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A few thoughts triggered by Amazon’s fight against fake reviews:

  • There is an increasing tendency to quantify and apply big data concepts to measurement as access to data expands and comfort with data use increases…the big data hammers around you will look for nails.
  • The more underlying drivers to a single measurement, the greater the subjectivity and confusion that will result…if you want actionable information, you can do better than star ratings.
  • The more value derived from a measurement, the greater the inherent risk of manipulation…one extra star on a restaurant’s Yelp rating boosts revenue by 5-9%.
  • Without diligence and reinforcement, the perception of trustworthiness with online reviews will fall over time…of course the Amazon lawsuit is peppered with words of trust: authentic, honest, unbiased, credibility, integrity, etc.
  • The dynamics across social media, celebrity, critics and other gatekeepers will continue to evolve…you could easily write case studies about the current celebrity Instagram culture (see Balmain 1 ,2, 3), and it’s not surprising that an online reviewer thinks, why shouldn’t I be paid for my opinion as well

“So if you are a celebrity and somebody is paying you to wear their goods and you choose it because there are bribing you, is that illegal?” –Carol Brodie as quoted in Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

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