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a calculated opinion

The unmasking of biased reviewers

     
5:12 pm on Feb 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Amazon Glitch Unmasks War Of Reviewers [edition.cnn.com]

This column is great, if I do say so myself [canada.com]

This has come up here before, in a way:

[webmasterworld.com...]

4:33 pm on Mar 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Misuse of anonymous review features is an ever-present danger to sites that offer that capability.

Review functions can be a good thing - they add content to a site (and specifically to a product page) and build community. Unfortunately, they are hard to police, particularly if they are anonymous or require minimal registration. People with a financial interest in the product can post positive or negative reviews, as can those with an axe to grind.

I don't think Amazon's "Did this review help" rating system is very effective right now.

If a community like WebmasterWorld allowed product reviews, one might use member status as a screen for posting them. If, say, a few hundred posts were required to post a review, drive-by type biased reviews would be impossible, and other members would have some idea of the level of expertise and the biases of the reviewer.

Despite the problems, though, I still read the reviews at Amazon if I'm looking at an unfamiliar product.

1:31 am on Mar 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I still say this is the best thread I ever read on WebmasterWorld. :^D

"... brilliant ..." - A. Einstein

"... witty ..." - O. Wilde

"... a good thing ..." - M. Stewart

"... not violative of international law..." - T. Blair

"... builds community ..." - anonymous