Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.
One of the most remarkable things about the World Wide Web is how it levels the playing field. Anyone on the web can be an expert. With a few keystrokes, you can share your political analysis or opinions about this week's movie releases.
But really, wouldn't you give more weight to a real expert?
That's the idea behind this week's website, which gathers online review of movies, books, video games, music and TV shows.
DOYLE: "Metacritic is a hub review website. It's a very simple and easy way to get movie reviews, game reviews, music reviews online, without having to do a lot of research."
Marc Doyle is a co-founder of Metacritic.com, which collects the reviews for each film, album or game, and then computes an average by giving more weight to well-known critics from established organizations who have more credibility than unknown critics from obscure publications or websites.
DOYLE: "Basically, we're looking for the people that you know: New York Times, L.A. Times, Roger Ebert, Joe Morganstern of the Wall Street Journal, as opposed to the little Joe Blow from Westwood One or something that nobody's ever heard of. And so really it's something that we get to know going through this process, and I think our users have been pretty happy with it so far."
So, for example, Radiohead's new CD, In Rainbows gets 88 on a 100-point scale based on 42 reviews, while the latest film in the National Treasure franchise, "Book of Secrets," posted a middling 48 based on 26 reviews.
What's great about Metacritic is that you can see the consensus judgment at a glance — the scores are even color-coded to make it easier, and naturally users can leave their own ratings and comment, too.
Metacritic includes movies and DVDs, TV shows, books, music, and games. I would have thought that the movie reviews might get the most visitors, but Doyle says actually it's the games section that gets the most traffic. He thinks that's because with movies, you're only investing a few dollars and a couple of hours of your time.
DOYLE: "But with games, you're now looking at a $60 investment and possibly 30, 40, 50 hours of a time investment in the game. So you really want to get that education before you dive in."
Movies, games, music and more reviewed, weighed and ranked on Metacritic.com, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.