Monday, October 27, 2008

Spreading Like Wildfire

People started to notice the overturn of the old rules of ranking on Amazon. First, there's a new post from our old friend Vick Mickunas, a worthy read as always.

And then, our other old friend, John (of the old but evergreen "Here's a shocker" thread on sfsignal) had a few words to say about the news: "Klausner's tumble from the top...".

"Dear Author" noticed too: check it out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Waves of Leavers"

The phrase is Judy K. Polhemus,' a member in good standing of Amazon's possibly most knee-jerk "Friends" voting group, the Guardala Gang. She predicts the departure in their own perhaps sincere, but no doubt bizarre outrage of various personages of the group who've been shockingly reduced in both reviewer ranking and number of countable positive votes. Either Hondo, the HKAS, or now Amazon must be guilty according to their newest claims, personal responsibilty having been laid aside by common consent long ago. Yet one wonders if such departures will be really more of a threat than a promise. In a possibly endless series of farewells, Steve Guardala who led the exodus even before Amazon subjected him to precipitous falls in ranking and "Yes" votes, nevertheless returned to cancel once again his mere content summary - aka "review"- of "Landknechts", apparently in preference to responding to questions about his innocence in vote manipulation by the Ghost and Yours Truly. Others of the group who will punish us all, along with Amazon, by their departure include such worthies as Giordano Hussein Bruno and H.Schneider. Ever a follower, like so many of the commentators on these guys' threads who "know" that a book must be worthless if one of these paragons doesn't recommend it -how clever these followers must be, to know a book's merit without bothering to read it- Judy Polhemus threatens to follow suit. What potential losses to the world of genuine reviewing!! Ave atque vale, nevertheless.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Revolution At Amazon!

On October 23 Amazon changed its method of ranking reviewers. Unfortunately, its explanation of the changes I find largely unintelligible. If anyone has a clear understanding of the changes, a posting to that effect would be much appreciated. Its new way, as far as I can discern, is just about as opaque as was its old one. Apparently the only abuse targeted is positive or negative serial voting by individuals or gangs of Amazon "Friends." Why it retains reviewer ranking at all or whether it takes arms against other fraudulent practices rampant on the site remain issues of concern.

The good news for critics of Amazon's former method of ranking reviewers is the demotion from first place of Our Lady of the 'Speed-read' Trash Novel, Harriet Klausner, and from sixth place to twenty-fifth of Our Maestro of the Inflated Vote Totals, Grady Harp! An added bonus for lovers of schadenfreude is the brutal demotion of one of the chief cyberbullies and pompous asses from the top six hundreds to the lowly six thousands. For all his complaining about the evil influence of the HKAS and presumed negative votes from its members, it was the repeated positive votes either from himself or his own little gang of rubber-stamping yea-sayers which served to hoist this self-important miscreant on his own petard. Sic transit gloria mundi!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Honesty and Amazon

On October 20 an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer named "The Doctor" commented as follows at the foot of several Harriet Klausner and Grady Harp "reviews:"

"All Amazon customers should know the truth about Amazon's "top reviewers." They are sell outs. They mostly review books they've never even read. They are contacted by authors and their reviews are solicited. Why? It sells products, of course. It has been calculated that Amazon's #1 reviewer reviews an average of 45 books a week A WEEK! Is it possible to read 45 books a week? No, it is not. It has also recently been calculated that the reviews of another of Amazon's "top reviewers" have to have been written by at least 27 different people. Why the fraud? Why the collusion? To make money. Did you know that top reviewers receive free merchandise? That they are even sent free APPLIANCES? It's all a scam people, and most of the top reviewers "reviews" are not even legitimate. They provide positive reviews for favors in return. They also have many Amazon "friends" who get online and provide each other with positive ratings for all of their reviews. Collusion at its finest. Many of them have become a sort of half-a$% celebrity. but it's all a joke, and you shouldn't be taken in by it."

Not surprisingly, "The Doctor's" post was pretty quickly "Deleted by Amazon." Once again we owe Amazon good language for teaching us that honesty in the contemporary business world is an easily overrated virtue.