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January 30th, 2006

When User Reviews are Meaningless

So I use Amazon.com and the iTunes Music Store quite a bit as I’m sure you, uh, might, and I’ve noticed a pretty common new thread: user reviews are becoming more and more useless and meaningless.

This is particularly true on iTunes. I looked up a particular CD, Jenny Lewis’s Rabbit Fur Coat, and found the average rating is 4.5 stars. 18 reviews, and every one is “Brilliant!” “Great!” and so on. And that might be so… but each of the reviews wherein the reviewer is non-plussed by the album? Voted as “not helpful”.

It’s kind of a weird little club, these reviews: if you like the thing you’re reviewing, you can write a review and not feel any ill effects. If you dislike it, expect to get bashed because of it. Weird how that works… and, worst of all, it makes user reviews pointless. Maybe it’s time to get rid of them.

Posted in Everyday Life

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