September 9, 2010

An Anti-Fan?

I think, but can't be sure, that an anti-fan is determined to screw me over on Amazon (click here for my profile page). Yesterday I received five "unhelpful" votes out of five votes in total, and what really makes me believe I'm actually not paranoid is this: My review of Alison Kent's upcoming release (in other words, the book is not yet available for sale) for the new True Vows imprint of reality-based romances is one of two four-star reviews at Amazon. The other has one of one helpful votes. Mine has just one helpful vote...of four.

Here's another tip-off. There are 13 reviews of a razor I reviewed last week. Nine of them have no votes at all. Mine received the most "unhelpful" votes...three of the four votes. And each day more negative votes appear on reviews that were for a reasonable amount of time quite positively received.

A couple of online friends - and my husband - suggested contacting Amazon to register a complaint. My view is that this happens to lots of people who post reviews, and that to do so would be petty. That's the same reason I've had for not asking people I know to actually read through my reviews and vote "helpful" when it fits the bill. It seems a petty thing to do, and not all that different than an anti-fan hitting the "unhelpful" button on various computers throughout the day. But my number of negative votes has increased so much in the past two weeks - since mentioning it here on the blog and tweeting about it - that for the first time in about a year, my percentage of positive votes has actually gone down a point.

I realize nobody reads this blog...well, maybe 20 or so of you do on a daily basis. So people are not clamoring to hear Laurie's Views. That's is why I've felt that asking people to check out the reviews - which I already tweet about when they go online, btw - is small and that it might be more reasonable for me to simply stop doing the Amazon reviews and quit the Vine program. If indeed I actually have an anti-fan and it's not just that all of my recent reviews suck dirt, this does indeed give them a "win," but perhaps, as I've mentioned to those online friends, my conversational style of reviewing truly isn't helpful on Amazon.

But now it's time to get ready for Rosh Hashanah and put petty thoughts aside.



Writer and Cat said...

Maybe somebody is trying to increase their reviewer rank by unhelpfulling the reviews of reviewers directly above them in rank? I don't know if getting a lot of unhelpfuls decreases your rank....

Anonymous said...

laurie, i love your reviews. i love the style of your reviews. i think someone is seriously screwing with you, and i would contact amazon.

anne frasier

Lea Hensley said...

I'm certain that you are under deliberate attack. I don't think there is any other reason for it. It's not that you don't write good reviews or the right type of reviews. We know you are an excellent reviewer.

Before I started reviewing for AAR about 5-6 years ago, I wrote around 100 in-depth reviews for Amazon. My classic reviewer rank was around 2,100 at the time. I just checked and it's around 2,800 although I've not submitted a single review in probably 6 years. My unhelpful votes are nearly all because I wrote a review of 3 stars or less. It's incredible how subjective this entire “helpful” review process is. It reminds me of the days at eBay when a seller could give negative feedback in retaliation for reporting a problem. That's no longer a problem for the most part but surely Amazon will do something about this eventually. I do think that you need to at least let Amazon know what's going on - not that they can fix it but hopefully they'll begin to take note that they have a real flaw in the system.

Reviewing at Amazon certainly has its rewards but it has huge flaws as well and often is more of a popularity contest. I personally wish they would get rid of the whole ranking system. Harriet Klausner is still the number 1 reviewer according to the classic ranking but because of the anti-Harriet movement, her new reviewer ranking is 695?? And she only has a 71% helpful percentage. I know Ms. Klausner can be inaccurate on her reviews at times but she certainly doesn't deserve close to her 71%.

As you can see, this is a sore subject with me. People can be such asses - plain and simple.

Laurie Gold said...

Jody - My question was I paranoid or is somebody really out to get me?

Anonymous - Since your advice is what I'm hearing more and more, I'm seriously considering it. Probably after I return from a long weekend visiting relatives I'll have a fresh perspective and can make the right decision. Don't have a clue what Amazon would even do.

Laurie Gold said...

Lea - That whole "popularity contest" aspect is one reason holding me back. I've never been popular.