Never underestimate the human desire to game systems. Why expend actual effort when you can “win” by cheating? Because, to the victor go the spoils. Today I’d like to explain one way that business owners go about gaming their reviews.
So there’s this thing called Yelp. They claim to be generally positive system but the dictionary definition of the word “yelp” is: “a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm.” Yeah, baby. Those are my kind of reviews. Let’s go negative and keep it that way. Don’t believe me? Look it up in your own dictionary.
I went to the trendy meat cafe and they served me an elk burger that was oozing blood. That’s how I earned “connoisseur of raw elk meat” on my Twitter profile! And, oh yeah, you better believe I yelped it as soon as I got home.
My understanding is that Yelp frowns on business owners asking for reviews. That’s bad form in a reputation system that’s supposedly driven from a wellspring of organic experiences from normal people like you and me. Normal! Yeah, right.
Here’s how the gaming works:
You place an order on a website. A few days or weeks later you receive a survey request. “How did we do on your recent order?” and what not.
You’ll likely be given the ability to enter some comments and provide a rating. If you give them a good rating, they’ll say thanks and provide a clickable link to the Yelp website where you can enter a review. If you give a bad rating, they only say thanks. No linky for you.
Voila! It’s as simple as that. The system just got gamed. The preliminary survey is nothing more than a sieve to sort the good eggs from the bad. The good eggs are passed along to Yelp and the bad eggs go down the chute. You might think that businesses appreciate negative feedback most of all because that’s vital information to help them improve. You’d be wrong. Why waste time on that shit when you can be gaming the system instead?
This is just one small example of gaming. People in the world of business spend more time thinking about stuff like this than they do on actual products and services. And they’re really good at it. That’s ingenuity.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to nosh on some raw elk. RAWR!
How will my child perform during this year’s Easter egg hunt? How can I guarantee The Win?
P.S. Oh yeah. Almost forgot… Praise Jesus!
What astute questions! Rest easy. You have come to the right place. Clearly if anyone ever deserved The Win it is your precocious child. Something is cracked and/or smells around here and it’s not just the eggs.
The answer, of course, depends on a complex variety of factors including your child’s gifts, level of motivation, and unfortunately, no small amount of luck. With proper planning, however, the nefarious element of random chance can be minimized.
What I mean to say is, just how far are you and your child willing to go? How badly do you really want those coveted eggs?
Always eager in my quest to be a furry little lemming, I’ve decided to microblog the Olympics. I have my microbeer in hand. I am microready! (That sounds suspiciously like popcorn. Oh well, such is my fate.) Grab your butter flavoring. It’s go time.
This is my Olympic movement. Or, as I sometimes like to call it, a Movement for the Common Man.
I’m sure most of my reader have evacuated by now. Looks like it’s just gonna be you and me.
So, what is/are the Olympics? Perhaps the simplest definition (and the one found in the Demotivational Dictionary) is: an average throng observing and celebrating the spectacle of their own outliers.
Wikipedia says, “In statistics, an outlier is an observation that is numerically distant from the rest of the data. Grubbs defined an outlier as: An outlying observation, or outlier, is one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs.”
In other words, the Olympics are the sporting version of the universe telling you, “On the bell curve you’re the dingle dangle that hangs down on the bottom. The cling clang thingie that gives the bell it’s special sound.”
Yes, without the average, the outliers would have nothing to outlie from to set themselves apart. Think about it. That’s perhaps the deepest thing I’ve ever said. It’s an outlier of thought.
In other other words, the Olympics are all about watching the select few who have won something known as the DNA Lotto.
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I’ve been thinking a lot about my “talents” lately. America’s Got Talent has been running advertising about cities where you can go to audition. I have no idea what the audition process is like, but I’d love to go except for one wee little problem: I can’t identify my “talent.”
I’m assuming everyone has one. Even me. So what the hell is it?
I’ve been thinking about it and I do have some talents. One talent I have is sitting cross-legged. I can sit cross-legged all day. I’m pretty sure I can build a Las Vegas caliber show around that one.
Another talent is dice rolling. I’m sure 90 seconds of that would be riveting. If I make it past the audition I promise to keep bringing bigger and bigger dice. Roll them bones!
I have an incredible talent for getting cut off while driving. Try as I might, I can’t figure out a way to translate that to the big stage.
I think I sing pretty good, but only in the shower, and I’ve already done that this year (shower, I mean) so that’s out, too.
Getting strange cats to sit on my lap might work. I seem to be pretty good at that.
The only other thing I can think of that I’m good at is balancing the remote controls (all seven of them) on my belly. There are remotes for the TV, cable box, stereo, DVD player, ceiling fan, simulated fireplace, and even a super remote that tells the other remotes what to do. Yeah, this is undoubtedly probably the best of all my talents.
I mean, come on! I’ve got to have at least one watchable talent, right?
I do know one thing, though. Whatever my talent I’m going to probably need a little extra oomph to take my act through the succession of humiliations that AGT calls shows. And for that you need to have an ace up your sleeve. What might that be? Usually it takes the form of a compelling backstory that makes the judges and voting public think you are cuter than you really are and therefore they put you ahead of other more talented people.
The backstory has to be compelling. An element of drama is extremely helpful. Overcoming some condition that makes other people think “how in the hell can they still have a talent?” is also a plus. When all else fails rely on a medical condition.
Somehow, whatever it is, the backstory always comes out. Then we can hear the judges gush about what a “good person” the contestant is. No, it isn’t the talent that is good. It is the person, and it is because of the backstory.
I watched the highlights of the last season and in at least one case the judges asked the perfect lead-in question of Michael Grimm at his very first audition. Because of that lead-in we all knew from the first time we saw him he was doing it all for grandma and grandpa. Awwwwwwwwwwww!
Dammit! Yet another obstacle in my path! I don’t have a compelling backstory.
Or so I thought.
Then it occurred to me. I do have a personal tragedy I’ve overcome, still deal with every day, and I’ve turned around into a story of heartwarming triumph. It could be just the ticket to me achieving fame on AGT.
I’m talking about, of course, my trials with IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yes, I can’t wait to get on stage at AGT and talk about my trials with IBS. No doubt I’ll go far. At least as far as my bowels can take me!
“This means the world to me. Tonight I’m going to attempt something on stage that I’ve never done before. Also, there really isn’t any need to mention this, but my IBS is acting up. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to perform. But I really want to progress in this competition. This is my dream and I want this so bad. I hope America likes me. Tonight I’m going to attempt 8 remote controls on my belly at the same time. If things don’t go well I could be seriously injured or even killed. I know a lot of people with IBS are counting on me tonight and I want to be their inspiration. I want to be a role model for the IBS community.”
Stay tuned, stay tuned! You surely don’t want to miss me on TV!