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nice to see you back and posting.

I would add to your list ( accountability, experience, accuracy) the idea of context – some people just have a very different idea of what's 'good'. It's what makes Trip Advisor so frustrating – How do I know the people writing a review like the same things I do? And do they like them in the same way?

This is where niche becomes paramount. I trust a certain person for coffee, and another for food, and maybe another for Thai food. If they trust other people for coffee, Thai food, wingnuts or whatever, I can make better decisions because the context is more directly related to my likes, and my expectations.

I've been let down by Trip Advisor too many times to have anything more than a wary truce with the information I read there. In the meantime, I'll continue asking the people I trust where I should eat, drink and all the rest. Lesson learned.

Thanks Michael.

Gordon -- totally agree. This is the part where I lament the shrinking influence of the professional restaurant critic.

People who write professionally about food generally know what the hell they are talking about. Their reputation rides on it. Like them or not, folks who immerse themselves in something -- coffee or food or film -- generally have a much more nuanced opinion about what is good or bad and why that is so. Sadly, people don't like to pay for this kind of thing all that much, anymore.

And so we try to filter out the sane voices on the interwebs from those howling at the moon.

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