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anomalies in the current uk reviewer ranking system and suggested changes...


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In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2012 09:45:23 BDT
"at least 99.99% of reviews are not helpful to me as I have no intention of buying the product "

Amazon's question does not mention purchasing. They could ask "Was this review helpful to you in deciding what to buy?", but what they actually ask is "Was this review helpful to you?".

Posted on 13 Jul 2012 22:55:02 BDT
The Emperor says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2012 14:04:13 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2012 10:26:28 BDT
Not as unique as you think. For many years - until the introduction of the first Kindle in America, the Ping review was the most popular anywhere on Amazon. Its comedic content is computer-related so it won't appeal to everybody ....

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VDKZ4X1F992Q

The reviewer is ranked outside the top 5 million because the most recent of his 4 reviews is dated November 2001.

When the Kindle came along, a new most popular review resulted

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3R24QH3CDS83N

The reviewer has 10 reviews, the most recent being dated October 2010. He is ranked 9,846 - and again, it is his lack of activity that keeps his ranking at a relatively low lvel.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2012 10:13:00 BDT
"that one review has garnered a lot of support though viral marketing; its writer has not progressed up to the top of the rankings. So Amazon clearly don't put much store in comedy reviews from this perspective."

Because the writer has not remained active, NOT because it was a comedy review. The rankings are calculated by a computer. It isn't able to work out the nature of the review, but merely looks at things like votes, dates, the activity levels of the reviewer and other information that can be converted into numbers. Language interpretation is tough for a computer and not the kind of thing that Amazon would attempt for something like a ranking algorithm.

"I don't think it is valid to generalise from what is clearly a one-off exception and not the rule. "

Comedy reviews are plentiful on Amazon. They sometimes attract plenty of unhelpful votes, especially if they are for products where people expect serious reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 17:12:30 BDT
The Truth says:
"Is it not more likely that only having 4 reviews counts for a lot more in suppressing Andrew's rise in the ranking ladder (which is not exactly low to be fair)":
Exactamundo Crooked.

"so what if the writer progresses up the rankings based solely on writing funny reviews?":
Totally agree TP; The problem lies with them maybe NOT progressing up the chart because people are voting it 'unhelpful' and using/abusing that most annoying of buttons again.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 16:56:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 17:02:00 BDT
Quiverbow says:
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Posted on 11 Jul 2012 15:38:43 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
Well fair enough. It is an exceptional case, but I wonder where a reviewer would //naturally// rank with 21k votes against one review and only three other low scoring reviews?

I find it hard to believe that Az would knock a reviewer down the ladder on the basis of a high scoring joke review...

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 15:02:56 BDT
As you say, that is clearly a unique situation and it is not possible to generalise from it.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 14:52:12 BDT
Quiverbow says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 13:54:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 13:56:11 BDT
More importantly though... to PDH's point... so what if the writer progresses up the rankings based solely on writing funny reviews? What harm has been done? Why should a funny writer who is massively appreciated by the Amazon community be less entitled to a good ranking than someone who with all great seriousness reviews toothpaste and dog biscuits?
The funny reviews are what they are... if people like them and vote for them with "helpful"... then so be it. As PDH pointed out, they have been a great source of publicity for a number of Amazon products.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 13:00:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 13:02:28 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
But do you REALLY think that Az bother to manually vet reviews this way - i.e. over-rule the effect of the voting for selected reviews? That would be a huge task if it were to be done consistently.

Is it not more likely that only having 4 reviews counts for a lot more in suppressing Andrew's rise in the ranking ladder (which is not exactly low to be fair)

Posted on 11 Jul 2012 12:20:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 12:22:50 BDT
But we were talking about how it applies to ranking. So it seems that although that one review has garnered a lot of support though viral marketing; its writer has not progressed up to the top of the rankings. So Amazon clearly don't put much store in comedy reviews from this perspective. Also, I don't think it is valid to generalise from what is clearly a one-off exception and not the rule.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 10:29:26 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 09:36:30 BDT
" its not like you get anything for it is it"

If you are invited to join the Vine programme, you do get a lot of free things from Amazon, as long as you agree to review a certain percent. And not just books; TVs,Cameras,Vacuum cleaners,DVDs etc. are all given away.

Posted on 11 Jul 2012 09:09:41 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 10:09:48 BDT
"If only the voting buttons were used the way in which it was intended."

The question is "Was this review helpful to you", which people interpret in any way they like. I've pasted my more detailed analysis elsewhere, maybe even on this thread, but if somebody judges a review's helpfulness based on its comedic appeal, they'll vote accordingly.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 08:59:58 BDT
Quiverbow says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2012 08:39:49 BDT
But the voting buttons do not ask if a review is funny; rather if it is "helpful" and this is the criteria by which you are judged and therefore ranked.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2012 23:49:32 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Timothy - I've read some of your reviews - and they're funny. You've a great sense of humour - and trust me when you're reviewing for Amazon - you will need it.
All the best from London - Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2012 21:42:58 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 06:05:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Jun 2012 06:12:38 BDT
L. Hennessy says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 05:25:45 BDT
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Posted on 1 Jun 2012 17:36:24 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 1 Jun 2012 17:36:34 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2012 15:57:52 BDT
Damaskcat says:
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Participants:  28
Total posts:  153
Initial post:  22 Apr 2012
Latest post:  14 Jul 2012

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