A shilling or two

Internet. Seems to be the main form of communication in most people’s lives these days. We get our information and do research over the internet to make more informed decisions. Most often, when either online shopping or simply comparing information about a product, we look towards reviews for advice.

However, are reviews really a good, credible source for information? There are a few factors that need to be considered before completely relying on blogs for sources of information.

Shilling, as we learned in class, is basically someone posting favorable, enthusiastic reviews for a company, product, or service, in hopes of generating good impressions. We may never know how many posts are products of a shill. While gathering information for a new litter box (lame, I know), I came across reviews that seemed way too excited. I mean it is a litter box, no need to use ten exclamation points and say that this was the best thing that has ever happened to you.

What motivates people to give a review for a product. I look around my room at all the material items I own, and have never once considered posting a review about a product. Why? Because I am content with my purchases.

In my opinion, I think people are more inclined to post a negative review about a product than a positive review. Take rate my professor for example. I always check out what people have to say about professors, because I think it is interesting to see how images and reputations are formed. Most of these reviews are negative, because again, people are more inclined to complain than to praise. So this leads, then, to a negative reputation for a professor. If many students go to this website, and a negative opinion is formed, students will either find a new professor or have pessimistic views throughout the semester.

I don’t really take reviews into consideration too much, but I do think that they are something that should be taken with a grain of salt. You never know who is behind the message, or what the motivation is for sending that message.

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