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Posts Tagged ‘critics’

How Much Power Does a Restaurant Critic Have?

You may have heard that Adam Platt, primary restaurant critic for New York magazine, recently revealed himself to the world at large after years of “anonymity”. Here he is on CBS This Morning explaining his decision:


Something we all know: for restaurant owners, a visit from the big-name food critic is an event. Even in this Yelp-powered “everyone’s voice counts” age, discerning diners still pay attention to people who get paid to write and talk about food.

Is that equation changing?

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Yelp Reviewers File Suit Demanding Pay for Their Sloppy Copy

PeopleloveusonYelp

Here’s a twist on the “brand ambassador” and “crowdsourced content” trends: a group of hard-working Yelp “critics” has filed a class-action lawsuit demanding that the site pay them for writing so many reviews of the businesses they love and hate.

You may think this is “incredibly stupid” given the fact that the reviewers volunteered their time and (debatable) skills and that Yelp never promised to pay them. But it’s a little more complicated than that.

The argument here: while Yelp aggressively goes after companies that pay for reviews (and PR firms that post them), the company also encourages its most prolific members to post more often by offering “trinkets, badges, titles, praise, social promotion, free liquor, free food, and free promotional Yelp attire, such as red panties with ‘Make Me Yelp!’ stamped across its bottom.”

Ha ha. And Yelp can’t honestly say that it never pays contributors with money, either.

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Study: Social Influencers Can Easily Manipulate Online Reviews

We all know how important consumer reviews can be to clients, especially those in the publishing, service and retail fields. For that reason, we were taken aback by a new study demonstrating how easily the reviews that authors and businesses work so hard to earn can be manipulated.

In short, online critics behave like sheep: the first and most prominent reviews drive the herd’s behavior, lending an inordinate amount of power to these first-touch “influencers” (who may or may not be legitimate critics).

It seems the wisdom of the masses isn’t as pure as we’d like to think.

Researchers for Science magazine conducted an extensive experiment by measuring the public’s reaction to more than 300,000 reviews over a five-month period. Some of the reviews had been manipulated by the researchers while others had not.

Their findings were revealing:

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