Thursday, November 18, 2004

Amazon Reviewer Ranking

I ran across one of my reviews today while passing through links on Amazon. I noted my rank (12856), and wondered just what it "takes" to be a top reviewer. Curious, I clicked on the top reviewer listed in the sidebar (entitled "Top Reviewers") and found a listing of the 8207 reviews written by a certain Harriet Klausner since November 22, 1999. Clicking on her "About Harriet Klausner" link I found that she claims to be a former acquisitions librarian who reads two books per day. Yet, somehow, she manages to post at least four and five book reviews per day on Amazon.....

The vast majority of the books reviewd by Mrs. Klausner are mass-marketed fiction. Interspersed, one can find (only) slightly higher-brow fiction writers such as Dean R. Koontz. I find it noteworthy that nearly every book receives either four or five stars. Given that she reads two books a day and posts reviews on at least double that amount, I guess that she must not read any bad books.

I also noticed that most of the recent entries are not available yet. This lady wouldn't work for a publishing house, would she? My suspicions are up....

Anyway, in other news today, there is a new source of information for the research-oriented, Google's academic search engine. I wonder what impact this new search tool will have on ERIC, EBSCO, and other respected tools. Also, given recent allegations that Google is not shy about filtering content (the other side), what is the impact upon academia? Or will it even be used? Will marketing win over quality? Ah, the suspense!

Oh well, enough ranting for today.....


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