What does a politician do after he leaves office: write amazon reviews

In response to our last post, a reader named “A” pointed us towards an interesting article about Newt Gingrich’s second career as an amazon reviewer.

Gingrich cracked the coveted “top 500 reviewer” rank in 2004, but has now slipped to #599.

Gingrich abruptly stopped reviewing in December 2004. I guess we will never get to know his opinion on Freakonomics. (We probably wouldn’t have learned anyway since he only posts reviews of the books he enjoys.)

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  1. Macneil says:

    And perhaps “A” posted his or her comment in the hopes of being mentioned on the main page! It certainly seems there is a winner-take-all component to why people post comments or write reviews. Like so many actors, athletes or investment bankers, trying to hit the big time, we’re willing to post hundreds of comments/reviews that don’t go anywhere in particular.

    Perhaps there is a way to test how important the “featured article” aspect of Wikipedia is toward getting people to contribute more time to the project.

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  2. A says:

    The hope of getting mentioned on the main page was only like 15-20 percent of why I posted. It is more of a personality thing. I had something to say and an opportunity to say it, so I did. I think blog posting is a little different from Amazon posting. The blogs with the most active comments section are those that build a sense of community among the readers. For example, go through the archives of Comics Curmudgen (before they created a community) and follow some of the comment threads, they go into the hundreds.

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  3. Allison says:

    I know that I post on blog comments for very different reasons than writing a review on Amazon.

    For the most part, I only review a book on Amazon if
    a) I have something to say about the book that is missing from other reviews
    b) I feel strongly about the quality (or lack of) of the book, or
    c) I want to post a buyer-beware type of statement, because I felt that the book in question was a waste of money.

    Commenting on blogs, on the other hand has other motivations for me:
    - Encouraging the author to write more
    - Providing my own perspective on the author’s topic
    - Commenting back on others’ comments (thus, that sense of community others have mentioned)

    In other words, I usually have a positive reason for commenting on a blog. Reviewing a book is more often than not because I have a negative piece of info to share.

    My two cents’ worth,
    Allison

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  4. Anonymous says:

    In a previous blog, Porfessor levitt posed the question “why everyday people post reviews?”

    In my opinion, the answere is so obvious, the question need not be asked. Few things are more gratifying to many people than the sound of their own voice spouting out their own opinions. Prior to the internet and blogging, one had to actually go out and corner someone who would listen to your pearls of wisdom. Blogging has done way with the problem of physically locating an audience. Even if virtually no one reads the message, or worse, it is read and thought to be badly written tripe, the delusional blogger believes he/she has provided humananity with a profound piece of new intormation. Having just written this blog, I have no doubt that my explantion is correct.

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  5. Allison says:

    I know that I post on blog comments for very different reasons than writing a review on Amazon.

    For the most part, I only review a book on Amazon if
    a) I have something to say about the book that is missing from other reviews
    b) I feel strongly about the quality (or lack of) of the book, or
    c) I want to post a buyer-beware type of statement, because I felt that the book in question was a waste of money.

    Commenting on blogs, on the other hand has other motivations for me:
    - Encouraging the author to write more
    - Providing my own perspective on the author’s topic
    - Commenting back on others’ comments (thus, that sense of community others have mentioned)

    In other words, I usually have a positive reason for commenting on a blog. Reviewing a book is more often than not because I have a negative piece of info to share.

    My two cents’ worth,
    Allison

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Anonymous says:

    In a previous blog, Porfessor levitt posed the question “why everyday people post reviews?”

    In my opinion, the answere is so obvious, the question need not be asked. Few things are more gratifying to many people than the sound of their own voice spouting out their own opinions. Prior to the internet and blogging, one had to actually go out and corner someone who would listen to your pearls of wisdom. Blogging has done way with the problem of physically locating an audience. Even if virtually no one reads the message, or worse, it is read and thought to be badly written tripe, the delusional blogger believes he/she has provided humananity with a profound piece of new intormation. Having just written this blog, I have no doubt that my explantion is correct.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Macneil says:

    And perhaps “A” posted his or her comment in the hopes of being mentioned on the main page! It certainly seems there is a winner-take-all component to why people post comments or write reviews. Like so many actors, athletes or investment bankers, trying to hit the big time, we’re willing to post hundreds of comments/reviews that don’t go anywhere in particular.

    Perhaps there is a way to test how important the “featured article” aspect of Wikipedia is toward getting people to contribute more time to the project.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. A says:

    The hope of getting mentioned on the main page was only like 15-20 percent of why I posted. It is more of a personality thing. I had something to say and an opportunity to say it, so I did. I think blog posting is a little different from Amazon posting. The blogs with the most active comments section are those that build a sense of community among the readers. For example, go through the archives of Comics Curmudgen (before they created a community) and follow some of the comment threads, they go into the hundreds.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0