I see a lot of review sites popping up these days. It’s probably the next thing that comes to mind after vertical search engines. With the rise of social networks I think online reviews will get a new breath of life. The fact is, most of us will go around cruising random sites or blogs for a second opinion. This in itself is a valuable form of information but what a lot of people want are comparisons and an idea of how much they can “trust” the person making the review. The biggest problems with review sites come two fold:
- Aggregating enough reviews to give reviewers and incentive to contribute
Nobody wants to write a review that no one reads. We all write our opinions in the hopes of influencing someone to action.
- Dealing with businesses and individuals trying to game reviews
It’s ironic that a lot of times the success of getting a review service off the ground leads you to spammers, scammers, and gamers.
- Trying to keep users from getting overloaded with information
The next step involves limiting information overload for reviews. Scrolling through pages of drivel gets tiring fast. People want a diversity of quality opinions but not be burdened by with spammish stuff. It doesn’t really matter if reviews are well-written as long as they are genuine and passionate.
This is probably something along with vertical search that will continue to fill the gap or shall I say void of general purpose search.