90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Peril And The Promise Of Online Reviews

The wild and woolly world of online reviews – and how they make and break businesses.

Top online review sites Yelp.com, Epinions.com, tripadvisor.com, and Angieslist.com

Top online review sites Yelp.com, Epinions.com, tripadvisor.com, and Angieslist.com

Once upon a time in the world of restaurants and retailers and travel destinations there were only a few ways to establish a reputation.  There was advertising.  There were newspaper reviews.  And there was good old word of mouth.

Today, the word of mouth piece has exploded into millions of voices in the enormous world of online reviews.  Yelp.  TripAdvisor.  Amazon.  Angie’s List.  On and on.  Online consumer reviews can be really helpful.  They can be useless.  They can be bogus.  They can make or break a business.

This hour,  On Point:  the wild and wooly world of online reviews.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alan Henry, writer at LifeHacker.com, which is owned by Gawker Media, and covers software and new technologies.

Brad Tuttle, a writer for Time magazine, he has been covering the proliferation of fake reviews for Time.com.

Justin Brookman, director, Center for Democracy and Technology. Former Chief of the Internet Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s office.

Wilson Wang, owner of Baba Sushi, a 5-year-old restaurant in Worcester that has 41/2 out of 5 stars on Yelp.

From Tom’s Reading List

Time “The net result is that while the Internet should increase transparency and give shoppers access to loads of information and the honest, unbiased assessments of the masses, consumers often feel engulfed in a murky web that’s not entirely trustworthy.”

The New York Times “In the brutal world of online commerce, where a competing product is just a click away, retailers need all the juice they can get to close a sale.”

Businessweek “The proliferation of fake reviews is a huge problem for e-commerce and recommendation sites that depend on user ratings. “At the end of the day, if consumers don’t trust the content, then there is no value for anyone,” says Vince Sollitto, a spokesman for the local review site Yelp. ”

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 26, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Nov 26, 2014
Getting together with your family and loved ones at Thanksgiving and the holidays doesn't have to lead to  arguments and fights. (Meg Hunt / Flickr)

The Thanksgiving get-together and all the family drama trimmings. Sage advice from advice columnists.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
1 Comment