22 August 2011

5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5

I admit it. I love WOMing WOMM.  I’ve been WOMing WOMM since … 2005?

imageThe danger of and possible swan song of WOMM: People will eventually see shills coming, will recognize shill-talk, shill blogs – and ignore it all.

And there have been so many posts I can’t even link to them all.

If you don’t know what WOMM is, here’s a link to a methodical and rigorous explanation:

Where people already aren’t.

Not too long ago there was a piece in the NYT:

imageTime To Duct-Tape WOMM?
A recent ad posted by “Katmoney” … offered to write convincing negative reviews posted to a Yelp page of your choosing.

Now there’s another one:

In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
In tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like Amazon.com, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz.

And I thought Brand Ambassadors and Citizen Marketers were the bee’s knees.

More from the NYT piece:

Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers.

And the NYT printed this:

Is That Review a Fake?

As usual, I don’t get it.  I’m not behind the curve, or ahead of it–just simply tumbling helplessly inside it.

Why would you publish and promote the algorithm?  Wouldn’t that tip off all those wonderful Brand Ambassadors and Citizen Marketers?  Doesn’t Google, for imageexample, keep their perpetually morphing search algorithm a secret?  Aren’t there computer geniuses who spend their lives trying to figure it out?

I’d gladly pay anybody a fiver to give this post five stars – but I’m not sure where to put the stars.  Maybe on my forehead.