Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The case of the disappearing Amazon reviews

In at least one case, a good number of Amazon reviews have gone missing: 

Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » The case of the disappearing Amazon reviews

...As of about three weeks ago, we had 33 reviews posted. Most were positive, a handful were negative; either way, each one meant that some reader cared enough to take the time to post their reactions, and that meant a lot to me.

Then something weird happened about ten days ago. Suddenly, Amazon showed only 10 reviews. Two dozen reviews posted between mid-February and the end of June had simply disappeared. In the time since then, a couple of new reviews have joined the total, but the missing reviews have not reappeared...

Disappeared without explanation or even recognition. User reviews constitute a large portion of Amazon's value, if Amazon is not treating them wisely their investors need to wake up.

In addition to an example of a worrisome behavior by Amazon (reminds me of a Sprint cell phone review I had to rewrite six times to sneak by the cell phone company's Amazonian censors), this is an example of the general principle that one should own one's own data. When I write reviews I first publish them here, then submit them to Amazon as well. At the least, the data will stay on my blog.

Speaking of nefarious tricks and reviews, has anyone noted that some hardware vendors are now revising "model numbers" (Hint: HP) every few weeks? It's almost as though they're trying to escape from Amazon's reviews ...

1 comment:

EniGma said...

My Amazon reviews sometimes disappear or never appear and when I try to post the review again the Amazon system says i can not post a second time, yet the first one never appears! To stop my frustration I will simply never buy from again.