8
   

Sound the death knell for helpful reviews....

 
 
DrewDad
 
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:23 am
Hidden Industry Dupes Social Media Users

Paying people to influence discussions in social media is big business in China and the U.S.


So much for trusting user-generated content....
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:28 am
@DrewDad,
This presumes you trusted it to begin with.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:36 am
@DrewDad,
There are still ways to combat the astroturfing. An example of a very effective tactic is when the reviews are restricted to people who purchased the object themselves. Not all systems can do that (Apple's walled gardens are examples of real-world use of this) but when they can it can be very effective because the cost of astroturfing usually becomes prohibitive.

It's an escalating war of attrition, look for more and more social filtering available in the future (e.g. you will see a strong emphasis on recommendations from people you know soon).
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:37 am
@Cycloptichorn,
to quote radio god ron bennington

"never take advice from some asshole on the radio"

works for any form of communication you can think of
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
Each comment should come with a bogosity meter.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:40 am
What happened to the concept of judging a product on its mertis versus its price, and making one's best judgment? I know any number of people whose purchase decisions just appall me.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:47 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

What happened to the concept of judging a product on its mertis versus its price, and making one's best judgment? I know any number of people whose purchase decisions just appall me.


It's often difficult to judge the merits of a device when you are buying online - you can't touch or feel it, can't test the buttons to see how they work, and you may not know anyone who has one.

I have a few trusted sources that I go to for stuff like this - but I'm not at all surprised that the legions of mouth-breathers out there rely on some spammy facebook bullshit to decide to buy something or not...

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 10:54 am
@Cycloptichorn,
A good list of the reason i don't buy things online. I'd never buy something from late night teevee that i couldn't go inspect in a store, so why should i buy something on line which meets the same criterion? There was an interesting story on the CBC about book store owners who complained that people would come in, use their employees time to recommend books, look at the books themselves, and then leave. Several of the people inteviewed said that customers often told them with no demure that now that they had seen the book(s), and had heard their comments, they were going to go home an order it online. Some even whipped out the pdas and ordered it from Amazon while standing in front of the store employees.

Now that is all unfortunate for the bookstore owners, and has got to be awkward to deal with. Nevertheless, that makes more sense to me than buying something on line, sight unseen (a pig in a poke).
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 12:09 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

A good list of the reason i don't buy things online. I'd never buy something from late night teevee that i couldn't go inspect in a store, so why should i buy something on line which meets the same criterion? There was an interesting story on the CBC about book store owners who complained that people would come in, use their employees time to recommend books, look at the books themselves, and then leave. Several of the people inteviewed said that customers often told them with no demure that now that they had seen the book(s), and had heard their comments, they were going to go home an order it online. Some even whipped out the pdas and ordered it from Amazon while standing in front of the store employees.

Now that is all unfortunate for the bookstore owners, and has got to be awkward to deal with. Nevertheless, that makes more sense to me than buying something on line, sight unseen (a pig in a poke).


It's not as bad as all that, in large part b/c returning stuff you buy online is so dead easy nowadays.

A great example: shoes. I used to think it would be the LAST thing I would ever buy online, because I'm a picky bastard. But, after looking at 5 different shoe stores here in the bay area, I simply couldn't find any that I liked for months and months. Eventually I ordered a pair online, but I didn't like them; so I sent them back, was credited in two days, and got a different pair two days later that I ended up loving.

The selection online is somewhere around infinitely larger than in person. Eventually, the idea of big-box, in-person stores is going to fade away; the overhead involved is simply tremendous compared to digital transactions.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 12:31 pm
@DrewDad,
"Reviews" are becoming a major search parameter for Google. It's not just [physical] Products that are being purchased this way, a lot of people buy Services (Dentists, House Cleaners, Mechanics, Carpenters, Electricians, etc) this way.

tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 04:41 pm
@rosborne979,
Still, if you're gooberish enough to type in [product] review into a Google search and then take the first review page that catches your eye regardless of whether you are aware of the site's credibility or lack thereof, then don't complain if your product or service is of a lesser quality.

First, know your reviewers and then trust their reviews.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 05:33 pm
@DrewDad,
They often do (e.g. when other users can review the reviews).
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 08:42 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Still, if you're gooberish enough to type in [product] review into a Google search and then take the first review page that catches your eye regardless of whether you are aware of the site's credibility or lack thereof, then don't complain if your product or service is of a lesser quality.

First, know your reviewers and then trust their reviews.

As with most things, the more data points you collect, the more accurate the interpretation. The main trouble with most review sites is that there aren't enough reviews to overwhelm the anomalies. It's just like on IMDB, if a movie only has a few hundred ratings then the overall average usually isn't very reflective of the true general public's view (because there are too many shills and too many "special interest" viewers contributing). But as the numbers of reviews goes up the rating reflects the population better. I usually ignore any IMDB results with fewer than a few thousand reviews.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 03:51 pm
@rosborne979,
IMDb has a proprietary formula to tackle anyone trying to game their IMDb user ratings.

The ratings system doesn't depend on the written reviews there. These are two separate functions that don't overlap. You can rate the movie a 10/10 and still write a scathing movie review and the movie review doesn't effect the IMDb user rating posted near the top of the movie page below the movie's title.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Dec, 2011 04:05 pm
Over the last few years, I have travelled to three different countries and 9 different cities and went with two major review sites for hotels and restaurants. All were pretty accurate. It's very helpful when you travel as, unless you've been there, it's all a pig in a poke.

I review all major purchases I intend to buy. It's helpful to know that after 6 months, you can expect this or that trouble, or the construction is crap, or it's hard to find replacement parts, etc. I find them very useful.

I have also bought a few things on tv that I have returned, but most of the stuff I liked very much. I bought a fabric steamer that's just fabulous and way better than what I saw in the stores here. I've never had a problem returning items, either.

I just ordered a bunch of books for Christmas presents from my favourite site and they will ship each book to a different location if you want, which I did. The books were all under $4 (slightly used, and some were only $1) and shipping was under $5 per. What a deal. It would have cost me more to pay them to ship them to me and then I mail them out. In fact, it would have cost me more to ship them to where they were going even if I'd bought the books here. I sent my sister one book that I bought locally and it cost me $16!
0 Replies
 
 

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