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Old 08-26-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
Kumabjorn
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N.Y.Times reviews reviews

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/bu...s.html?_r=1&hp

Anyone here surprised?

Last edited by Kumabjorn; 08-26-2012 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Double link
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Anyone here surprised?
I give the article 5 bananas... a must read!

Disclosure Notice

Spoiler:
I ain't saying
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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I am not surprised in the slightest, but I'm also okay with it if three conditions are met.

The first is that the relationship between the reviewer must be clearly stated.

The second is that the review must stick to truthful statements.

The third is the the reviewers must be unique.

If those conditions are met, I can get a good idea of what a product is about and what its strengths are. I can also scroll down the list to find independent reviews that will highlight the weaknesses. Personally, I am okay with to seeing both paid and independent reviews since paid reviews tend to address the market that they want to sell to. There is also a bit of a problem with independent customer reviews since they tend to be fanatically pro- and anti- anyhow.

Last edited by BWinmill; 08-26-2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: can you tell that I get a bit miffed when the relationship is buried in the text or an obscure corner of a webpage?
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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Maybe I should give it another chance, but I also failed to see the greatness of The Great Gatsby.

Figuring out whether a book will engage you, without first reading all of it, is damn difficult, even when you stick to known ethical reviewers.

I've never been influenced by customer reviews for books, but I have been influenced by customer reviews for electronics items such as Kindle chargers and covers. I guess that's dumb, but when you don't have a legitimate review source like Consumers Reports or The New York Times Sunday Book Review to go by, it's hard to know what to do.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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Not at all. Thanks for the link. Ethics in business (or life for that matter) in the U.S.A. appear to be a thing of the past.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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The net result of this will be (and to some extent already is) that people will be even more distrustful of self-pubbed books. Not only do they not have a gatekeeper, but you can't even rely on reviews to know if the book is one you should buy.

I hope Amazon is able to screen these out.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting, this is an interesting article
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Great article - thanks for posting it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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I hope Amazon is able to screen these out.
Word is they did.
Google also cut them off.
Made a good chunk of cash before that, though.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:54 PM   #10
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Anyone who regularly uses the reviews on, say, Amazon to decide whether or not they will like a book can easily pick out a "Harriet Klausner" type of review - high-rated and basically a regurgitation of the book blurb, with nothing negative noted. For those who don't read the reviews critically right from the start, then perhaps they need to learn an important lesson by wasting their money on the book.

It's very hard to be totally objective about a book because the reading experience is so subjective. I'll read NYT book reviews praising a book to the high heavens and my eyes will cross when I try to actually read the book. I'll read an Amazon review panning a book, but because I might have read other books by that author, I'm willing to take a chance with the book rather than dismissing it outright. I've read "The Great Gatsby" and I still don't understand the fuss; the book did nothing for me. To me, the literary classics are just like any other books - they either resonate within me or else they don't; it doesn't matter who praises or dismisses them.

People write term papers for others, they take tests for others, so I'm not surprised that there's a fake-review industry.

An author's recommendation of another author doesn't sway me. Too many times I've seen those same author-reviewers' names in the book acknowledgements, listing them as a member of the book-author's writing circle, for me to take them seriously.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:11 AM   #11
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Not at all. Thanks for the link. Ethics in business (or life for that matter) in the U.S.A. appear to be a thing of the past.
Soon enough someone will try to sell us canned porridge.



On the topic of The Great Gatsby; I believe it doesn't have the same impact today because we live in a different era. It needs to be understood within the framework of its time period, it is after all one of few works that have defined an era, The Gilded Age.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:26 AM   #12
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.....

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:49 AM   #13
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Not a bit surprised and exactly the reason why I never read reviews. I don't trust anyone I don't know.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #14
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Not a bit surprised and exactly the reason why I never read reviews. I don't trust anyone I don't know.
I don't trust anyone I don't know either, but particularly for book reviews, I feel strangely disappointed about the number of 'fake' reviews on Amazon. I have the naive idea that books should be above all that crap..... sadly, it's clearly not the case!
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
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most of the time, i'll ignore 5-star reviews. Don't tell me what's good, tell me what didn't work for you. I know the kinds of things that work for me, so I'll know whether it's a problem or not. I find the 2 and 3 star reviews tell me more about whether I'll like a book than anything else.
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