Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Amazon Vine Reviews

Have you heard about Amazon Vine? Here's the description from the Amazon.com web site:
Amazon Vine™ is a program that enables a select group of Amazon customers to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make educated purchase decisions. Customers are invited to become Amazon Vine™ Voices based on the trust they have earned in the Amazon community for writing accurate and insightful reviews. Amazon provides Amazon Vine™ members with free copies of products that have been submitted to the program by vendors. Amazon does not influence the opinions of Amazon Vine™ members, nor do we modify or edit their reviews.
I ran across Amazon Vine reviews when looking at what readers had posted about the hardcover edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. In fact, the first three reviews featured for the hardcover, at least today when I looked, were from Amazon Vine and were all posted during late July 2008. All were clearly marked as "Amazon Vine" reviews, a disclosure that I appreciate.

This is an interesting development and I'll be interested to see whether other companies do this, especially in light of the recent FTC rule change requiring bloggers and celebrity endorsers to disclose "material connections" (payment by or freebies from companies).

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