Here's a thought: Why not work from within? Praise is the coin of the realm on Amazon and other Web 2.0 sites. An unscrupulous opponent of the Amazon model might be tempted to write fake customer reactions. He or she could spike them with hype so absurd that it reminds consumers that all such reviews are questionable.
And indeed, the system has produced its own saboteurs, if unintentional ones. According to the New York Times, an entrepreneur named Todd Jason Rutherford is making a small fortune in the shilling-by-review of self-published Amazon titles. Rationalizing his business as "marketing" rather than evaluation, but evidently not disclosing the payments in reviews, Mr. Rutherford has found a new way to exploit the crowdsourced model:
Full story at The Atlantic
Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center and holds a Ph.D in European history