images, abstracts, good bad bottomline etc: http://www.testseek.com/phones/mobile_phones/LG_KU990_Viewty-p-BA182B1B-1A19-76B3-A47F-2D245600EB8A.html

what do you think?

/Fredrik (CEO)

Thu 20 Mar 2008 at 10:13 PM

The review summarization features of Summize.com has been turned off sometime since your posting.

It appears the company is focusing on just "search[ing] & discover[ing] the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations."

Perhaps the product review rating-histograms launched by Newegg.com and Amazon.com (and probably many others) have made summize's "color bars" a redundant feature?

Thu 03 Jul 2008 at 9:58 AM
Ben
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