Maybe that headline isn’t the best way to gain new readers, but I figured I’d beat Amazon to the punch. Why wait for their customers to let me know how uninteresting my blog is when I can simply own it, myself? It’s less painful to start where this whole thing is going to end, like cauterizing a wound right away.
Am I the only person who thinks reviewing is getting out of hand these days? I’m not talking here about product reviews–those are useful and the various online sites that offer them have changed the way I do research on whatever I’m hoping to buy. If a bunch of people have discovered that the video recorder I was thinking of getting is made shoddily and will probably break down, I want to know that and I’m grateful to anyone who takes the time to write in.
I even get the value of reviews of more subjective things like books and DVD’s. I mean, I’m still going to put more credence into an established, professional reviewer’s opinion than any single anonymous posting, but if you put some time into reading through ALL the reviews on a site, good, bad, and indifferent, it does usually give you an overall impression of the book or movie or whatever and help you guess whether you’ll like it or not.
I’m even willing to accept that any Tom, Dick or Harriet can post a review of my novels somewhere online but I’d like to make a personal plea that he or she remember our mothers’ sage advice that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. You may call that censorship. I call it “you hurt my feelings when you say mean things about the book I’ve been sweating over for two years so please don’t do that anymore, okay?”
Anyway, while I may not like what you have to say, I’ll defend to the death (well, maybe not to the DEATH, let’s be real here, but I’ll defend it up to the point where I’m feeling really uncomfortable) your right to say it.
No, my problem isn’t with reviews of material or products. My problem comes when people start reviewing THE REVIEWS, e.g. “1 our of 2 people found the following review helpful”!
While part of me loves the idea of reviewers getting a taste of their own medicine:–“Ha! Now you know what it feels like to put something out there and feel like no one appreciates it”–I just think this is getting a bit precious. Why not also rate the people who found it helpful? “2 out of 3 people found this review helpful and the third person wants to know WTF is wrong with those first two people.”
Meanwhile, there’s my blog feed at the bottom of my Amazon page and once again Amazon is letting me know that zero people found it interesting. Okay, fine, I’m boring, whatever–but couldn’t we just let the lack of response speak for itself? And, by the way, is it fair to judge by the fact that people didn’t click on something SAYING it was interesting? Isn’t it possible–stay with me here–that the person reading it found it SO INCREDIBLY interesting that she clicked through to read my entire blog and completely forgot about telling the little box on Amazon that she found it interesting? That’s not an impossibility, is it? Why are we assuming no one found it interesting just because no one took time out of his probably very busy schedule to SAY he found it interesting?
Why must a number be put on my poor little blog at all? I write it for fun. No one pays me for it. (Okay, there’s a little self-promotion involved, but not much.) Why must I be judged for choosing to toss out a few lines about my life that–by the way–I don’t insist people read but let them come to if they feel like it?
“Judge not lest ye be judged.”
(So did you find this interesting? Anyone? Anyone?)