21 July 2010

Manipulation of the Crowd

As readers of this blog know, one of my favorite activities is WOMing WOMM:
image The Latest WOM On WOMM (2009)
Wouldn’t it be nice if this were my last post about WOMM?  I think it will be, since prattle marketing won’t be much of an issue from now on…
image I guess sometimes NostraChuckus gets it wrong.  Since the above post I’ve WOMed WOMM a few more times

And this post is even another WOMing.
Manipulation of the Crowd: How Trustworthy Are Online Ratings?
By Michael Moyer

image … The philosophy behind this so-called crowdsourcing strategy holds that the truest and most accurate evaluations will come from aggregating the opinions of a large and diverse group of people. Yet a closer look reveals that the wisdom of crowds may neither be wise nor necessarily made by a crowd. Its judgments are inaccurate at best, fraudulent at worst.
Pulled from the comment section:
This article does not mention paid shills who do the reviews. As a freelance writer, this is one of the more common things that I am paid to do. Yes, you heard that right. I get paid to write articles about "products". You should try going to freelancer.com and see for yourselves the prices of reviews, articles, tweets, blog posts, facebook friends, etc. Your world is a highly manipulated one.
No kidding.

Add to all this the fact that users just love all the marketing and advertising on social networking sites:
Social Sites Lag in Customer Satisfaction
by Mark Dolliver
image … In drawing thematic conclusions from the data, the report suggests that the increasing presence of advertising within social media could be a notable source of customer dissatisfaction.
Which makes me dig up this old chestnut:
image When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, radio spot, print ad, direct marketing collateral, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.

Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.
But don't believe me. This is just some blog, and I'm just some blogger. Who knows if someone's paying me to trash word-of-mouth marketing ...

One thing's for sure: You'll never know.

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