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Dubious 'promotion' tactics used in Amazon Lists!
on 15 February 2004
This is a post I sent to Slashdot, related to the 'list-stuffing' that has appeared on Amazon.co.uk in connection with this book:
"I've seen what I believe to be an example of this on the Amazon.co.uk site, involving Listmania lists (user-generated lists of favourite books, recommended to others). The object of the deception in this case appears to be a book called 'The Wisdom of Shepherds' by one 'R. Ellis' that has garnered mediocre reviews (3 stars), although at least one reviewer saw the deception and mentions it in their (one star) review. It appears to be one of these generic inspiring/insightful story things (to quote the blurb: 'Out of the much-loved tradition of wisdom literature comes The Wisdom of Shepherds, a story full of astute observations and deep insight. Like all great wisdom literature, The Wisdom of Shepherds touches on the themes of self discipline, patience, understanding, and fulfillment. Like all great stories, The Wisdom of Shepherds will keep you guessing until the end.' Yech.)
This product appears at the top of a number of recommendation lists, all of which appear to have used a similar formula for their generation.
Brilliant Minds Need Brilliant Books - A list by seanpc11, Consultant: 'Truly Unique and Enjoyable Book. Excellent on Every Level. Do click The Wisdom of Shepherds icon.'
Know What Others Know - A list by shelleysmith319, Administrator: Extraordinary book. Best wisdom-book on the market. Be sure to click the Wisdom of Shepherds icon.
Intelligent People Only - A list by erjones3, Management Trainer: You simply MUST Click this book's icon. Truly excellent. A must read, and a must click.
A List for Smart People to Click - A list by Michael, Administrator: Excellent story, deep wisdom. If you click no other icon on my list, let it be The Wisdom of Shepherds icon. Truly.
Smartest List on the Net - A list by Michael, Administrator: Excellent story, deep wisdom. If you click no other icon on my list, let it be The Wisdom of Shepherds icon. Truly. (Hey, were did we read that before??!)
Hmm. Can you see a pattern? :) I imagine the author and maybe some deceitful (and not very bright) friends are trying to pump the sales of this turkey...
Perhaps this 'wisdom book' includes sage advice on the morality of ballot stuffing. Too bad I'll never read it."