Tuesday, 19 January 2010


As I've mentioned before in this blog, I'm a member of the Amazon Vine program. On the the 3rd Thursday of every month, I am invited to select two items from a personalised list catered to my taste (which is funny as I've never had any desire for hair curlers and hardly ever get offered CDs) to review and to keep. The following Thursday everyone gets the same list of what's left from the previous week.

I also review regularly items I buy from Amazon, which is why I was invited on the program in the first place when it initially started. Many of these reviews I've reprinted in this blog or written them here first and revised them (i.e. removed the rude words) for Amazon.

Amazon, for reasons of their own, assign a reviewer ranking which is updated daily. When I first started reviewing for Vine I was just inside the top 1500. About a year ago I broke into the top 1000 and my reviews were given 'top 1000 Amazon reviewer'.

Well, as of today I am now A Top 500 reviewer and it feels really good.

It's also meaningless. It doesn't measure the actual quality of review at all -though I have an 82% helpful vote rating.   Indeed no-one, except Amazon staff, knows how it is worked out. It is probably some mathematical formula which incorporates your total reviews and any helpful or non-helpful votes you get. Us Viners would love to know how it actually works.

But, like I said, it has no real meaning which is why it is so puzzling that some people (on Vine and outside it) actually nobble some Viners by deluging them with unhelpful votes with the intention of getting them to drop down the ratings. But I really don't understand it because it isn't as if you win anything. I don't even know why I'm so pleased to be in the top 500. I do get satisfaction when someone is appreciative enough of a review to give me a helpful vote but that's really it.

None of this makes any difference. In a recent thread on the Vine forum about reviewing, I wrote that I review because I like to review things, to pass on my enthusiasms, to share good (and bad) things with other people. Most of the stuff I buy that I review tends to be praised because I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't think I'd like it. Vine stuff is more neutral because there's a higher likelehood of me not liking it -if I haven't bought it already it's because it's not something I'd normally buy or couldn't afford, usually the former. Part of the fun of being on Vine is being able to take a chance and I sometimes discover something really good particularly on DVD -check out a totally bananas Japanese movie called Survive Style 5+.

That's it really. Just thought I'd mention that I'm now an Amazon Top 500 Reviewer. Look on my works oh ye mighty and despair. And this Thursday it's the 3rd Thursday of the month. Got to make sure I'm back from the pub (a library retirement early evening drink) by eight so I don't miss out on the good stuff (see earlier post).

Cheerio, chums.

No comments: