As noted in our now-infamous Klausner Post, it appears that Amazon has changed their reviewer rating criteria. This has caused everybody’s favorite reviewer, Harriet Klausner, to plummet from her long-held #1 spot to #442 overnight. Ouch! I’m not sure, but I think that’s a faster fall than Shelly Long’s career.
All good things must come to an end, they say, but Klausner being at #1 was hardly a good thing – except maybe for publishers seeking empty platitudes, unknowing authors, and the awesome Harriet Klausner Appreciation Society anti-fan site. Amazon customers, on the other hand, were blatantly subjected to over-inflated ratings and shallow reviews (even by my low standards). I’m not saying everyone else’s reviews are honest and/or helpful, but having Amazon’s #1 reviewer say a book was great (always with the 4- or 5-star rating) looked good – until you zoomed out and saw that all her reviews were rated similarly. But how many people did that?
A close look at Amazon’s reviewer rating change reveals…not much. Their new rating system is still a mystery to us. It does appear that reader votes count more than they did before. Given the ever-increasing army of Klausner naysayers, an audience that surpasses even Dave Itzkoff haters, maybe it’s no surprise of the huge drop in rating. But the details of the precise calculation are left hidden in the togas of the Gods at Amazon.
It also look as if Amazon will maintain both the new and “classic” ranking next to reviewers’ names, with the “Top X” badges applying to the scale with the highest rank. So Klausner’s reviewer profile shows both her #1 and her #442 ranking. (You’ll note that her profile says she reads merely 2 books a day and has posted 103,397 reviews. But don’t get me started again.)
[Okay, you got me started again – but only for another quick installment of “Do the Math”. 103,397 books (as per her profile page today) at 2 books each day would take her 51,698 days, or approximately 141 years. I’m pretty sure Ms. Klausner is not 141 years old, though I admittedly don’t know if Amazon’s influence extends into the area of time travel. Tell me, how is that possible? Sweet Lady Justice, you came just in time…]
I’m tempted to throw a block party in light of this news of Klausner’s downward tumble, but what difference does this really make? Not much as far as I can see. All of Klausner’s reviews are still posted out there for the world to see. They’re still visible for the unwary consumer. Nothing much has changed.
So, despite appearances to the contrary, this is a shallow victory for Justice, my friends. I’m not sure why Amazon bothered, unless it was trying to address some Klausner backlash (pure speculation on my part).