By Alex Burgess So apparently everyone’s a critic – and yet it’s hard to understand why ‘everyone’s’ opinion is held in such high regard.
Remember actual critics? They were these people from long long ago with expertise in particular areas. They would reflect, analyse, review and examine these areas for an ignorant public who could then forge forthinto a complicated world enlightened and informed. They would do this in more than 60 words.
Now, I’m gonna go out on a limb here. I’m gonna say that TripAdvisor is… not like this. Yet TripAdvisor and websites like it – Urban Spoon, Yelp, Amazon – are replacing traditional critics.
In a consumer driven world the critique has been replaced by the review.
In a recent Sydney Morning Herald article, online reviewers spoke out about about the payments they receive in exchange for positive reviews. At Freelancer.com you can apply for jobs like this one, where you get paid (not much) to write positive reviews. Current research predicts that by 2014 up to 15 per cent of online reviews will be paid for by the company being reviewed.
And TripAdvisor advisor doesn’t even trust itself. Just look at the evolution of their slogan over the past two years from this:
TripAdvisor gets 60 million hits a month, while journalists get fired. Professional critics have been superseded by crowd-sourced, online reviewing.
Which is fine. But who do you trust?