Not all reviews are created equal. That’s obvious. Some are uber detailed, others less so. All have a bias, notwithstanding what the reviewers profess. No one is 100% objective — and besides, what do we care about a 100% objective review? What we do care about is the reviewer’s personal opinions based on his or her expertise, experience and personal bias that we subscribe to.
Two top perfectly independent reviewers may come to different conclusions about the same product, based on personal bias — and bias is not being used here in a pejorative way. We all have a personal bias: some like a big camera that will comfortably fit their big hands; others prefer compact, lightweight, even pocketable cameras. Some like futuristic looking designs, others pine for retro looks. Some swear about sharpness, others prefer low light capability. Some put a high stock in features such as Art Filters, HDR capability, in-camera panorama — others couldn’t give a hoot. And, some always consider the price of the camera in coming up with their final rating while others never do. The key is to find reviewers that subscribe more or less to your personal bias and give more weight to their reviews than to those reviews that have a different personal bias from yours.
Does this make sense? After all, you are not trying to find the best digital camera — only the digital camera that is best for you. That is why you need to get to know the personal bias of the reviewers. Even reviewers from the same review site will have a different bias and can come up with different final verdicts, depending on who gets to do the review.
But what about totally fake reviews? Reviews that are really paid for and that [usually] gush positively about a product? [Though your competitors will also pay people to post negative reviews about your product.] How can you tell the real review from the fake? Well, apparently Cornell University researchers Myle Ott, Yejin Choi, Claire Cardie and Jeffrey T. Hancock are coming out with a “Fake Review Detector.” Right now, it’s only spelled out in a thesis paper titled, “Finding Deceptive Opinion Spam by Any Stretch of the Imagination” that you can download.
Read the article at In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5 @ NYTimes.