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(Telegraph)   "Forget the wisdom of crowds - when it comes to using the web for comparison shopping and product reviews, the internet is more like an angry idiot mob"   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 36
    More: Obvious, trip advisor, court of public opinion, Paul Thomas Anderson, wisdom of crowds, democracy  
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945 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 May 2014 at 9:24 AM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



36 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-05-06 08:44:30 AM
This is bad news...for TFD.
 
2014-05-06 08:45:56 AM
You say angry idiot mob like it's a bad thing.
 
2014-05-06 08:51:49 AM
Good Lord! Can't this place go one day without a riot?
 
2014-05-06 09:09:06 AM
BURN IT ALL! AAAAAHAHAHAHA!
 
2014-05-06 09:27:53 AM
4/5 Would read again.
 
2014-05-06 09:34:14 AM
imgs.xkcd.com
/hot
 
2014-05-06 09:37:46 AM

the internet is more like an angry idiot mob


Yeah, we've known this for a while.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-05-06 09:41:40 AM
"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."

- Friedrich Nietzsche
 
2014-05-06 09:50:10 AM
Well that and there are more petty agendas in a compilation of reviews than Congress itself -- hired guns, brand loyalists, political busybodies, bored trolls.  Anonymity doesn't turn normal people into stupid assholes.  Anonymity makes people forget they're supposed to act "normal", so they show their true nature.  And boy, is it ugly.

Frankly, with the amount of petty rage that infests the Intarwebs, any criticism of the idiocy, corruption and cynicism in Congress stinks of hypocrisy.  And people wonder why only those with ulterior motives offer to represent them.
 
2014-05-06 09:50:44 AM
Yelp is the worst site with the best reputation on the internet.

Followed very closely by Tripadvisor.
 
2014-05-06 09:57:45 AM
Most people who write reviews on the internet would be flattered just to be invited to be part of a mob.
 
2014-05-06 09:57:48 AM
Trip advisor has it's place. You've got to look for trends throughout the reviews more than just individual reviews.

Ignore any review that was written by a bride. Brides reveiws  are insanely farked up. Women loose thier farking minds and all sensability when a wedding is involved.
 
2014-05-06 10:02:45 AM
And forgetting the angry mob, there is still the paid plant.
 
2014-05-06 10:03:38 AM
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

Which is how I approach most on-line reviews. I am traveling more in a new job, and still trying to find the best motel values in places I go regularly. So far, the Comfort Suites brand mostly works, but I am pretty brand agnostic.
 
2014-05-06 10:04:18 AM
People are oddly passionate about some of the consumer products they choose.  You see it with computer operating systems.  "Hi, I am looking to get a new computer for school.  I look to use it for research and writing papers.  Should I get a Windows system, a Mac or a Linux System?"  Good luck usable feedback.   If the product isn't one of those that have religious followers then you can usually get pretty good results from crowd sourced reviews.

On the flip side, the professional reviewers put themselves in this pickle.  You open up a Astronomy magazine and see a wonderful review for Mead's new telescope.  You also see 10 pages of full page advertising by Mead.  What kind of review do you think Mead's new telescope will have?  Professional reviewers helped create the situation where snarky comments carry more weight simply because the professionals let their objectivity get eclipsed by other commercial factors.
 
2014-05-06 10:10:48 AM
Instead of being a gleaming vehicle for intellectual debate and the spread of freedom the net is about porn, chatting inanely to friends, buying unnecessary stuff and, increasingly, watching telly.

So, society.

It doesn't matter what I want or what I think about what I want. I can find someone somewhere on the internet to reenforce my opinion and make me think I'm making a great decision.
 
2014-05-06 10:11:37 AM
Speaking of, apparently there's a new edition of Warhammer 40,000 coming out. If you ever want to see an angry idiot mob, they're the people you want to see.
 
2014-05-06 10:17:52 AM
Google shopping used to be fantastic. Now it's just a paid shill place.
 
2014-05-06 10:18:14 AM

Diogenes: "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."

- Friedrich Nietzsche


img.fark.net
 
2014-05-06 10:42:49 AM

Tr0mBoNe: It doesn't matter what I want or what I think about what I want. I can find someone somewhere on the internet to reenforce my opinion and make me think I'm making a great decision.


+1.

That was very insightful.
 
2014-05-06 11:15:38 AM

Nurglitch: Speaking of, apparently there's a new edition of Warhammer 40,000 coming out. If you ever want to see an angry idiot mob, they're the people you want to see.


I used to work in a game shop, this is the truth.  One day I'll tell my story of how I convinced them that the change in GW paint formula was so they could blacklight your figures and disqualify you if you did use at least 75% GW paint (they ate it up fully)
 
2014-05-06 11:45:59 AM
I'm going to check to see which comments have gotten the most 'Smart' and 'Funny' clicks before I decide what to click 'Smart' and 'Funny' on.
 
2014-05-06 12:06:20 PM

2 grams: Trip advisor has it's place. You've got to look for trends throughout the reviews more than just individual reviews.

Ignore any review that was written by a bride. Brides reveiws  are insanely farked up. Women loose thier farking minds and all sensability when a wedding is involved.


Apparently crazy brides made you lose your ability to spell?
 
2014-05-06 12:14:08 PM
What a colossal asshat.  Sounds like his restaurant is getting bad "reviews" and he's taking the Amy Bouzaglo approach.  Brilliant.

Like any data source, the key to effectiveness is knowing how to interpret the data.  Usually, the paid shills give themselves away, and the total nutjobs as well.  Once you filter out the useless noise reviews ("zero stars, waiter didn't give me a handy", "zero stars - water only refilled six times", etc.) there's usually enough left that you can glean some good information.

I expect the vast majority of the time the sum total of reviews punishes dickwad owners and rewards the good ones.
 
