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Jan. 29th, 2006 @ 04:56 pm Online reviews
Current Music: Nothing
Whenever I look at a product online, I go for the negative reviews first.

Why? Positive reviews are often placed by shills of one sort of another. Negative reviews tend to be more honest and I find it easier to tell when it's someone with a score to settle. I find the ratio of negative reviews to positive for a product to usually be meaningful (more than whatever the overall rating is) and generally otherwise compare the depth and detail of reviews.

Yeah, I want to see the positive ones too (especially the ones with detailed and specific information--again, those tend to be more legitimate anyway) but since you'll find positive reviews for almost any product (especially true in things like movies, books and music) you need the balance.
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klaatu
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From:shmivejournal
Date:January 29th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
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I do the same thing, although, the negative reviews could also be shills, depending on how many competing products there actually are.

Although... you can often detect those because they will often follow the pattern "product x is awful, i am sticking to product y, or have found product y to be very superior"
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From:runstaverun
Date:January 30th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
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Even the non-shill positive reviews are often skewed by the "I paid a lot for this and I should only pay a lot for good things therefore this thing I paid a lot for is good" effect.
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From:kingfox
Date:January 30th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
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This is incredibly true with video games. I'll often hit GameFAQs, check out the harshest reviews, and ask myself if I could live with those limitations and concerns. If I can, I'll snatch it up.
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From:xequalsfun
Date:January 30th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
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I don't find reviews for art to be particularly useful, just because it's all so subjective. I tend to focus on them more for goods and services - especially electronics. While there were some downsides I didn't know about from the review, the iAudio battery life blows away that of any iPod - something I never would've known about if it hadn't been for positive reviews.

It is good to take them with a grain of salt, though, positive or negative.