Monday, December 12, 2005

Amazon reviews

I buy a ton of books and DVDs, and whenever I hear of a new title, the first thing I do is go to Amazon and read a handful of reviews. With a little experience, that can make the "success rate" of buying very high indeed.

One hitch to it is that old classics usually have much better reviews than recent hits, because only those who are really interested actually find them and buy them!
The same is true for genre products. For instance I bought a couple of horror films and was disappointed. Then I realized that all those five-star reviews came from people who love horror, and I only have a passing interest.

1 comment:

Wonko outside the asylum said...

I tend to be looking for something specific when I'm browsing the virtual shelves of Amazon, so the reviews aren't often my main interest. That said they have offered useful bits of information on occasion. For instance; when I bought a digital camera (not from Amazon I have to say), one of the user reviews pointed out that if you wanted to take high quality video you needed a particular type of memory card that could cope with the larger quanities of data being written to it from the camera. So, in that instance, they were useful.

I have to confess to having written one or two reviews, usually to highlight what I feel to be an exceptional album. I acknowledge that my taste, and therefore opinion, will not be the same as others. I guess that's taking the rough with the smooth, the reviews will give you a general feel for the product, but won't necessarily reflect your own taste. There is a tenuous link with one of the problems with democracy here: the majority are not always right! ;o)

One thing they won't be full of is PR/Record label press release fatuousness, which I have noticed many of the "official" Amazon reviews are.