2014-05-06 12:26:27 PM

Muta: Tr0mBoNe: It doesn't matter what I want or what I think about what I want. I can find someone somewhere on the internet to reenforce my opinion and make me think I'm making a great decision.

+1.

That was very insightful.


Nice.

And in the off-line world we have a name for people such as Muta...."friends".
 
2014-05-06 12:28:17 PM

Muta: Tr0mBoNe: It doesn't matter what I want or what I think about what I want. I can find someone somewhere on the internet to reenforce my opinion and make me think I'm making a great decision.

+1.

That was very insightful.


Great decision.
 
2014-05-06 12:31:22 PM

Unobtanium: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

Which is how I approach most on-line reviews. I am traveling more in a new job, and still trying to find the best motel values in places I go regularly. So far, the Comfort Suites brand mostly works, but I am pretty brand agnostic.


It's odd when it comes to politics this gets ignored. Democracy over individual rights.
 
2014-05-06 12:53:33 PM

Muta: On the flip side, the professional reviewers put themselves in this pickle. You open up a Astronomy magazine and see a wonderful review for Mead's new telescope. You also see 10 pages of full page advertising by Mead. What kind of review do you think Mead's new telescope will have? Professional reviewers helped create the situation where snarky comments carry more weight simply because the professionals let their objectivity get eclipsed by other commercial factors.


It doesn't help that the manufacturers tend to punish reviewers who fail to give favorable reviews.  If you routinely give critical reviews of products from Company XYZ, chances are you will no longer receive free and/or pre-release evaluation hardware from Company XYZ.  Having to go out and purchase hardware for review after it is already available to the plebes can be a huge disadvantage.  The people standing in line with you have probably already read all of the early reviews.

And as you noted, when Company XYZ is one of the largest sources of ad revenue for your site or magazine, management may be leery of biting the hand that feeds it.  This problem can be eliminated by having a 100% subscriber supported model, eliminating ads and the conflict of interest they bring.  But paywalls bring their own set of issues, especially in a world where people are increasingly accustomed to things being "free".
 
2014-05-06 01:22:01 PM
I've found on TripAdvisor the forum for a city gives you a lot of great info and recommendations of things to do and places to eat. The list of things to do and where to dine works as well. But you have to be willing to put in the research time on that site to make it work.

On the other hand Yelp is useless except for a one stop to find all the telephone numbers and locations of certain places.
 
2014-05-06 01:57:13 PM
 
2014-05-06 04:08:57 PM

skinink: I've found on TripAdvisor the forum for a city gives you a lot of great info and recommendations of things to do and places to eat. The list of things to do and where to dine works as well. But you have to be willing to put in the research time on that site to make it work.

On the other hand Yelp is useless except for a one stop to find all the telephone numbers and locations of certain places.


Pretty much this. Except, Yelp also has lots of pictures. While it seems to annoy Fark when people take pictures of dinner, a picture is awesome at helping me decide if I'll like the food.

I'm old enough to mostly know what I like. I seem to have really strong correlation between food that looks good to me based on Yelp/TA pictues and food that tastes good to me.
 
2014-05-06 05:53:49 PM
I don't know what it is, but camera ratings are completely farked up because of fanboy stuff. Any time Canon or Nikon releases a DSLR or related equipment there are like a dozen reviews before they're even available for sale to the public.
 
2014-05-06 06:13:19 PM
The most useful thing about reviews to me is the negative ones. Yelp, Amazon, wherever. (And, on Yelp, the hidden reviews.) Somebody out there's going to like almost anything enough to write an enthusiastic review, and good for them. It's the negative reviews that tell you what's going on.

Do they appear to have been written by a person whose expectations are totally detached from reality? ("I was disappointed that everything on the menu at *Asian restaurant* was Asian food.")

Do they look like someone's got their own issues that they're bringing to the table? ("This book would have been better if  *character who is a black woman in the American South in the 1960s* didn't talk about racism so much.")

Are they unrealistic about the product or service? ("The rooms at Microtel are far too small.")

Are they upset about something that has nothing to DO with the product or service? ("Amazon shipped this tiny item in a giant box and I lost my watch in the packing material.")

When you weed out all of those, you can find the useful parts ("This stockpot warped the first time I used it." "Item arrived broken and customer service refused to fix it", "When they say 'hot and spicy' they MEAN IT, and they can't or won't lower the heat on menu items", "The description makes it sound like the DVD contains a full season of the show, but it's actually more of a 'greatest hits' compilation", "I ordered the clam chowder and was sick for two days", "we placed our order and then were abandoned by the wait staff for half an hour.")

Star ratings and positive reviews aren't that informative, but when you sift out the chaff from the negative ones you can actually determine if there's something you should know about. .
 
rka
2014-05-06 08:14:52 PM

lingua: When you weed out all of those,


That's 99.99% of all reviews (statistics on the internet are 68% guaranteed accurate).

After you do that, you're usually left with 1 good review and 1 bad review and now you have to decide who had the true experience and who had the one-off that's not representative of anything.
 
2014-05-07 10:05:56 AM
I travel for work and post on TA quite often. But I'm starting to realize that I only review something if it's really great, or really bad, nothing middle-ground gets reviewed. (I'm working on that!)
TA is actually pretty helpful when picking out a restaurant.
 
2014-05-07 05:11:30 PM

rka: lingua: When you weed out all of those,

That's 99.99% of all reviews (statistics on the internet are 68% guaranteed accurate).

After you do that, you're usually left with 1 good review and 1 bad review and now you have to decide who had the true experience and who had the one-off that's not representative of anything.


My usual tie breaker is if there are more reviews of other things by the same person, checking those out. Some people totally lose their shiat while reviewing.
 
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