Should Amazon have a separate ranking for book reviewers?
I recently delved into the forums for Amazon reviewers, and found it quite entertaining. I’d never realised there was such controversy to be had on the matter of giving your opinion on commodities. Things like should the ‘unhelpful’ vote be abolished? Should you be allowed to vote on your own reviews? Are some reviewers artificially pumping up their ranking by getting their friends to vote for their product assessments?
What struck me most is how seriously most reviewers take their ranking.
Now, I’m not complaining about that. I’d be exactly the same in their position. Amazon has made the whole thing into a game, and games are fun. There’s no fun in any game, though, if you don’t want to win.
It did strike me as a little unfair, though. Because quite a lot of the reviewers in the top 10,000 are book critics. They review books to the exclusion of all else. Many of them have blogs, and they post their assessments not only on Amazon, but also on their own sites, and on Goodreads.
Do you know what I’d do if I wanted to get into Amazon’s top fifty reviewers? I’d buy a 100 cheap electrical items, I’d spend twelve hours plugging them in and using them, then I’d write a review on each. Next day, I’d order some more, and go through the same process again. Pretty soon, if I was actually any good at plugging stuff in and using it - a big ‘if’, obviously: most of us struggle in that department ;) - I’d see those helpful votes come pouring in. In no time at all, I’d be King of the Reviewers! KING, I TELL YOU!
Books take time to read. Is there ever going to be a book blogger at #1 in the Amazon Reviewer charts? I doubt it. Not unless he or she starts plugging more stuff in and using it.
Amazon started off as a bookseller before it diversified into DVD’s, CD’s and then the entire known capitalist economy. Perhaps in deference to that, it should provide separate charts for different types of reviewers - after all, they do that with books: you’ve got the romance chart, the literary chart, the thriller chart, etc - to give the book reviewers a shot at a top spot. Maybe those who want to continue to be jacks of all trades should commit to at least ten different categories of products.
After all, reviewing books isn’t just a hobby: it’s a vocation.
When someone starts assassinating paparazzi in three countries, MI7 sits up. Apparently, the killer is none other than Dmitri Vassyli Kramski, retired SVR field-operative and former Kremlin protégé. True, the Cold War is long finished, but everyone knows Vladimir Putin is as unhappy for Russia to play second fiddle on the international stage as even the most strident of his Communist predecessors. In 2010 therefore, East-West relations remain as tortuous as ever.
Kramski’s trail leads deep into London’s émigré community, forcing his pursuers into conflict with an unknown organisation bent on protecting him. Bit by bit, he begins to look less like a professional assassin and more like someone plotting to scupper the foundations of Western democracy itself. To compound matters, the Russians are as baffled by him as anyone.
Genre – Espionage Thriller
Rating – PG
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