Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Exploring epinions

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:9/11/1999; 9:40:26 AM
Topic:Exploring epinions
Msg #:10919
Prev/Next:10918 / 10920

Email with Jakob

I was emailing with Jakob Nielsen about his article on reputation engines, and that's how I found out that had gone online. Here's what he said:

"It is true that some areas don't have that many reviews yet, but the technology is in place and the design is in place to make this the most exciting reputation manager ever: not only do they collect reviews (which admittedly is old hat and done by thousands of sites), but the reviewers are rated (key to avoid bozos) and get micropayments (key to make people write long, thoughtful reviews) based on how well they score in other users' feedback. It is also an absolutely excellent development team that takes usability sufficiently serious to involve me at the strategic level of the company. These guys can program their way around anybody so new design ideas get implemented *fast*."

Taking a tour

So now I'm taking a tour, and have a window open and will record my experiences. You can try it too.

The first thing I did was search for Frontier.

Then scripting.

Then I went to see if they had any reviews of the car I just bought. (Autobytel and Autoweb did have a few postings about the car I bought, but the most helpful sites were Carpoint and Yahoo's car purchase site.)

Getting an account

I joined up. I am davew. I guess it's still early!

I think their user profile page is gorgeous. I want all those features on Brent, pay attention, this is good prior-art.

Now, what I am looking for is a page that shows me where the action is. Almost every place I go has nothing. When you're starting up a service like this an easy to find page would work well for them. I guess in other words, I'm saying that they need a weblog guy on their team. Jakob you should explain to them what a weblog is.

I want to buy a new computer!

I actually do.

OK cool. Let's see what they recommend.

They list desktops by manufacturer, and by price. I'm looking for a good manufacturer, and I'm pretty sure what I want will cost a little over $2000.

They point to a ZDNet article thru a frame. I don't like this at all.

I browsed around but am still clueless. They're recommendations were all for low-end under-$1000 products. Organized by manufacturer. What I really wanted to see was products in my price-range ranked according to reliability and customer service by the manufacturer. The thing that matters most to me is uptime.

Where's scripting?

Software is a sub-category under computers.

I think scripting should be here, but it's not. Perhaps the problem is that many of the products in scripting are free? How do they decide what products to cover?

Anyway I got to a form where you can write a review for a product that isn't listed in their hierarchy. I don't have a review to write at this time, but I'll give it some thought. What products *could* I review? MSIE for sure. Eudora, Outlook Express. I can't review Frontier, that would be ridiculous. Would some of you like to post reviews of Frontier?? (Ducking.)

Interesting that there are currently no reviews for browsers!

Gotta take a break now

I'll keep this window open and if I get some more time I'll do some more exploring.

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