Posts tagged “five-star”

ChittahChattah Quickies

Ferreting Out Fake Reviews Online [New York Times] – We recently worked with a client exploring how online reviews impact purchase decisions. It’s a fascinating, emergent space . Our focus was more on using reviews than creating reviews but we surfaced a lot of insights around authenticity and more importantly, credibility (choosing who to believe is fundamentally different than identifying what is “fake”).

“For $5, I will submit two great reviews for your business,” offered one entrepreneur on the help-for-hire site Fiverr, one of a multitude of similar pitches. On another forum, Digital Point, a poster wrote, “I will pay for positive feedback on TripAdvisor.” A Craigslist post proposed this: “If you have an active Yelp account and would like to make very easy money please respond.” The boundless demand for positive reviews has made the review system an arms race of sorts. As more five-star reviews are handed out, even more five-star reviews are needed. Few want to risk being left behind. Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers. They were instantly approached by a dozen companies, including Amazon, Hilton, TripAdvisor and several specialist travel sites, all of which have a strong interest in limiting the spread of bogus reviews.

Curator Andrew Robison decides what goes into National Gallery’s emergency box [WaPo] – Extant Cold War scenarios are aging out faster than naming your kids after soap opera characters, meanwhile there’s an overwhelmed-by-stuff story lurking in here. What would you take from your house if you could take 3 things in 30 seconds? If you could take 20 things in an hour? If you had three days to pack a large duffel bag? These decisions are terrifying ones and for all our curation, enthusiasm for collection, etc., the accumulation of analog and digital artifacts alike is continually proving to be one of the defining problems of our time.

But in an emergency, not everything can be saved, and so he carefully ranks which works should be spared. The Canaletto is an obvious candidate for his top-priority list of 74 works on paper, but if it is included, something else has got to go. In 1979, with Washington worried about 52 hostages in Tehran and terrorist threats at home, Robison’s boss asked him to create a big container for works of the highest value. If catastrophe hit, the container could be spirited away to an undisclosed location. Today, Robison has seven boxes in two separate storerooms – four for European holdings, three for American. These do not include the museum’s 10,000 photographs, 3,800 paintings and 2,900 sculptures, outside of Robison’s purview and mostly too big for any mad dash out the building. In the two storerooms that Robison asked not be photographed or their locations disclosed, the black, cloth-lined boxes, each the shape of very large books, bear the label “WW3,” drawn in calligraphy. These in-case-of-World-War-III containers lie ready for any possibility, and in Robison’s absence, security guards have a floor plan that shows their exact location, like an X on a pirate map.


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