This era of web 2.0 is awesome for the consumer aspect of our lives; no longer do we have to guess if a restaurant is going to be good (or has violated health codes, yeeesh!), or if the down comforter you want to order online will be fluffy enough. No, we can rely on each other, uh-huh (yes that is an "Islands in the Stream" reference)!

Whether it's a helpful reviewer on Yelp that tips you off to the sushi place in your neighborhood you didn't know existed, or the lady in Philadelphia who can report that the vacuum you're eyeing on Overstock is a waste of money, it's awesome that we can trust each other's reviews. I mean, what did we do before? I know, it was kind of fun flying blind, and you can still do that, but it's nice to know that you have "friends" online that are looking out for you.

But there is one big problem with online reviews. To see what it is just


The only problem is that on Yelp or retail sites that provide reviews, there are so many opinions that it can start to get confusing, the NYTimes notes. Both Yelp and Amazon have experienced scandals over whether people really were impartial parties (gotta love the story of the Amazon book reviewer who anonymously gave his own book a rave review — until the website accidentally revealed his name).

Tell me — what has been your own experience with reviews online? Do people usually steer you in the right direction, or have you had any bad experiences?