Monday, October 11, 2010

Credibility of User Review Writers

Up till recently, one could post a review powered Bazaar Voice or PowerReviews or the like to a product with a blurb and an ID like 'Dan W. Austin, Texas' And that was that. One didn't know Dan's trustworthiness any more than anyone else. Maybe because he was authentic, grammatically correct, a good speller or explicitly gave a clue to his identity that lent him credibility or trustworthiness. For example, dropping the line 'I've tried them all and...' or 'As a medical professional, I appreciate...' or the like.

So it was with some curiosity that I read a short article in Internet Retailer this month about porting Facebook info into a user reviewer's signature. See article.  The tool, from consumer ratings and reviews vendor PowerReviews Inc., enables willing shoppers to integrate their Facebook profile content, such as gender and age, into their reviews and their reviewer profiles on e-commerce sites. 

So Facebook is offering to push info to another site in addition to the pull it typically does. And, ever the opportunist, Facebook will ask if you would like to publish the user review on your Facebook page.

Would you be more likely to read a review posted by a doctor, professor or other esteemed professional? Or be biased toward a younger or older poster? One who lives in New York City or one who lives in Wyoming? One is intrigued with how far this could go and whether more than demographic information would be used.

Maybe the review would be signed like this: ".... I wholeheartedly recommend this product" -- Dan W., Austin, TX, age: 52, Computer Programmer, likes pepperoni pizza, Siberian Huskies and photography.

The article states early adopters as, Campmor and Abe’s of Maine but I was unable to see a treatment on these sites. Might be too new.

How much information would you amend to your review? Would it sway you the next time you read a review?  Hmmmm

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