Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Anyone who's ever paid the most cursory glance at this blog will know that I regularly review stuff on Amazon and am a member of Amazon Vine where I get free stuff twice a month to review. I don't review everything I buy for several reasons. The item may not grab me enough to inspire me. It may have a number of reviews already to which anything I might have to say would be superfluous (Kurosawa's Seven Samurai or Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin to name but two, though I might post a brief comment here). Or I might not have the technical vocabulary to adequately assess something. None of these apply to Vine items which I have to review and, as a consequence, some of my Vine reviews are among the poorest I've written and rarely among the best.
Which neatly brings me onto my next point. As you all know, you can vote on any review as being helpful or unhelpful and add a comment should you wish. This voting affects a reviewer's Amazon ranking. Since I started reviewing back at the end of 2003 when I was probably about 500,000th in the rankings, I've steadily climbed up the rankings to eventually attain Top 1000 Reviewer and then recently Top 500 Reviewer status, ending up in 463rd position yesterday.
Now on the Amazon Vine Forum, a regular grumble is about idiots who regularly pile negative votes on certain reviewers in an attempt to bring them down or to boost the standings of others. This manages to be annoying but singularly pointless as an Amazon ranking brings absolutely no benefit at all except for a certain amount of personal satisfaction. The people who do this are genuinely stupid and small-minded tunnel-visioned obsessives. Members of the forum have been regularly agitating for Amazon to do something about this and now it appears that they have.
I checked my ranking yesterday and got quite a shock. Until yesterday morning I stood at 463 with 899 helpful votes out of a total of 1099 and an 82% helpful rating. I now stand at 230 with 849/1012 and 84% helpful rating.
What Amazon appear to done is clear out a lot of negative voting and, to a lesser extent, positive, and cleared out many reviewers who haven't contributed anything in the last couple of years to focus on those currently active. While some Forum contributors have dropped in the rankings, many of us have improved dramatically and the consensus is (and it would, wouldn't it?) be that the new rankings are fairer and more accurate and a well-deserved slap in the face for those neggers who will hopefully find a new playground to piss in.