Here’s an interesting related story from this morning’s NPR’s Morning Edition entitled Five Ways to Spot A Online Review, Restaurant or Otherwise. Here are the five tips in the article:
- Compare reviews not only within a site, but across different websites.
- Reviews by people who are verified by the site are more trustworthy than reviews by anonymous reviewers — especially when it comes to negative reviews.
- Read reviews less for whether they give a hotel or a restaurant one star or five stars, but more for the specific information they give about the experience.
- Reviews are very useful for information that experts or merchants might not think to provide — how late a swimming pool stays open could be useful if you are traveling with a family.
- Focus on aggregates, not outliers. You can’t trust a handful of bad reviews or glowing reviews, but trends are much harder to fake.
I have never done an online review where I actually leave a comment. I am suspicious of anyone who has five glowing reviews and nothing negative. I would rather see a few 5-star reviews, a lot of 4-stars and one or two negative reviews because it suggests some legitimacy. Perhaps, I should start leaving online reviews:
“This post was life changing. I learned so much and feel like I became a man of the world. I don’t need law school thanks to this post. I lost weight, I sleep better. I ran a sub-four minute mile and can now speak seven foreign languages. I’m a better person and this is a better world because of this post.” — TC
That looks legit.