Writing Reviews is Hard

I just realized I hadn’t done any reviews on the Audiobook site in months, and feeling guilty, I went through the process of finding my rental history and looking aghast at the 50 or so titles that were unrated.

I quickly went through and put in star ratings for all of them, then felt guilty about taking the easy path – so I went back in and picked some of my favorite titles to write real reviews for.

Then after writing some glowing reviews, I felt guilty again. I feel like I’m leaving the potential for bad books to be listened to because I was too lazy to go downgrade them. So I went back in again and wrote some scathing reviews. Used adjectives like “bad”, and “very”, and “really”. I let ‘em have it.

Then I felt that if I’m going to do a good job, I really should take my ratings more seriously, so I felt I had to go back and review all of my numerical ratings for accuracy. Halfway through this process, I thought, “Am I taking myself too seriously here?” After all, what do people care about what I think anyway?

After doing some stats checking, it seems that our reviews are one of the most viewed sections of the site, and some random sample surveying has revealed that many of our subscribers depend on reviews to select the books they listen to. So I’m going to be diligent from now on. And if you don’t mind, I’d love to read your reviews too.

I need to get back in the habit as well…in particular, I want to counter cases like the book that has a 1-star ranking because the single reviewer was annoyed that the second selection of CDs hadn’t arrived in their mailbox yet. Way to tank a book, dude.

Or the low rating of Olympia Dukakis’ autobiography because she sounds angry…in a book which is about the history of anger in her life, especially at her mother.

I will reiterate a request I think I emailed a while back — the star ratings should indicate the number of rankings that make up the average. They are meaningless, otherwise (and, hey, Amazon shows the numbers!)

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