Thursday, October 27, 2011

User Comments Brand Reviews

Drink Me Five Stars

Reviews my neighbor leaves behind

User generated comments in product review in social commerce.

Amazon just quietly erased a million some product reviews written by persons paid to write a positive post. The cottage industry of bloggers offering book reviews for $ 25- $100 a pop are temporarily thwarted. Amazon deleted anyone who wrote these listings and gave five stars to novels they likely never read without warning. This is only the first phase in Amazon’s attempt to clean up a flawed premise that sales will generate the best to the top. A theory I equal to keep stirring the pot and the bones will pop up.

Amazon does not have an editing staff that checks how you review the latest ginzo knife. They have relied on consumers to honestly rate products and sellers. Amazon has a small staff that deletes obvious or reported spam posts and unrelated drabble. The reviews list in chronological order. A few enhancements to the system have been rolled out, but none so clearly (and silently as Amazon does not announce nor want to reveal future changes) will make the playing field level. No longer will posters ask for throngs to tag their product for a dollar. Amazon added “questions” and “rate the reviewer” type features that they hoped would make the system less “scammy.”

Durable goods, wholesale product manufacturers all started to realize that if they open a Facebook Page, or some industry website then ask people to like them no-one will come.  However, if they offer prizes, incentives and money they can get an individual Facebook page that generates interest in their brand. Facebook has added so many bells and whistles using a Facebook page seems to also have lost its lightening as a method to connect with consumers.

A woman I know made a fortune selling Google page rank, she is one of many black hat SEO experts who touted herself as a marketing wizard. Google can now identify the thirty some methods used to game page rank and they are silently erasing websites that use the cheats from searches without any notice or recourse to “webowners”, or brands. She’s now selling IRS illegal tax credits knowing that her past associations are all crumbling. This same person rather maliciously posted reviews with intention to harm on Amazon as a regular course of entertainment. Seems all her reviews have now disappeared.

If reviews are merely a fringe portion of buyers (Reviews on Travelocity, Amazon, CNET, Epinions, Consumer Reports… gazillion other sites are less than .08% of purchasers) why do buyers even bother to read them? We are human, we care what others think.

How will all the information gathered, collected, graphed and monitored about us as individual consumers typing words on the internet be used in the future for brands?

What I want to know is how is this going to change how books are reviewed and rated in the future? What do you think?
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