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
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

 
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the Fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the Fed weighing the end of free money.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments