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Has being an Amazon reviewer affected you?

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Showing 1-25 of 52 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 May 2014 16:27:20 BDT
John Ryan says:
I had an interview for a fairly senior position as a Technical Architect, and the interviewer was absolutely blown away that I was a top reviewer on Amazon. I personally was amazed, I tend to keep it quiet - thinking people might think me a little odd.

How has being a reviewer helped or hindered you? A positive influence or a pain in the neck?

Posted on 12 May 2014 14:31:08 BDT
We're in a competitive and intelligent field- and you are doing very well at it!

Posted on 12 May 2014 14:54:14 BDT
If you are a competitive reviewer I can't help feeling you've missed the point.

I'm not knocking anybody who is a top reviewer. If you compile stats on any subject there will always be a top and a bottom. But if it gives you a competitive nature which is against the principles of reviewing in the first place (ie to inform other buyers of how you found a particular product) then you should look at why you are reviewing, and possibly consider channelling that competitiveness into something more lucrative.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2014 15:05:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2014 15:05:34 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
I disagree. Plenty of people compete on a "non-lucrative" basis in all walks of life. Amateur sports persons for instance who's only "reward" is a medal and (perhaps) the admiration of their peers. Should they consider channelling their competitiveness into something more lucrative? Why should Amazon reviewers be treated otherwise?

For me it's the Amazon reviewer groupies - the most sexually voracious of all groupies... and the most beautiful.

Posted on 12 May 2014 15:30:26 BDT
A customer says:
I think that anything people do, they do because they get something back. So in that sense, it's lucrative.
Whether it's financial, or the sense of achievement, or just feeling good about helping someone else perhaps. If they didn't get 'something' they wouldn't be doing it.

I am not competitive on Amazon, and I prefer getting good comments, over votes or ranking places. But I'm still getting something back.

Regarding the original post. I remember at work, someone applied for a job and in their cv it said they were an actor. Acting had nothing to do with the job, but it still impressed, and they got the job.

Posted on 12 May 2014 15:35:40 BDT
Note to self . . .

Put actor on CV.

Lidl shelves here I come!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2014 16:42:37 BDT
Amateur sports are competitive. That is their nature. You compete in competitions. In amateur sports, nobody cares what you think of a particular toaster. If you try telling them they will probably laugh in your face. You have to be competitive in order to take part in amateur sports. Even if you are competing only with your desire to remain in an armchair.

Reviews aren't supposed to be competitive though. That isn't their nature. Their nature is that they inform potential customers as to whether they should buy something or not.

Posted on 12 May 2014 18:08:47 BDT
A customer says:
I suppose that writing reviews, isn't really like doing many other things on an amateur level. With most things you want to get better, in order to do better. Is it possible to "do better" at writing reviews?

I wouldn't recommend employing actors. Especially ones looking for a job. They are too good at calling in sick :)

Posted on 12 May 2014 18:20:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2014 18:21:36 BDT
Yes, as soon as they got a juicy part they would be away.

I think what I am trying to say, is that reviews are symbiotic. I review stuff because I think reviews help me make an informed decision, and that by writing a review I will help somebody else and encourage somebody else to write a review, which may in turn benefit me.

Posted on 12 May 2014 19:34:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2014 19:35:23 BDT
Quiverbow says:
I applied for a job and I put on my CV that I was considered a top Amazon reviewer and was in Vine. They asked what that entailed and obviously thought as I was asked to be in that, I must be able to write, so I got the job.

To that end yes, being an Amazon reviewer did affect me.

Posted on 12 May 2014 19:39:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 May 2014 08:17:00 BDT]

Posted on 12 May 2014 21:00:24 BDT
John Ryan says:
Mmmmm, thanks for the thoughts. Must admit (again) I was surprised to find such a positive reaction from a potential employer. I suspect it does indicate a reviewer is able to write clearly, and able to influence people - a useful skill in many jobs. (Like Quiverbow indicated - it can help a job application).

Coincidentally, I also received a mail yesterday from a friend I'd not seen for years. Turns out he read one of my reviews, and it prompted him to get in contact. So another positive from being a reviewer.

Being honest, I find I enjoy writing reviews for (as one reviewer said), for the pure fun of "word-play". I also love the technology products I review, and I'm really pleased it helps others. Clearly the positive feedback of a "vote" is the "medal" or "peer recognition" that Crookedmouth talked about is a great incentive. Everyone likes a "pat on the back".

I'm sure being in a "top list" brings out a competitive streak in some, but it's not my primary objective. I did set myself a personal target of getting into the top 100, but that was just a arbitrary measure of my own success. A target I'd personally set myself just to "see if I could make it".

On a negative point, I do get the occasional "objectionable" note from people, and I find it's more sensible to just ignore these.

Generally, I've found writing reviews to be a fairly positive experience. It's great to receive the occasional "thank you", and it's good to be able to help others - even if there's no financial reward.

As "Mr Pen" says, it's symbiotic. I've found Amazon reviews to be incredibly useful in making buying decisions. This is a way of ensuring the process continues.

