The Absurdity of Online User Ratings
Is it time to kill the Five Star user review system? I explore the topic for New York Magazine:
When Yelp’s stock shot up 63 percent on March 2, its first full day of trading, commentators couldn’t resist pointing out that investors had given the user-generated ratings site “a five-star review.” The one-to-five scale is everywhere on the web, inviting surfers to become critics: Amazon, Netflix, and the iTunes app store also employ it. There’s just one problem: This democratization of reviewing tends to produce aggregate scores that reveal nothing much at all.