Reading Online Reviews

I like to read reviews online. I mostly do this for items such as non-fiction books or electronics I am thinking about buying. Not so much when it comes to movies or fiction. For cinema, I have a few critics whom I trust. With books, I don’t even trust the critics…. What’s interesting is that on the typical  (1) to (5) star rating scale, I find it most helpful to read the worst, i.e. (1) star ratings. The things people complain about are more helpful to know than those they rave about. If the review is merely a rant, the guy was probably a jerk and can be ignored. If it gets very detailed and technical, then maybe you’re dealing with someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. People who list the same number of reason why the product is fantastic, often seem to suffer from clouded vision. People who leave more critical reviews don’t. Is it because honest people are more likely to warn you about a product than coax you into buying something ? I don’t know. You may or may not be able to relate. It’s merely an observation, not a major revelation in human behavior. And granted, I may be wrong.

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