Why do you write reviews?
Has it been a positive or (occasionally) negative experience?
What kind of reaction have you found?
Are people impressed or (as one colleague made clear to me), do some people think it's a bit nerdy?
Where are all the "Amazon review groupies"? Where can I meet them?


Posted on 12 May 2014 21:39:29 BDT
When I was teaching older people the benefits of using the Net, Amazon was extremely useful.
I showed them that I posted reviews and that they could share their opinions to help others make informed choices. Lots of them liked the idea of being able to give an unbiased opinion. I am a Viner, so many were most interested in the idea of getting free stuff in return for reviews, too.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2014 21:53:52 BDT
A customer says:
Maybe that's the problem with Vine. The idea that it's "free stuff in return for reviews".

If someone gave me a free PS4, I would give it a glowing review!

Posted on 12 May 2014 22:43:27 BDT
Memento Mori says:
Reading the syntax of John's original post is very revealing. Dr Nicholas' response, in my opinion, perceptive.

Bonemonkey makes a very valid point. A purely altruistic act is a very difficult thing to find. As a thought, how many reviewers would be willing to post reviews if there were no votes at all and no ranking system? How many, if they had to commit to one a week for six months before being allowed to post?

The psychology used to entice customers to engage in this pastime, very clever. The net result for Amazon being!
However, most people are aware of this and opt-in for a whole host of reasons, competiveness being one.

John, like you I'm also surprised by the reaction of your potential employer as from your profile, the other activities you mention say more about you than reviewing on Amazon.

I posted my first 'review' in 2008, because I felt that the product in question had been unfairly and wrongly critiqued. There were three extant reviews, the first two trashed it and had received many positive votes, (they were the first to review it), the third, some time after, had rightly come to its defence. Having a good knowledge of the product (I wanted to replace an original), I also came to its defence. Since then the balance has changed as more people have disagreed with the two original negative reviews.

As I buy and own a lot of out of print books and less popular items, I often find there are no reviews for these products. So I like to provide a review on the off chance that when someone does come across them, there will be at least one review available.

Overall, I think it hasn't helped or hindered me, and positive in the sense that it seems to have helped a few people and it passes some spare time for me.

Posted on 12 May 2014 22:57:11 BDT
Bonemonkey: OK, the free stuff comes first with Vine, but you still have to undertake to review it.

Not every Vine item gets five stars from everyone; I have no idea what the full criteria are for Vine membership, but I know that the fact I write honest and unbiased reviews was undoubtedly critical.

I've had some very good things from Vine and some very frustrating and mediocre items too.

I have never included being a reviewer on my CV as it isn't really relevant to the type of work I do. However I have mentioned it when applying for items to trial with other schemes.

Posted on 12 May 2014 23:19:19 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 13 May 2014 04:23:36 BDT]

Posted on 13 May 2014 11:25:13 BDT
Jimi Jac says:
I posted a review on the American version of Amazon for a obscure 1980's rock band "Cell Mates", & I got a response from one the band members. I was well chuffed!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 11:57:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 13 May 2014 11:58:55 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 13:46:03 BDT
John Ryan says:
Fantastic! That's really terrific!

Personally I'm hoping Sir Jonny Ive himself (designer of the iPhone and iPad) contacts me to give me a thumbs up on my review of the iPad Air.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 14:02:49 BDT
John Ryan says:
Yes, I agree, the psychology around reviews has been incredibly successful for Amazon. I really like the idea of writing a review for something never reviewed before - partly to help the supplier, writer or manufacturer if your review is positive, or to warn off other buyers if negative.

I was intrigued by the "syntax of my original question" being very revealing?

I think (as others) there's an element of altruism in what we do, combined with the satisfaction of positive feedback, and the opportunity (to some extent) to simply show off just how clever we are. (Spending time writing free reviews for a massive profit making multinational - very clever). And this is measured in the top 1,000, 100 and 10.

Thanks for sharing the thoughts. Enjoyed reading them. (Written equivalent of a thumbs up). ;-)

Posted on 13 May 2014 14:11:38 BDT
I love it when authors contact me. One of the most moving was when the daughter of an author in her seventies said how thrilled her Mum was with my review. It was wonderful to think that I had made the author happy too, when her book had brought me such pleasure.
My son is a keen guitarist and is chuffed to little buttons when some of his heroes contact him through social media, Jimi jac, thanks for sharing that. It always makes me smile to see a 6ft 5 30 year old bloke bouncing with excitement like a teenager!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 16:18:52 BDT
John Ryan says:
That's just wonderful! I never really thought of it from an authors perspective.

Heart warming!

Posted on 14 May 2014 12:40:53 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 May 2014 12:41:05 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 15 May 2014 15:37:06 BDT
LOL!!! - Damn - I spent years as a teenager trying to become a rock star for that reason and along it was reviewers who were getting the groupies. I suppose I did learn to play guitar (badly) as a result.

All the best

Mial Pagan
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Participants:  19
Total posts:  52
Initial post:  10 May 2014
Latest post:  18 Jun 2014

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