Humans are social creatures: We like to help one another and feel we are part of a community.
The plethora of thoughtful, informative customer reviews on websites like Yelp, tripadvisor, and Amazon may appear puzzling at first. Many of the reviews surpass being simply helpful; they are invaluable resources when shopping online. More importantly, these unsolicited reviews illustrate and reinforce fundamental principles of society.
Here is a 753-word Amazon Kindle Customer Review by Jeffrey Stanley (a Top 1000 Reviewer). It is on the front page of Amazon, it has received 126 comments as of this posting, and 7012 of 7153 people found Stanley’s review helpful.
Amazon Top Reviewers
Like Foursquare, Amazon has a badge system to reward Top Reviewers. But climbing to the Top 500 Reviewers list or being added to other users’ Interesting People lists is the only compensation (save the Vine product testing group).
One must register in order to publish a review. It takes a good half hour or more to compose one of the above caliber. Compensation is a tiny virtual badge. Why do we bother?
Social Psychology | Why We Share
Humans are evolutionarily motivated to share information primarily by the desire to help their friends or network. Second, sharing or recommending a product/brand serves to establish oneself with certain values or associations; it reinforces one’s identity. Robert D. Putnam touches on this idea of social capital in Bowling Alone.
Facebook is a petri dish for social helping. Continue reading Why Consumers Waste Hours Writing Product Reviews