Good News: Why Hype Works and Negative Comments Don't

A new research into marketing has revealed something that is counter-intuitive but oh, so encouraging to anyone, writers especially, who have received bad reviews of their work. It seems that a thumbs-down view elicits a counter-reaction from other readers. By contrast, hype can work and feeds on itself as well.

Who says so? Not just anybody. Those are the very words of one of the researchers, Sinan K. Aral, a professor of information technology and marketing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Besides Mr. Aral, other scholars from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and New York University were involved in this new internet study. 

The question they sought to answer is key to figuring out what works in marketing:
is something popular because it is actually good or just because it is popular?

More details on how they answered that question can be found in an article by NYT's science reporter  Kenneth Chang here.

The implications for marketing are enormous and suggest a way forward to ensure success. The downside is that quality of work may not matter as much as one might like.

When searching for a good read on Amazon, what do you read first, the negative reviews or the good ones? Which do you believe in and why?

What do you think works, thumbs up or thumbs down?


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