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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How are your
There has been a lot of attention paid recently to online reviews.  Be they in regard to dentists, restaurants, physicians, travel, or so many other categories, those being reviewed are showing great concern about the impact of negative word of mouth.

In a New York court a dentist is suing Yelp (an online review site that claims over 30 million unique monthly visitors) seeking to have a negative review about his practice (that he claims is a fake) removed.  Consumer Reports has gotten into the act with the online publications of a ranking of more than 200 medical groups that perform heart bypass surgery.  Though the evaluations driving those ratings were conducted among the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, there are qualms from some of its members.  In a related study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, a sample of 300 physician names were searched across 31 physician rating websites.  190 reviews rating 81of the physicians were found of which 88% were positive (and 6% were negative).

I’m finding it hard to understand why suddenly there is such focus on what at this point amounts to very few negative online reviews.  Customers have been writing and talking to neighbors, friends, co-workers, relatives and complete strangers about their experiences with products and services since the beginning of time, and dentists, restaurateurs, travel providers and hospital administrators have totally ignored them until now.  While online reviews certainly can reach more people, the overall volume and the credibility of private written or spoken comments from a trusted friend carry greater weight, yet still get little or no attention.
3:05 pm edt          Comments

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