The Pandora's Box of Epinions.comAug 9, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Hold on tight, pandora's box is full of surprises.
E. B. White, Edith Goodkind Rosenwald, Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (Library of Congress) - Charlotte's Web: Student Packet Grades 3-4
In the past few days I’ve dedicated myself to read most reviews in this section –yes, games are in a restful state right now- *not for long though* because I simply wanted to see a more insight look of the mighty web of trust, several opinions achieves several different points of view, we all know that fact “everyone is entitled to their opinion” and this simple line is the foundation of my –for lack of a cuter word- editorial.
So in less than 2 days I’ve witnessed some hot arguments in the comments section about trusting, incredible reviews by incredible people but I’ve also seen some comments that are as near as you can get to insults with a sense of politeness, so this has become in my own tiny mind a war, the war of who you trust and why. Let me tell you what I think...
I’ve been a member of epinions.com since July 27th 00 and I made a few reviews back there, but due to minor problems in my life -I had to decide between the Internet or my college life, and so I did, blah blah blah yady yady yady- I stopped writing for a long time and I was active again recently (July 04th 2001) and from that moment on I started seeing all the changes made in epinions.com –and for some old folks on epinions they know what I’m talking about, rating system, organization, etc- so of course this particular feature of the website got my attention.
Epinions.com is what I consider to be a nest of wonders –because you can find *and we all know that* some excellent products reviews that can help you make a smarter decision when it comes to “what to buy…what to buy”- but a nest of problems as well –this site also offers the incredible feeling of being published…of having your work in a page dedicated to you and only you, judged by other users, being rated, getting promoted to advisor, geeez my friends, is a complex world that sometimes we wrongly use-
Some people think this is a given, some people do strongly believe they have earn titles and some people may think “I can be rich with this”, oh god lets think again for a moment here. I believe that the solid base of this website is to offer advice directly from the people that use them, yes, you can go somewhere else and look for some kind of professional reviewer that I’m sure will give you some useful information, but perhaps with a more commercial point of view –how great they sell and how much money it costs, and blah-
To make this example even clearer, I used to go to tgc –a website dedicated to games *my passion* in order to get what I used to call quality advice- but then I came here and I saw I had more than 20 reviews in a certain game, with different points of view, analyzing each aspect of the game, what it adds, what it takes, the decision to buy or rent, so I liked this vast world of opinions, and I’m sorry to say it but tgc is no longer a priority.
Now…when you are about to start building your web of trust, there’s a simple guideline I use, and perhaps it doesn’t seem fair to some, but oh well… in 20 years I’ve found the secret of life “You can’t please everyone, some of them will still get hurt in the process”
Who should I trust?
trust (tr st)
1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
Given that general concept of trust we can tell right away that is not completely applicable within the whole concept of the “Web of Trust”. We all know for a stated fact that Internet is a vast world of lies where everything can happen –well…almost everything- so “trusting” someone on the internet is rather hard and most likely not to occur -I’m only pointing this out because I saw some naughty feedback comments in another opinion about the WOT, where they trashed the trusting concept that the person held during the whole text-
When epinions.com wrongly picked the term, I do believe they were referring to “Respecting” someone else work, not implying you were trusting them your life –yes, it is obvious that those comments got to me-, “respecting” –as I like to call it- people on epinions.com is simple a matter of that, and only that, appreciating the time, the quality, the impact it had on you, etc when you read another epinionator. Is not about if you would trust them your kids or your lifetime savings, is just about creating some kind of respective circle where you will include whoever you THINK earned that respect.
To give you an example on how I build my WOT I’ll point out certain aspects that I often use. I don’t take this way too serious but I don’t think it is a joke. I do believe in using this powerful yet dangerous –in some cases- tool that we have been provided with a sense of decency or honest, you choose. So what I do is the following simple process:
I center myself in the topics that are within the range of my interest, those being music, movies, books and games –I doubt I would trust someone without that range-. Everyday I go into the “Just In” section to see the new additions, I read the whole 4+ pages and I do my rating system –found on my profile- and “target” a few users -I don’t care if they have VH’s from everybody…since It’s my WOT, I do hold the right to judge by myself-
After “targeting” some users, I start receiving more than 10 emails a day –yes, I have more than 20 prospects in mind- and check the material out…and I rate again, after a while…if I get to the maximum level of impress –which is, when someone opinion gets me to a store/theater to buy/rent/listen/watch the product- I click on the “Trust ID” button, and I respect them. By doing this I tell them how much I appreciate their words –work in general-, their points of view and the good decision they made me take. THAT’S IT, and only THAT. A simple yet useful concept of the WOT.
Who should I remove from the “Trust List”?
In my short active period on epinions, I’ve respected 9 members so far; all of them met my criteria, which is subconsciously forcing me to get out of my home –a hard task alone- and trying out something, so when it comes to removing someone it’s quite simple for me, if I get to respect someone I expect them to continue the same path they had when I took my decision, which is offering me and everybody else quality and insightful material about products, if they don’t continue to meet this at some point, I will remove them.
If in a period of 2 months they don’t post –without giving some kind of a warning message “I’m traveling, etc”- I will remove them due to inactivity. And perhaps they come back after a while, but once removed…I do the same process again, looking and targeting. My Respect people…is not a given.
The process of getting respected :
This used to be a priority for me on epinions.com, I hungered –yes, guilty as charged- for some respect just for the simple fact that I want to become a writer someday –not reviews, a novelist *wish me luck*-, so it was a great deal for me, specially if the trust came from an advisor. God…I was so wrong!
Getting trusted: we feel we’re making a difference –and at some point we are- yet I do believe we have to keep it simple in order to achieve something greater.
Getting trusted by an Advisor: gives us a sense of power, a sense of belonging in some kind of secret power cult where only great minds thinks alike. And yes, I used to think that, but let me prove you wrong.
Advisor’s are incredible people –yes- that were recognized and highlighted from the rest of the bunch in order to set a mini power-scale in this site, something like “we all help, but some helps more than others” and they are correct about that…but…-there’s always a but- some people wrongly use advisorship *I wont say names* in order to secretly fill and agenda, and like every priority it has pros and cons.
Let me example this:
Guile176 is the person on this site I consider to be the best games reviewer –advisor-, so a couple of months ago an “I Trust you” from him would’ve meant the world and an incredible amount of personal satisfaction to me.
Xeno3998 is a held of a lady, with an incredible amount of quality and people I mean quality reviews, with more than 150+ opinions she has become a favorite for me yet she is not an advisor.
To put an end to that example, I named 2 incredible personas that makes this site worth while. So after seeing that both were excellent reviewers but one of them did not had the title, it made me realize that it doesn’t matter if the trust comes from advisors or regular members, in my eyes, we are all the same. So it would be the same, being trusted by 100 Xeno’s or 100 advisors, it simply doesn’t make a difference, because Excellency doesn’t come with the title package.
We all have a mission here, and that mission should be “Offering quality reviews about different products to members and non-members within this website”, if we are recognized for it, so be it, if we are selected as an advisor, so be it. Keep in mind that being honest and sharing your thoughts is an opportunity epinions.com is giving you, it may come along with some recognition, it may not, but don’t make it the point of your visit in here, because if that’s your mission I see a dark cloud going your way.
”In order to be trusted is not about saying what people would like to hear, is about making a criteria based on your own perception of Excellency.
So use the WOT as you please, every path you follow has a prize...just be aware of the consequences.
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