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How important are Amazon's customer reviews?
October 11, 2000 2:54 PM   Subscribe

How important are Amazon's customer reviews? They may be fluff at best, but here's what I found when I dug a little deeper. I shudder to think that anyone is being positively influenced by this guy.
posted by ethmar (14 comments total)

 
And this guy certainly cranks out interesting reviews.
posted by gluechunk at 3:34 PM on October 11, 2000


racism = bad
posted by Karla at 3:45 PM on October 11, 2000


At least he picks good movies.
posted by jessie at 5:15 PM on October 11, 2000


Interesting. I've wondered what could possibly be the appeal of writing anonymous book reviews.

Well, if you have a racial axe to grind, there's an appeal for you.
posted by Zeldman at 9:44 PM on October 11, 2000


I guess his reviews appeal to people who really like counting.
posted by davidgentle at 9:46 PM on October 11, 2000


I meant the movie review guy. No the other one.
posted by davidgentle at 9:47 PM on October 11, 2000


I shudder at the number of people who "found the following review helpful".
posted by harmful at 10:05 PM on October 11, 2000


Personally, I thought that Novick's book was very interesting (and I don't find the book reviews quoted so shocking, although some comments on the Hitler book seemed uninformed). If anyone is interested, I have a review of the book here (under the UK title, but it's the same book). I'd recommend it to anyone.

posted by andrew cooke at 12:37 AM on October 12, 2000


What the hell's wrong with writing reviews?
posted by tranquileye at 8:58 AM on October 12, 2000


>What the hell's wrong with writing reviews?

Nothing, in and of itself. I had a larger issue in mind when I put this up, but frankly I was rather disappointed in the flip responses so I decided it wasn't worth the effort.

>Interesting. I've wondered what could possibly be the appeal of writing anonymous book reviews.

I didn't realize that the page displayed the user as "anonymous". His name is Matt Nuenke. I refuse to link to his site. If you want to know more about him and what he stands for, do a search on his name at Google, if you must.

Although his book reviews save you the trouble, IMHO. He tends to rehash the same stuff over and over again and call it "scientific fact".
posted by ethmar at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2000


Well, enough people are writing these little synopses that all points of view are going to be represented, no matter how repulsive.

And hey, they're in every town. You can't really shut them up. All you can do is call them on their racism when you encounter it.

Which it doesn't seem like you can do here. (But he's the 14,500th most popular reviewer on the site or something, so it seems he's not too popular or anything. If that makes you feel any better.)
posted by chicobangs at 2:39 PM on October 12, 2000


Well, I agree with you that it's disturbing to read his comments in the seemingly innocuous environment of Amazon reviews, and also disturbing that people found the reviews "helpful." But as Chico said, he's not that popular, which is some comfort.

As to why more people haven't contributed to this thread, there's no way of knowing, but it might be because the headline is rather innocuous: " How important are Amazon's customer reviews? is a low-key topic header and a bit vague. Does Amazon encourage racism? might have gotten more page views. (It would also have been inaccurate and unfair, of course.) Racist finds haven at popular .com would have been a bit more fair and would probably have also brought more wanderers into the auditorium.
posted by Zeldman at 3:18 PM on October 12, 2000


Ah, but it is an interesting question, isn't it? How important are Amazon's customer reviews? This conversation has gone such that it almost belongs in another thread - but personally, I think they're very important. Anyone can sell books online, so something that separates one retailer from its competition seems pretty darn important. I have no idea how one could hope to measure their effectiveness, though...
posted by Aaaugh! at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2000


Well, this guy is funny is a high school sorta way.
posted by tranquileye at 8:19 PM on October 12, 2000


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