Zappos Uses Mechanical Turk To Correct Spelling/Grammar Errors In Reviews... And It Increases Sales

from the fascinating dept

Boing Boing points us to a fantastic story about how Zappos uses Mechanical Turk to fix grammar and spelling mistakes in product reviews. You see, research shows that if a product has well-written reviews, that helps sales -- even when the reviews are negative. The more well-written the reviews, the more people trust them. But, of course, on the internet, you get all sorts of grammatical and spelling errors (I should know, I make both all the time). So, to deal with that, Zappos runs its reviews through Mechanical Turk and lets the "crowd" act as its editor. There's no specific data, but apparently Zappos claims that this resulted in "substantial" revenue improvement, for a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars (across 5 million reviews). The corrections never change the actual intent of the content. They just make sure it's in proper English. I wonder what would happen if we did that for all posts and comments here...

Filed Under: grammar, mechanical turk, reviews, spelling
Companies: zappos

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  1. icon
    A Dan (profile), 3 May 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Effect on this site

    I don't think it would make much of a difference. People here are generally well-spoken (well-written?) and the stories are quite readable.

    I wonder if the sight would start to loose readers if are comments got worse.

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