Reviews as Cultural Work

My thoughts regarding WFG reviews can be boiled down to one sentence: reviews are cultural work.






So, to go back to the original statement, reviews are things that take time and effort, which in some way relate to a way of doing things.




Short-term impact is easy and obvious. The review brings attention to the reviewed work, while also (hopefully) making people think. In the long-term it does something even more important, providing a very small piece of the jigsaw puzzle map that is Web Fiction Culture.










I like this idea quite a bit, but just out of curiosity, how are we going to account for subjectivity in reviewing? Or is the assumption of subjectivity built in to this conception of reviews as cultural work?


I think that's easier that it seems -- while reviews are subjective, there is an overlap about things that don't work and things that do when it comes to style, formatting, communication, frequency, etc. Zombie vs superhero vs literary classic is different, because those work for some people but not for others. However, frequent, consistent posting schedules, immersive chapters, clean formatting, good grammar, those things are universally effective.


And the key elements to successful serials and non-successful ones are reflected in the reviews, and on top of that the reviews develop a consistency within a reviewer's personal voice so that you can tell how they overlap with other viewpoints, and where they're objective and where they have a bias.