Rich Barton believes in ratings but with the current financial crisis, it is hard to believe that ratings are the future. Personally, an up or down rating doesn't convey all that much information. I was looking for a luggage repair shop around our neighborhood and did not find much in the way of ratings in a sense that the up or down (or number of stars) really did not tell me all that much. Most of the information is in the comments. This is also true with TripAdvisor. So in the spirit of conveying some content:
I went to the Bethesda Shoe and Luggage Repair on Old Georgetown Road. There were 2 things I needed done.
1. Replace a zipper for a suit bag. Estimated cost $70. We declined to do this and the owner of the store agreed that it was not worth the price.
2. Replace a handle on a hardsided luggage bag (approx 3' x 2'). Estimated cost $38. We went ahead with this and without having really tested it fully loaded I can't say whether it was a good job or not. We'll know on our next vacation.
We're also looking for a contractor for a remodeling project and star votes really don't convey much information at all. It needs to be placed in the context of the size, scale and complexity of the project which commenters don't seem to understand when all they do is assign a star.