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October 20, 2012

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Use Amazon Reviews graphic to instantly judge products

Screen Shot 2012-10-20 at 10.13.38 AM

Wrote Kevin Kelly in the latest issue of Cool Tools, edited by Oliver Hulland: The reviews on Amazon often don't know enough. Few reviewers have any experience with competing models or brands, or previous incarnations and older models. They gush over what they just bought, and are impressed by anything that works. Studies have shown reviewers have an uncritical bias to 5-star reviews. These 5-stars are useful only when their sum outpaces or overhangs the normal distribution curve, indicating something out of the ordinary. If there are as many 1- and 2-stars as 4- and 5s, that is a no-go."

Full disclosure: I've used this technique for years but it never occurred to me that others don't until I read Kevin's essay this morning.

October 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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I follow this technique, but with a refinement: I actually read the one-star review text, and judge it for what it reveals about the intellect of the reviewers. One-star reviews by the stupid are often indicative of a hidden gem.

Posted by: Sara | Oct 22, 2012 9:00:16 PM

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