Extended BIP #11: Analyze Some Book Reviews!

by Kim on June 15, 2009 · 8 comments

2009bip-150x210The BIP Week #11 project was to dissect some book reviews by the numbers. I was (and still am) excited about this idea, but so far response has been pretty low. So I decided to extend Week #11 one more week — you now have until Friday, June 19 to complete it. BIP #12 will be posted on Monday, June 22.

The gist of Week #11 is to go to this Google Docs spreadsheet and fill in some questions based on two book reviews — one of your own, and one from a professional organization. If we get enough entries, I’m hoping that some number analysis can show a little of what makes blogger reviews different than other reviews.

Anastatia (Bird Brain(ed) Book Blog), Florinda (3 R’s Blog), Jackie (Farm Lane Books),  and Sherrie (Just Books) are the only people who’ve added so far. Thanks to all of you! I can play around with the stats a little bit from there, but it’s not much and would be a lot more useful with more data.

If you’re curious what you can learn from just reading and thinking about other reviews, check out Florinda’s great post — she noticed some cool things about how her reviews compare to some more professional reviews. Sherrie also noticed things like sentence length and personality when comparing reviews.

One last thing — please don’t feel intimidated by this. It’s really just a matter of counting words and sentences and identifying some features of different reviews. The idea isn’t to be scary with numbers, but to instead see what numbers might be able to tell us about how we review books.

It took me about 35 minutes to do both of mine. The counting can be a little tedious, I know, but I hope it will be worth it. Good luck, and if you have questions or concerns feel free to e-mail me.

blogiestaP.S. One great activiting coming up this weekend is the Bloggiesta being held by Natasha at Maw Books. It’s basically a 48-hour challenge to spend time working on blog stuff (reviews, other posts, organization, etc.). I’m signing up, hopefully to get some BIP projects planned and underway, and I think you should too!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia Smith June 15, 2009 at 10:59 am

I’m glad for the extension – my computer was in the shop, so there were a lot of crickets chirping in lonely waiting for it to return. But now I’ve got it back, and I’ll give it a go.

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Monica (aka monnibo) June 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Its difficult with some of the books not being “popular” enough to be reviewed by a newspaper or magazine. I’ll give it a shot though.

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Jackie (Farm Lane Books) June 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

This is a really great task, so it is a shame that more people haven’t decided to take part. I am really interested to see the statistics.

I hope to add a few more numbers to your spreadsheet and then try to come up with some findings. Sorry I didn’t get it finished in time!

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Jackie (Farm Lane Books) June 17, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I’ve finally completed my analysing!

Nothing amazing, but here are my findings!

http://www.farmlanebooks.co.uk/?p=1816

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Dorte H June 20, 2009 at 8:28 am

I just wanted to tell you that the reason why I haven´t participated in BIP for some time is that I joined an online writing course ten weeks ago. It has been great and really useful for me, but it has taken an amazing amount of time so my blogging and reading have been haphazard.

I will try to do more about my blog from next week (end of writing course, term & exams), but as my dream is writing crime fiction, I will also try to keep up the goal and spend more time writing fiction.

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Kim June 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

That’s great, thanks! I’m glad your computer is back — I’d be sort of a nut without mine, I think.

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Kim June 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

True, there are some limits to what books might work for this. I thought about that for a bit, but then decided most people have read at least one popular enough book that it will have been reviewed somewhere. And with the internet, it’s easier to find those other reviews too.

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Kim June 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I’m excited to start compiling some stats. I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for, I guess just anything that sticks out. I remember when I did this for class we were all astounded at how long some sentences in academic articles were (especially sentences strung together with semicolons and dashes and stuff — so long!)

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