Monday, April 22, 2013

Online advocacy - is it balanced?

Have you noticed nowadays just how many advocates there are for products and services online?

And I'm not just talking about your 'Apple fanboys' who will buy anything that flies out of Cupertino regardless of its quality or perceived incremental improvements over a previous version. It happens across nearly every product category, from stain removal powder through to IT equipment. Plus it doesn't just stop at products.... Services (e.g. Those provided by local tradesmen on 'rate my plumber' type sites ) have their own advocates, as well as critics.

I've also noticed that those who provide recommendations on some items tend to be the ones who do it for others. In short, there's a hardcore bunch of online reviewers out there who provide significantly more than their fair share of feedback and ratings.

Note: I'm deliberately not covering the area of fake reviews and astro-turfing here.

So my question for today is... does this minority of online advocacy really reflect the opinions of the masses, or merely the view of the few? If so, should we really put as much faith in these digital praises or rants as we do?
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