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Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Reviewage: The Culture of Online Opinions

by G. Kim Blank (December 2011)

“pfft, she actually made the students teach the class, she's not a human, she's a bat who lives in her office.” So writes an anonymous university student reviewing her Humanities professor. “Good movie. It was emotional and entertaining. Some aspects didn't make much sense, however. It also bore great actors.” This is Mitchell M. writing (albeit illiterately) about a relatively recent blockbuster movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  more>>>

Posted on 11/30/2011 3:40 PM by NER
16 Dec 2011
Send an emailRebecca

Stan, you are obviously one of those digidits referred to in the piece. Your criticism, weak.

14 Dec 2011

Frankly I don't understand why this article was written.  Did the author wish only to inform us about the latest statistics concerning reviewer participation on amazon and facebook?  Or was it to display his ill-founded scorn for the good people who share their experience with a product for the benefit of the public?  And oh, that wretched Tower of Babel metaphor...  This article hardly merits more than a 2/5. 

7 Dec 2011
Send an emailSam Bluefarb

Prof. Blank transfomed my long-suffering thoughts into a focused blast at soi-disant "reviewers."

Until recently a reviewer of a book or movie was a professional, expert in his or her field, who would be asked to write a review in what were once largely print media, into which not anyone having an opinion, would be welcome. Such reviews were carefully peer reviewed by editors before they saw print, or in today's cyber world, the net. But in a democracy, one person's opinion is as good as another's. Professor Blank's essay well expresses a view I've long held--i.e., that such reviews, harmless in themselves, become harmful when labeled "reviews," when they should be called OPINION or POINTS IOF VIEW. It's a shame to publish semi-literate emotional blurbs under a heading customer reviews which gives such sincere but inexpert efforts the status of the professional reviewer

Let amazon switch to "OPINION".

3 Dec 2011
A. Keller

To quote Walter Alston of the Brooklyn Dodgers, "Everybody has two things: an opinion and a rectum." Only he didn't say rectum.

1 Dec 2011
Discriminate Thinker

The article raises several valid points - but i think there is another reason - people prefer advice from their peers - not least because they tend to share the same tastes and also to an extent - they have also grown weary of so called 'experts' and intellectuals'. So in a sense it's somewhat similar to the preferance of 'word of mouth' over professional marketing if you get my drift. Of course as the author states there is always the urge to share one's opinion in an attempt of self validation - but this, i think is normal human behaviour be it in the street, in the pub or in the workplace  - which has been extrapolated to the  web where there is simply a much vaster audience.