How Many Reviews Are Too Many?

| Does the 3,250th review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have any influence on an Amazon customer? An Economist article says it does. In fact, says the article, the more online reviews a product has, the more likely people are to buy it. If reviewers know the reviews they write have influence, it may help answer Levitt’s earlier question: Why do so many people post reviews on Amazon? So what motivates blog readers, whose comments often number in the 100′s on this blog? One Freakonomics reader, Conor Lennon, recently emailed to say that he rarely bothers posting a comment unless he knows it will show up on the first page of comments (there are only 25 comments per page). He wonders if other commenters on this blog feel the same. [%comments]

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  1. Jesse says:

    It’s definitely no fun commenting when too many other people have. Unless there’s a competition going, there’s usually no reason to think anyone will read the comment, and it’s harder to track through all the comments to see if your point has already been made. I don’t have a strict limit, but usually if one or two pages of comments have already been made, I hold back unless I (think I) have a real nugget.

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  2. Jonathan Baird CFP(R) says:

    yep, my limit is about 20 or 30. Anymore than that and I don’t comment.

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  3. Michael S. says:

    I wasn’t going to post, but then I realized I could be on the first page.

    I agree with Connor though. I rarelyl post a comment on a blog unless I know it will be one of the first.

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  4. Jay Stevens says:

    …which is a long way of saying that some folks feel the “cost” of being buried in the comments is worth the “pay” of the ability to comment…the more prestigious or well-read the source (like, the NYTimes), the more likely commenters are willing to be buried…or something…

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  5. doug says:

    Yes we do, also.

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  6. Jonathon says:

    I find that most comment threads devolve into something petty within the first 100 comments. If there’s still anything interesting to say by that point, it’s usually drowned out by the crazy people who somehow end up personally offended by anyone else’s opinion.

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  7. Jonathon says:

    I find that most comment threads devolve into something petty within the first 100 comments. If there’s still anything interesting to say by that point, it’s usually drowned out by the crazy people who somehow end up personally offended by anyone else’s opinion.

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  8. Trevor L says:

    Yes–I only post if I can get on the first page. And even that hasn’t gotten me a book deal.

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