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Guest comments on website
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: Guest comments on website Reply with quote

I've noticed that there are quite a few personal websites now where the home/B&B owner scans the handwritten comments from the guest book now, rather than just adding them as text (presumably to add credibility to the comments). Does anyone do this and if so, does it help to get bookings? it looks a bit scruffy, but I suppose it does enforce the fact that the comments are genuine.
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13143
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I haven't. Most of the comments on there have been left by the guests anyway.
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Helen, I don't know what you mean. What is 'there'?
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13143
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOPS, sorry my personal website.
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I think this is a good idea! Our camera has a setting for taking photos of writing on paper, so I may use it next time. I would offer a transcribed set of comments and then probably set up an "eBook" the way Amazon.com lets you "look inside" some books -- basically a slideshow of pages with a "back" and "next" button that would allow a user to scroll through the whole guestbook.

Just my first thoughts, but actually I think this is a nice extra option!

Some of our comments, though, are via e-mail, so they wouldn't all be present in the guestbook.
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Brooke
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is a nice idea, it is just the presentation I've seen so far doesn't look very professional, here is an example

It is certainly more difficult to fake numerous different handwriting techniques than it is to type in fictitious comments (not that I do, but as Garri has pointed out on more than one occasion, he wouldn't trust them).
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an example of something that a page written in PHP could do rather well. (I remember that last year Alan started a thread asking about the uses of PHP vs. HTML web pages for holiday homes.) You could create a template page in PHP, and feed it one variable: the page number. The code would then automatically generate a "Back" link to $page-1 (unless it's the first page), and a "Next" link to $page+1 (unless it's the last page, which you could specify very easily). Then you would simply name your images according to page number and voila -- one page of code could show your entire guestbook. This is actually very simple to code.

(I did something similar for a photo album of family members for my cousin's wedding website.)

I love the quote from the website you referenced:
They wrote:
Please take time to read them as it took us ages to write them all in using different inks and handwriting (joke - they are all real).

Laughing
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Brooke
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13143
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now in correct thread.

Embarassed Embarassed

My website guestbook entries have an email button so you could check the comment was genuine if you wanted to.
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most websites don't have your facility Helen, although it is very good. Do you get many scammers though?
Brooke, it sounds like a very good idea to keep the guest comments nice and tidy on the site. I suppose one of the most important things is being able to take a clear image of the comments and that they are readable, not sure I could do this with my digital camera.
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Jimbo



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3581
Location: Charente Maritime

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
... home/B&B owner scans the handwritten comments from the guest book now, rather than just adding them as text (presumably to add credibility to the comments).

Seems a self-conscious (and messy) way to try and add credibility to quotes - the website featured on this thread acknowledges this by making a joke of 'took us ages to write etc'. Most people write screeds of stuff but what I really need are tiny 'soundbites' of information that reinforce what our property has to offer. I like quotes because they're somebody's opinion other than mine but, of course, they could be false. But then, so could your information, your pictures, your location ...

Jim
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Most people write screeds of stuff but what I really need are tiny 'soundbites' of information that reinforce what our property has to offer.

Agreed! If I were to offer something like this, it would be above and beyond the typed excerpts we already post. No one would need to read it in order to see the testimonials, but they could if they were curious.

Quote:
I like quotes because they're somebody's opinion other than mine but, of course, they could be false. But then, so could your information, your pictures, your location ...

It's definitely a slippery slope once you start questioning everything. If someone suspects all of that, they might not even accept my putting them in touch with former guests (saying that I could have forged the e-mail addresses, etc.).

Most people would probably accept that, though. Especially if the former guests say that the website accurately represents the property.
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Brooke
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fibi



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 338
Location: stirling

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes you have just got to trust people and allow people to trust you. I have loads of quotes on my site, many guests say it is the deciding factor in deciding whether to book or not.

They are all taken from the visitor book which guests can read for themselves - and confirm authenticty when they are here.

To copy peoples messy writing, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes them publish them on my web site doesn't do it for me I'm afraid!
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I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13143
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

La Vache wrote:
Most websites don't have your facility Helen, although it is very good. Do you get many scammers though?
Brooke, it sounds like a very good idea to keep the guest comments nice and tidy on the site. I suppose one of the most important things is being able to take a clear image of the comments and that they are readable, not sure I could do this with my digital camera.


I haven't had any scammers posting on my guestbook, although I have had a couple from the contact form.
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I suppose one of the most important things is being able to take a clear image of the comments and that they are readable, not sure I could do this with my digital camera.


LV, I agree it would be a bit tricky. Some cameras actually have auto-settings that can do it. But I don't have any (more professional) suggestions for taking good pictures of printed pages other than trying to keep the camera lens parallel to the written page...
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Brooke
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Jimbo



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3581
Location: Charente Maritime

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I suppose one of the most important things is being able to take a clear image of the comments and that they are readable, not sure I could do this with my digital camera

Many digital cameras have a macro facility which allows you to frame small items closely. With text, it's important to keep the camera and the text parallel and to light the text evenly. Attach the text to something to keep it flat and go outside and shoot in diffused daylight - overcast day or in the shade. Best with camera on a tripod but can be done hand-held if you're careful.

Jim
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