19 February 2011
Increasingly, I find merchants (both physical and on-line) and services actively asking to survey me about my reaction to their offerings. I respect the motivation to tailor and improve what's presented to customers, and appreciate that the data has to come from somewhere, but it sometimes can become irritating and unproductive. Is it really likely, for example, that I'd be able or enthused to submit a review of something like a printer ink cartridge? Was it unique, the best one I've ever had the opportunity to use, yielding those special black tones that made my resume stand out from others and opening new doors of personal opportunity? It seems unlikely, or even that many other purchasers would have much that's special to report about a fairly generic item. (Disclosure: I haven't checked for purchaser reviews of ink cartridges before writing this. Maybe there are many. Maybe even an active forum of ink cartridge connoisseurs.) Seriously, it's hard to see the motivation and value of soliciting comments on topics where there's unlikely to be much to say.