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How Important are Book/Movie/Apps Reviews (and Reviewers)?
Asked by marygrace
Posted Dec 09 2009 05:34 PM
A blog post from a Barnes & Noble blog Unabashedly Bookish caught my attention earlier today, since it focused on whether book reviews, and therefore, book reviewers, really mattered. As finding reviewers for our books is one of my main responsibilities as a Public Relations Specialist, this is a frequent topic of conversation in our department. So what's your viewpoint? When you're looking for a new book, deciding whether to spend your money on the latest movie, or debating whether or not to try out the latest iPhone/Blackberry/Android app, do you rely on reader reviews? Or simply jump in and find out for yourself what the product is like first hand?
Answered by todisht
Posted Dec 09 2009 07:22 PM
Maybe I'm too cynical but I don't tend to put a lot of value on reviews I find online. If I'm looking for a recommendation on something I usually put out a call on facebook, twitter etc... to friends, colleagues and other groups of people that know. This way I know I understand their likes/dislikes and can trust their opinions. If you could build up a social network around your books and authors the members of those communities would likely build up that trust and the reviews would be much more valuable.
Answered by cothomps
Posted Dec 10 2009 07:54 AM
I typically do look at Book/Movie/Product reviews that I find online with a strong eye toward a review that has a strong sense of context: commentary about the item, how it compares to others and what the strong and weak points of the particular item are. Then I'll also look at the numbers of reviews of a given item compared to others.
A book with one or two really good reviews and items for discussion/thought will draw my attention moreso than one with ten "GREAT! LOVED IT!" kind of reviews. The critical take on an item is usually what draws my attention and helps me make an informed choice.
If it is something that I have absolutely no context for to start with (like a currently-snow-bound Iowan looking for scuba gear), I'll actively seek out the advice of a trusted friend or expert moreso than what I can find randomly online.
Comment by Jason Ted : Dec 10 2009 02:08 PM
well we are working with my husband in a reservation centre in Lake Tahoe area and one of the first things we learned about customer reviews is if two people are saying that you are bad than you need at least three people to convince them. Anyway perception is the key and no matter correct or false a review is a review. At this fast moving era we love to get things instantly, we don't want to wait, we don't want to learn. We all want have everything instantly. Here comes the reviews in hand. Why should I bother to read a book if eight people out of ten said its bad? this is the rule now.
Jennifer & Ted
Lake Tahoe Hotel Reservations
Answered by msilver
Posted Dec 10 2009 03:18 PM
For books, if it's a fiction book someone recommended, that's usually enough for me, if it's someone whose judgement I trust. Otherwise I'll look at the reviews on say, Amazon, and look at the various-star reviews, and try to gauge whether I'll like it or not based on that. Sometimes though, the reviews can be deceiving.
For movies, there's a great site called cin-o-matic.com that pulls the reviews from a couple dozen different professional reviewers. I usually look there before I go see a movie. A friend of mine looks at Metacritic alot as well.
App reviews for the iphone are tricky, because first of all it is a serious pain to find apps on your own. Then, there's the fact that the application reviewers could be sock puppets.
I typically read a few blogs that will link to interesting apps, and go by their opinion. I'm also more willing to spend $2 to try out an app I think might be useful, than I am to spend $10 to go see a movie I think might be good.