Entries for November 2012

November 30, 2012

Idea: A Plug-in That Throws Out the High and Low Score Reviews

This summer the New York Times reported that, by one estimate, a third of all consumer reviews online are fake. And 1-star reviews are often misguided or misplaced anger, which can make them pretty much useless. So some suggest that the best thing to do when looking at consumer reviews is ignore all the 5-star and 1-star reviews, and just concentrate on the middle reviews, since that’s where you’ll find the substance. I’ve seen it compared to how some Olympic events throw out the highest and lowest scores to find the true score of a gymnast or diver.

So here’s an idea: how about a browser plug-in that does that automatically? I’d like one that hides the 5-star and 1-star reviews on Amazon, TripAdvisor, and the like (are Apple App Store reviews were available on the web?). But maybe too little data is front-facing, making it impossible without deep access to databases that aren’t publicly available. So I’ll settle for toggles added by the retailers themselves that allow me to turn on and off the high and low reviews.

This is the Best Idea Ever! ★★★★★. I would definitely read this post again!

See also: Product Placement in Amazon Reviews for Related Products

November 20, 2012

Inventors Episode 2: Batter Blaster

Save some room this Thanksgiving weekend for waffles and pancakes. Or don’t, and just have cold turkey for breakfast. Either way, at least watch Episode Two of my new PBS Digital Studios series “Inventors”, which profiles the man behind Batter Blaster, the pancake batter that comes in a whip cream style can.

Since this new series is just getting started, it would still mean a great deal to me if you could share the video — here’s the direct link — and/or subscribe to the YouTube channel. Thanks so much.

November 14, 2012

Better than carpet that matches the drapes

Every year, for just a couple days, the leaves on this tree closely match the bricks of the house behind it. I look forward to it each autumn.

November 8, 2012

“Inventors” series debuts with PBS Digital Studios

I’m very excited to announce that my occasional series of inventor portrait videos is about to get a lot less occasional, as it’s now part of PBS Digital Studios. I will be releasing a new video every two weeks and you can find them at the new Inventors Series YouTube channel.

Here’s the first episode:

[Note to self: I’ve really got to redesign this website to allow for embedding larger video.]

Going forward, a new episode will go up every other Tuesday. They will mostly be new episodes you haven’t seen, but I’ll throw in a few that I’ve posted here in the past, perhaps with some slight changes. They’ll be new to most people.

Oh, also: one of the best things you could do for me today is share the video — here’s the direct link — and/or subscribe to the YouTube channel. Thanks so much.

I hope you like what I’ve got planned!